Our Award Winning Maritime Lawyers Handle Accidents, Injuries and Assaults at Sea
Admiralty and maritime law is a highly-specialized area of the law and surprisingly few lawyers actually have a full and thorough understanding of the law. Whether you’ve been accidentally or intentionally injured at sea, you need experienced and knowledgeable legal representation to receive the compensation that you deserve . With a team of 12 attorneys and over 187 years of combined experience, Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. sets the international standard for maritime legal representation. Our attorneys have successfully resolved over 3000 cases for over $300 million in total settlements and awards. LM&W, P.A. has been named “Lawyer of the Year”® in Maritime and to “Best Law Firms”® by U.S. News and World Report. Founded in 1971, we have fought tirelessly for more than 50 years to help our clients injured at sea obtain the maximum recovery under the law.
Whether you were injured while working on a vessel or while you were a passenger on a cruise ship or pleasure craft; or were assaulted by a crewmember or other passenger, we are here to help you or your loved one. We work on a contingency basis, which means that you do not have to pay us a penny unless we make a successful recovery for you. And our consultation is always free so you can quickly get the free advice from our award-winning admiralty and maritime legal team. Call today to speak to a veteran maritime attorney immediately.
- What Is A Maritime Lawyer?
- What Does A Maritime Lawyer Do?
- TV Appearances
- Meet Our Maritime Lawyers
- Landmark Cases
- Types of Maritime Cases We Handle
- Locations Served
- Steps After An Offshore Accident
- Recovery Under Maritime Law
- Maritime Lawyer FAQs
- Questions to Ask Your Maritime Attorney
What Is A Maritime Lawyer?
Maritime law focuses on activities that occur on navigable waters. Maritime lawyers must be knowledgeable about laws that govern waters falling under the jurisdiction of individual nations as well as international waters. The types of cases that maritime lawyers handle include shipboard accidents on commercial vessels and passenger vessels; boating accidents; cruise ship and shore excursion accidents, such as those involving snorkeling or parasailing, cruise ship rape; and Jones Act claims. Most of these cases involve injuries due to negligence or criminal behavior. If you’re uncertain whether your case requires a maritime attorney, contact Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. for a free consultation.
What Does A Maritime Lawyer Do?
Maritime lawyers handle maritime cases. In short, this means cases that involve navigable bodies of water. Because of the unique nature of maritime law, maritime lawyers require additional training and education to ensure that they are able to handle the nuanced cases that develop from accidents and torts that occur at sea. Maritime lawyers must know how to identify the court of jurisdiction in any claim and to be able to litigate that claim under the rules of that court. The types of cases that maritime lawyers handle include ship accidents, Jones Act claims (which mirror worker accident claims on land), seaman’s claims, maritime wrongful death, assault, and rape. Because many of these claims occur on cruise ships, cargo ships, oil rigs, and other types of vessels, they require attorneys who are familiar with the nuances of maritime law. With over 187 years of maritime experience, Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman are the preeminent maritime law attorneys operating in the United States. Contact us immediately to discuss your case.
Our Attorney TV Appearances Covering Admiralty & Maritime Cases
The attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. are known throughout the legal community and have developed a reputation as industry leaders. News networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and FOX News have featured our maritime law authorities on their networks when they need an expert opinion about a legal matter occurring at sea. Our named partners have made appearances on the Today Show, Dr. Oz, Good Morning America, Nightline, and many others. Established news media outlets seek our legal opinions and expertise because we are able to provide thorough, informed, and concise information in a way that’s digestible to their audiences. There is a reason why our attorneys have appeared on every single major news network, literally hundreds of times. It is because we are the go to resource for knowledge, expertise and information regarding anything that happens on the water.
Meet Our Maritime Lawyers
The maritime and admiralty attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. have been dedicated to helping victims of maritime accidents, injuries, assaults, and wrongful death since 1971. Meet our world famous team of 12 full time maritime lawyers:
Best Lawyers in America
Best Law Firms (US News)
Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Club
Million Dollar Advocates Club
Best Law Firms (US News)
Best Law Firms (US News)
Top 50 Personal Injury Verdicts in Florida in 2017
$875,000 Crewmember class action wage claim
Vessel Documentation & Finance
Recreational Boating Claims
Marine Property Damage Claims
Maritime Contract Claims
Work With the Team That Sets Precedents in Maritime Law
Our firm of Miami maritime lawyers is constantly pushing boundaries by representing — and winning — landmark cases that set precedent for all cases going forward. This cutting-edge understanding of maritime law is one only one of the reasons why hiring Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. for your Miami maritime law case is an easy decision to make.
Our impressive list of landmark cases includes the following:
Appellate Opinion in K.T. vs Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD
This is a landmark decision that will require every cruise line to warn passengers about the risk of rapes and sexual assaults on their vessels. LMAW obtains landmark Appellate Court decision in a case where a teenage girl was raped while aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise ship
This is a landmark decision that will require every cruise line to warn passengers about the risk of rapes and sexual assaults on their vessels. LMAW obtains landmark Appellate Court decision in a case where a teenage girl was raped while aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise ship finds that cruise lines have a duty to warn passengers about the risk of rapes and sexual assaults on their cruise ships. This critically important decision shines a much-needed light on the hidden epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults on the high seas.
First Class Action in Admiralty Allowed
HERNANDEZ v. The MOTOR VESSEL SKYWARD 61 F.R.D. 558 (S.D. Fla. 1973)
PROCEDURAL POSTURE: In an action for breach of contract, negligence, and breach of implied warranty of fitness arising out of a pleasure cruise during which the passengers and the crew were exposed to contaminated food
HERNANDEZ v. The MOTOR VESSEL SKYWARD 61 F.R.D. 558 (S.D. Fla. 1973)
PROCEDURAL POSTURE: In an action for breach of contract, negligence, and breach of implied warranty of fitness arising out of a pleasure cruise during which the passengers and the crew were exposed to contaminated food or water, plaintiff passengers filed a motion to certify their action against defendant cruise line as a class action pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(1)(A).
OVERVIEW: The cruise line contended that a mass tort or mass accident case was unsuitable for class action treatment. The court held that only the negligence issue was available for class treatment because a ruling on that issue would be applicable to any prospective claimant and the requirements under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 for class treatment of that issue were present in the case. The other issues pertaining to proximate cause, contract liability, adequacy of medical treatment afforded to each passenger, and damages were individual in nature and could not be certified for class treatment. The court held that the interests of all concerned would be advanced by a single determination of the negligence issue under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(c)(4)(A).
OUTCOME: The court certified for class treatment the single issue of negligence in the preparation of food and water provided to the passengers.
Error in Medical Negligence Case to not Allow Interrogatories Regarding Textbooks Regarded as Authoritative by Defendant Physician
BUGA v. WIENER, M.D. 277 So. 2d 296; (Fla. App. 4th 1973)
PROCEDURAL POSTURE: The plaintiffs, patient, and her husband sought review of a decision from the Circuit Court, Broward County (Florida), which, based upon a jury verdict, entered judgment in favor of defendant physician on plaintiffs’ medical malpractice complaint
BUGA v. WIENER, M.D. 277 So. 2d 296; (Fla. App. 4th 1973)
PROCEDURAL POSTURE: The plaintiffs, patient, and her husband sought review of a decision from the Circuit Court, Broward County (Florida), which, based upon a jury verdict, entered judgment in favor of defendant physician on plaintiffs’ medical malpractice complaint. The plaintiffs sought damages for the defendant’s alleged negligence in treating the plaintiff patient, and on an alternate theory of liability, based upon a breach of contract claim.
OVERVIEW: The plaintiffs, the patient, and her husband filed a complaint against the defendant physician, charging that the defendant negligently performed a manipulation of the plaintiff patient’s knee. As an alternate theory of liability, the complaint charged that the defendant entered into a contract with the plaintiff patient to perform manipulation to eliminate stiffness in her knee, but breached the contract because the manipulation resulted in a locked leg. Based upon a jury verdict, the lower court entered judgment in defendant’s favor. The plaintiffs contended that the lower court erred in sustaining the defendant’s objections to several of plaintiffs’ interrogatories and that the lower court erred in instructing the jury. The appellate court reversed and remanded for a new trial. The appellate court held that two of the contested interrogatories were valid as being reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence because they called for a listing of textbooks recognized by the defendant as authoritative to the plaintiff patient’s treatment. The appellate court further determined that the lower court’s instructions that were inconsistent with plaintiffs’ theory of recovery constituted reversible error.
OUTCOME: The lower court’s judgment in favor of the defendant physician on negligence and breach of contract claims brought by plaintiffs, patient, and her husband, was reversed and remanded for a new trial. The appellate court held that the lower court erred in sustaining an objection to two interrogatories, and the trial court’s error in giving inconsistent jury instructions constituted reversible error.
Types of Maritime Cases We Handle
From our headquarters in Miami, Florida, we represent victims of all types of offshore accidents and injuries around the world. Generally, our clients fall into one of the categories below.
Note that not all cases are black and white. Whether or not you fit into any of the categories below, if you have been the victim of an injury, accident or assault that took place at sea or offshore in any capacity, email or call us now at (877) 233-1238 for free advice on your best course of action.
- Cruise Ship Accidents
- Cruise Ship Rape
- Boat Accidents
- Yacht Accidents
- Jet Ski Accidents
- Parasailing Accidents
- Scuba Diving Accidents
- Barge, Cargo, and Tanker Accidents
- Commercial Fishing Accidents
- Wrongful Death
We take tremendous pride in having a truly global scope for our practice. We have successfully handled significant cases around the world. From Italy to Indian and nearly everywhere in between, there is simply no geographic limit to the cases we will handle.
Our law practice has the ability to handle matters for clients worldwide. Because of the nature of maritime law, our clients come from all over the world. When you retain our services, you can rest assured that you will receive the best representation available. With attorneys, agents and correspondents stationed around the country and around the world, we are ready willing and able to assist you in your time of need, wherever the case needs to be filed. venue.
Our attorneys have an extensive plus 50 year history of representing injured maritime workers and passengers from the United States and worldwide. With our global headquarters located in downtown Miami near the Port of Miami and all of our attorneys members of the Florida Bar, we are in the ideal location to handle any and all maritime actions.
LM&W, P.A maintains satellite offices in Colorado and Washington to allow us to best represent clients throughout the United States. Our Washington office is strategically located so that we can best serve our West Coast clients injured on cruises that require cases to be filed in Washington State such as Holland America Cruises. We also have on our team, attorneys licensed in California in order to handle claims that must be filed in California such as Princess Cruises. We have also successfully represented clients from these physical locations and pride ourselves on having successfully represented clients from literally every corner of the globe:
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Bayonne, New Jersey
- Beaumont, Texas
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Corpus Christi, Texas
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Galveston, Texas
- Hampton Roads, Virginia
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Houston, Texas
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Key West, Florida
- Long Beach, California
- Los Angeles, California
- Miami, Florida
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- New York, New York
- Norfolk, Virginia
- Oakland, California
- San Diego, California
- San Francisco, California
- Savannah, Georgia
- Seattle, Washington
- Tampa, Florida
- Tacoma, Washington
- West Palm Beach, Florida
- Arequipa, Peru
- Bogota, Colombia
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Guayaquil, Ecuador
- Iquique, Chile
- Lima, Peru
- Quito, Ecuador
- Trujillo, Peru
- Valparaiso, Chile
- Bluefields, Nicaragua
- Leon, Nicaragua
- Managua, Nicaragua
- Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
- Roatan Islas de la Bahia, Honduras
- San Jose, Costa Rica
- San Pedro Sula, Honduras
- San Salvador, El Salvador
- Tegucigalpa, Honduras
- Dominican Republic
Caribbean & Canada
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
- South Africa
No matter where you are located in the world, if you were injured at sea or at an international hotel or resort, do not hesitate to contact our law firm for a free confidential consultation. We will let you know if we can help and guide you through the entire process until you receive the maximum compensation available under the applicable law. Let us put our 50 years of experience to work for you!
What to Do After an Offshore Accident
There are a number of steps that injured offshore workers should take following an accident. Although many workers may be shaken and scared at the time of the injury, it is important for them to be aware of these steps and follow them to the best of their ability.
Seek Medical Attention
On land, if you suffer an injury, help is available much more readily. On a vessel, victims are more isolated. Telephone and other communication services may not be working, which means emergency crews may not be reached until hours later. Even if they are reached quickly, a vessel may be out at sea in the middle of nowhere, and it can take several hours for an emergency team to reach the victim. Furthermore, not every vessel is equipped with onboard medical facilities. On land, victims who are injured can be transported to a number of hospitals or clinics, but that’s not the case at sea.
Regardless of when or where you receive an injury, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately following the incident. Your health and wellbeing are of utmost importance, but some people choose to self-medicate or simply disregard their injuries altogether. Our attorneys advise against this and urge accident victims to promptly seek attention from their own doctor or a local hospital emergency room as soon as possible.
Inform Your Employer About the Injury
Injured offshore workers should always advise their employers of their injuries as soon as possible. That means at the very least, the harmed individual should advise his or her immediate supervisor or superior directly. Depending on the nature of the injuries, fellow co-workers may take it upon themselves to inform the employer of the accident; however, accident victims should not rely on those workers to handle that for them. In fact, accident victims are encouraged to write down what happened and provide the employer with a copy of that report as soon as they are physically able to do so.
Compile Necessary Information
Unfortunately, some employers will do their best to avoid properly compensating an accident victim for his or her injuries. That is why it is crucial for injured offshore workers to maintain complete documentary evidence of everything that took place after the occurrence of the accident. The documents should include contact information for all witnesses to the incident, as well as photos of the accident area and all equipment that may have caused the injury.
Keep Quiet and Never Sign Anything
While it is true that offshore workers should report their injuries to their employers, they should never speak to others about the specifics of the incident. Simple comments made to a friend at work or other co-workers may be used against you at a later date, should it become necessary to sue your employer. Likewise, victims should never sign any documents presented to them by their employers or accept any settlement offers without first consulting with a lawyer or admit any level of fault.
Seek Legal Guidance
The laws protecting offshore workers are very specific and can be quite complex. Accordingly, injured workers should seek legal advice from lawyers who are knowledgeable in maritime and offshore injury law. Working with such attorneys will provide victims with the best opportunity of obtaining just compensation for their injuries.
Employers have specific rules and obligations under the law, and when they fail to follow those rules, they can be held legally responsible.
Recovery Under Maritime Law
Over the years, maritime law was developed through common law and various court decisions. Today, the laws offer certain maritime workers benefits and protections. Some of the more significant developments in the law include shipowners’ obligations to provide seaworthy vessels, as well as maintenance and cure.
Vessel seaworthiness refers to the duty that owners have to properly maintain and equip their vessels. If an offshore worker or another type of seaman is hurt or becomes sick due to a vessel being deemed unseaworthy, the owner of that vessel can be held legally responsible for the worker’s damages. If you believe you have sustained injury or illness due to a vessel’s unseaworthiness, let a Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. lawyer help you protect your rights.
The Jones Act
Maritime workers undertake many dangerous jobs that have a very high risk of injury. Under the Jones Act, seamen who are hurt or become ill as a result of their job duties are entitled to sue their employers if it can be demonstrated that the vessel owner or another crew member negligently caused their injury or death. Injured individuals and/or their loved ones may be entitled to file claims under the Jones Act, and working with a knowledgeable attorney can help such victims obtain the just compensation they deserve.
Death on the High Seas
The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) was enacted in 1920 in an effort to protect the legal position of families of seamen who die on international waters due to unseaworthiness or negligence. Under the Act, a seaman’s children, spouse, and other dependents are able to pursue damages to cover burial costs, medical bills, and lost support, among other things. Such individuals are referred to as dependant survivors. The claims for wrongful death must be brought by the personal representative of the estate. This person can be selected in a will or can be appointed by the court in accordance with state law.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provides workers with certain protections related to work-related injuries and occupational diseases. More specifically, the law provides medical care and compensation to those who are disabled by injuries that happened while on U.S. navigable waters or adjoining areas that are used to unload, load, repair and build certain types of vessels.
Some of the workers covered by the Act include longshoremen, harbor workers, shipbuilders, shipbreakers and ship repairers. Seamen who are covered under the Jones Act are not covered under LHWCA. State workers compensation may also be an alternative. This is a very tricky area of the law known as the twilight zone.
Maritime Lawyer FAQs
The maritime and admiralty law attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. have negotiated and litigated thousands of cases throughout our over 50 year history. These are some of the most frequently asked questions that we’ve received from clients in our decades of experience.
What should I do after an accident at sea?
The first steps should be to make sure you report your injuries and to make sure you attempt to properly document the incident by taking photographs and video of the scene of the incident. It’s essential that you have your injuries attended to by a physician. If you’re on a cruise ship, report the incident and go to the medical center and have the ship’s doctor examine you. Make sure you keep any documentation from the doctor. Next, contact our maritime law firm for a free, no-obligation consultation at your earliest convenience. It’s also important to know what you should not do. Do not give a statement and do not sign a waiver of liability. And do not accept a settlement without first talking to one of our attorneys.
How much does a maritime lawyer cost?
Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. offer consultations completely free of charge and our fees are a percentage of the money recovered for you. You never pay us a penny unless we make a successful financial recovery.
Where does my lawsuit have to be filed?
This largely depends on where your accident occurred and the ship’s port of registry, and the location of the company’s headquarters, among other factors. Most cruise accident injury cases are filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami and that is because most cruise ticket contracts require the case to be filed there. Nonetheless, our firm proudly handles cases for accidents and injuries that have occurred literally all over the world. One of the benefits of hiring an experienced maritime law firm, like Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. is that we have the resources and experience to pursue claims anywhere in the world.
When should I contact a maritime lawyer for a cruise ship injury
The earlier you contact a maritime lawyer, the better, even if you haven’t reached land yet. The sooner one of our attorneys is able to talk to you, the better informed you will be as to the steps that need to be taken to protect your claim. As an example, you should avoid making statements or speaking to anyone about the incident before speaking with us.
Can I contact a maritime lawyer from overseas after an offshore accident?
Yes. In fact, it’s recommended. There’s no requirement that you have to be in the same country as the attorney you hire. You can begin your legal action before you return to port.
What kind of compensation can an injured cruise ship passenger receive?
Your compensation will be based on factors like the extent of your injuries, the degree of negligence that led to the accident, and your time of recovery. You should receive remuneration for your medical expenses, time off from work, and your pain and suffering. Depending on your injuries, this could be a substantial amount.
Questions to Ask Your Maritime Attorney
Anyone can have a website or advertise. Before hiring a maritime attorney, ask the following questions.
- Have you ever represented a shipping company as their maritime lawyer?
- Have you or any family members ever worked for a shipping company as an employee?
- As a maritime lawyer, how many cases have you handled while representing an injured seaman?
- As a cruise ship lawyer, how many cases have you handled while representing an injured passenger?
- As a maritime lawyer, have you tried a seaman’s or passenger’s case to a verdict?
- What is the amount of the highest verdict your client has received in a trial?
- Have you handled any landmark cases in the admiralty and maritime field?
- As a cruise ship lawyer, how many of your cases have gone on appeal?
- How many years of maritime lawyer experience do you have in the admiralty and maritime area representing injured seaman and passengers?
- Have you ever represented a seaman’s union?
- Have you written any books or articles dealing with admiralty or maritime claims?
- Have you ever lectured on admiralty or maritime law?
- What is your maritime lawyer rating with Martindale Hubbel?
Additionally, you can find out a lot about a maritime lawyer by searching the web using his or her name. Check newspaper stories online. You can also go to Lexis Nexis and see copies of all opinions in which an attorney is mentioned and read directly about the results of cases that the cruise accident lawyer has handled. West Law has the same type of database.
Contact The Leaders in Maritime Law to Discuss Your Case
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident, sustained an injury, or were assaulted while at sea or in port, or you are grieving the wrongful death of a loved one that occurred aboard a cruise ship or while at sea — reach out to us. We can help.
We are headquartered in Miami, Florida, a major hub for vessels and cruise ships from all over the world. In addition to handling proceedings in Florida, our attorneys regularly litigate across the United States and represent clients all over the world.
Not only does Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. focus specifically on admiralty and maritime law, we are nationally recognized by the highest maritime law organizations and media outlets for our contributions to maritime law and prolific history of successful outcomes in the courtroom, board room, and negotiation table.