Miami Boating Accident Lawyer : Sean M. Cleary

If you or someone you love was injured in a Miami or Florida boating accident due to the negligence of someone else, our attorney can help you recover the compensation you need and deserve.

How Do We Help After a Boating Accident in Miami or Florida?

We investigate to what extent the boating accident injuries or death occurred due to someone's negligence or to defective or inadequately maintained boating equipment.

Sean M. Cleary
Miami Boating Accident Lawyer

The oceanic area in Florida is vast and the variations in accidents are numerous and can involve injuries to people on fishing boats, oil rigs, cruise boats, as well as recreational boats. Regarding commercial boating injuries, marine data compiled by The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) shows that in recent years 33 people died during commercial fishing, 52 were fatally injured in relation with cargo transports, and 6 people died on commercial boats. NTSB issued in the last years 56 accident reports following the investigation of marine events, out of which 2 have taken place in Florida. Operator inattention and lack of experience rank as the top primary responsible factors for accidents.


Ferry, tour boat & charter vessel guest injury and even wrongful death claims arise out of boating accidents that can be caused by negligence on the part of the ship’s operator or crew. If you were a guest or a passenger aboard any one of these vessels and were injured as a result of a boating accident, The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary based in Miami, Florida is here to help.

We specialize in acting on behalf of anyone injured due to someone else's negligence on private ferries, charter vessels, and tour boats including:

A ferry, tour boat or charter vessel passenger or guest who has suffered serious injury may recover compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses that result from the accident
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Lost past and future wages
  • Pain and suffering

Hiring an attorney in Florida with considerable knowledge of and experience with this specialized area of law can mean the difference in the outcome of your case.

Ships can be unsafe places to work especially in Florida, and employees can face a significant risk of on-the-job injuries. In recognition of the perils and hazards associated with their shipboard duties, seamen and other employees are afforded special rights.

Two major laws in Florida protect seamen and maritime workers and employees:

  • The Jones Act, providing compensation for injured seamen who work aboard vessels
  • The Long Shoremen and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA), providing compensation for other maritime workers

Employees protected by the Jones Act includes crewmembers, officers, captains, masters, day workers, and other people who work aboard vessels. Seamen are protected when an accident takes place on cruise and casino ships, barges, tugboats, fishing boats, ferries, trawlers, oil rigs, water taxis, and other vessels on the ocean, lakes, rivers, and canals.

  • Employers may be liable for any kind of error that contributes to injuries. If the injuries are the result of either negligence or unseaworthiness, injured seamen have a potential claim. If the injury results in death, the workers' surviving family members can file a claim on their behalf. 
  • Under maritime law in Florida, our lawyer representing you will inspect the vessel itself and look for causes that lead to the injuries, checking if the vessel workplace was unsafe or if the vessel did not function as intended.
  • According to maritime law in Florida, even third parties can be held liable for the poor condition of a vessel. Thus, the owner of the vessel could be held liable for damages to an employee.

What about maritime workers who are not seamen? Difficult and dangerous work goes on every day at harbors, ports or terminals, marine railways, and on dry docks. LHWCA typically covers the rights of these mariners, and these claims are handled through the U.S. Department of Labor. Dock workers can also bring third-party claims against negligent people or companies other than their employers, such as contractors or manufacturers if the injuries are the result of their negligence.

Sean Cleary, maritime attorney, represents workers injured due to someone else's negligence in:

Injured seamen and dock workers, may be entitled to:

  • Lost wages, including future wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Occupational or vocational retraining
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost earning capacity

At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, our qualified maritime attorney will provide you with a legal case review free of charge, and help you identify all possible sources of recovery from your injuries. Before talking to insurance company representatives or settling a claim with your employer, it’s important to seek experienced legal representation to help you get full compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Miami boating accident lawyer call us at 305.416.9805 or complete our online contact form. We offer consultations in English and Spanish.

Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. The job is physically demanding, the conditions are tough and the hours are long. All of these place commercial fishermen at constant risk of serious injury. The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary in Miami, Florida is here to help commercial fishermen who suffer serious personal injury or death as a result of a commercial boat accident or sinking. We represent all kinds of commercial fishermen including those working on:

  • Trawlers
  • Long line vessels
  • Seiners
  • Gillnetters
  • Shrimpers
  • Tuna & sword boats
  • Oyster & clam dredgers
  • Grouper & snapper vessels
  • Lobster & crab boats
  • Commercial fishing boats
  • Processing vessels

Fishermen injured due to someone else's negligence have a legal right to seek compensation from the owner and operator of the vessel for numerous types of accidents and incidences that include:

The amount of damages entitled to fishermen harmed in commercial fishing accidents often depend on the circumstances of the accident and the severity of the injuries. If injuries occurred due to others' negligence, victims and family members will receive adequate compensation for:

  • Current, past and future medical expenses
  • Maintenance and cure
  • Physical therapy, rehabilitation, and additional surgeries
  • Lost wages due to missed work
  • Lost capacity to work
  • Funds for the diminished ability to work as a fisherman
  • Temporary or permanent disability
  • Mental anxiety, pain, and suffering

If the fisherman dies as a result of a negligent or intentional act of the vessel owner, operator, crew member or another third party, surviving family members can seek compensation that includes:

  • Loss of support
  • Loss of services
  • Funeral and burial expenses

Some of the most common causes of maritime accidents include defective components of a boat and defective boating equipment and can cause catastrophic events such as explosion, fire, collision, grounding, and sinking. Unfortunately, such events often result in injuries or even deaths.

Defective components or equipment on boats include, but are not limited to:

  • Engines
  • Generators
  • Electronics
  • Batteries
  • Wires
  • Fuel tanks
  • Drivelines
  • Propellers
  • Engine driven accessories
  • Safety equipment
  • Cranes

Depending on the component of the boat, there is a number of potential defects that can occur: the boat component can be mislabeled, have a defective design, be defectively constructed, fabricated, installed and improperly integrated with other components. The failure of a sub-component part of the boat can result in the entire loss of a vessel, damage to nearby vessels and death.

Product liability cases are often complicated and require an attorney who knows the laws in Florida, with years of experience handling boating accident claims. Sean Cleary knows the ins and outs of this area of law and has successfully handled many product liability cases involving boating accidents.


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Common Boat Injury Questions

Who Is Liable in a Boating Accident? »

In a boating accident, one of the following parties can be held liable: the operator of the boat, the owner, the manufacturer, the rental company, or even a passenger. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are cases when, due to unforeseen circumstances, liability can be difficult or even impossible to determine.

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When Do Most Boating Accidents Occur? »

Most boating accidents occur in the summer months or on holidays and many have nothing to do with bad weather conditions. They commonly are caused by a distracted and reckless operation of the boat, alcohol or drug consumption, equipment failure, inadequate passenger behavior, or operator inexperience.

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What Is the Statute of Limitations for Boating Accidents in Florida? »

The statute of limitation for boating accidents in the state of Florida is four years from the date of the accident. However, depending on the type of legislation your claim falls under and the type of party you are making the claim against, some claims need to be filed sooner, within 3 years, two years or even 6 months.

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What Damages Can I Recover from a Boating Accident Lawsuit? »

The damages that can be recovered from a boating accident lawsuit can include the victim's medical expenses, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, property damages, pain and suffering, and other types of damages to an amount that depends on the severity of the injuries, liability and circumstances of the accident.

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