Tampa Area Maritime Accidents

Florida is home to many people who work on or around the ocean. Most have special protections under the law. If you have been injured in maritime accidents, contact an attorney who understands maritime law.

What is a Seafarer?

Anyone who works on a vessel or contributes to the mission is a seafarer. Additionally, you have to spend at least 30% on a vessel or fleet of vessels that are in navigation. A vessel is considered under navigation even if it is anchored, docked or drydocked, except for major renovation.

Seafarers have right similar to passengers, but have additional protections. They are considered wards of the admiralty. Sea work has always been dangerous, and seafarers are vulnerable to sea related perils, foreign travel and ship masters.

The Jones Act

Recently, the Jones Act has been in the news. It covers maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports. It also provides compensation for work-related injuries due to negligence and for wrongful death. The Jones Act allows for jury trials to determine fault. It also a fairly low bar for the assignment of fault.


The sea offers many challenges. Bad weather, poor decisions by the captain or owners, dangerous cargo, specialized equipment, and lack of training can lead to horrific accidents. If you’ve been injured in a seafaring accident, give me a call. You have additional rights as a seafarer and I will help you protect them.

Covered Vessels

Barges are filled with tripping hazards and slippery conditions. The loads can be very dangerous either from shifting or chemically, including flammability. Transferring between barges, barges and tugs boats, or barges to shore can be dangerous as well.

Commercial fishing boats include crabbers, seiners, longliners, gillnetters, trawlers, drifters, and factory ships. These are all dangerous vessels that involve trip/slip and fall hazards, heavy loads, rough weather, and long hours.

Dredgers are particularly hazardous due to cutting tools, vacuum tubes, cranes and other heavy equipment.

Crew or Supply Boats are include heavy lifting, transferring from one vessel to the other, and the loads are dangerous. Heavy weather, slippery conditions, and transferring loads can make these vessels hazardous.

Tankers or Cargo ships are involved in many accidents each year. The loads may shift, be swept overboard, or be hazardous. Tankers often carry extremely flammable loads.

Tugboats may be small, but they have very high rates of accidents. Their very function puts the little vessels in constant danger.

Ferry Boats offer unique dangers. From ramming piers to rollovers, ferries are surprisingly dangerous paces to work. Add on the challenges of cars that are running or left out of gear and you have a dangerous workplace.

Commercial Diving and Dive Boat Injuries. Diving is a hazardous occupation, whether it is commercial or pleasure. This just adds another element of danger to the “normal” hazards of vessels, including tripping, slipping, propeller injuries and burns.

Cruise ships combine the hazards of normal seafaring with tourists. The hours are long, and the workloads are very heavy.

Training drills cause many seafarer injuries. Lifeboat drills are mandatory but are also dangerous. Equipment flaws, poor training, and equipment failure while lowering a fully loaded lifeboat into the water present extra challenges.

About Brian Hoag

Hopefully, you will never need the legal services of a Tampa personal injury lawyer. If you do, please give Hoag Law Firm a call at or complete your online Free Case Evaluation. A free consultation can help you understand your rights. With honest advice and an experienced attorney at your side, you can recover the largest possible settlement. You’ll love getting back to living your life.

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