Contact the Law Offices of Ronald E. Sholes for advice and representation on admiralty and maritime cases involving personal injury, wrongful death or persons missing at sea. Whether it’s passengers, crew members or other maritime workers every maritime accident case is different and time is of the essence. We encourage victims and their families to seek immediate legal representation.
Maritime laws involving injuries aboard passenger ships, cargo ships or other vessels are not the same as other typical personal injury cases and differ in many ways. There are different rules which apply, including time limits which may affect your rights. Another obvious concern is preservation of critical evidence and putting responsible parties on notice, so that critical evidence is properly preserved. The intricacies of federal, foreign and international law and treaties makes it even more important that you obtain quality legal representation immediately.
And, unlike many law firms, we don't just settle! We don't simply take what the insurance company wants to pay, but rather we demand and fight for fair and just compensation for your injuries and all of your damages, including your economic and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and your loss of enjoyment of life.
It’s estimated that over 70% of all maritime accidents occur due to negligence. whether it’s a mechanical error that puts a seaman at risk or the owner/employer’s lack of observance and failure to repair the problem before a crewmember or worker gets hurt, mechanical errors are one of the most common reasons for maritime injuries and death. Fatigued maritime workers are another major cause of accident and injuries. Owners and employers must be held accountable, but often times are simply not. Contract law can play a major role in a maritime injury or wrongful death claim. Remember, responsible parties, like large maritime corporations and their insurance companies, do NOT want to pay damages. Oftentimes these companies attempt to get crew members to “waive” their right to bring a claim under certain circumstances. These companies will attempt to avoid responsibility by compelling arbitration and avoiding a trial by jury.
The Jones Act provides a uniform standard to protect clients from their employers. The Jones Act, originally passed in 1920 and revised in 1970, requires the owners and employers of sea-going vessels to provide a safe working environment for their employees. In maritime law, the owners and operators of the vessel are governed by a concept called “absolute duty.” In accordance with the Jones Act, employers have a binding obligation to provide seamen with seaworthy vessels and to keep the vessels in working order. Likewise, owners and operators are required to make sound decisions regarding the safe operation of the vessel at all times. When owners, operators and/or employers fail to adhere to their “absolute duty,” they may be liable for damages, including but not limited to lost wages, living expenses, medical expenses and other past economic damages, as well as future loss of earnings potential and other economic future damages. Additonally, criminal charges may result if someone breaches their “absolute duty.”
At the law offices of Ron Sholes, P.A., we take claim preservation and investigation seriously and we work with a wide range of experts in the field of admiralty and maritime law for the following type of claims:
- All injuries and wrongful death
- Unseaworthiness claims against owners and operators
- Negligent Vessel Operations resulting in injury or death - Running aground, striking other vessels or objects, or other shipwrecks
- Cruise Ship Passengers
- Crew Members and Ship Workers
- Guests and Passengers
- Jones Act Seamen and Longshoremen
- Shipboard Contractors and Repairmen
- Offshore Riggers and other Workers
- Dock and Harbor Workers
Hurt in a Maritime Accident?
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a maritime incident, we are here to help. For a free consultation about your rights and help preserving your claim, contact the Florida personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Ronald E. Sholes at 855 WE FIGHT. That’s 855-933-4442.
While our firm cannot, itself, heal anyone’s injury or loss, we can, and will, help you recover damages for your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, present and future lost wages, and present and future medical expenses, among other damages which may be recoverable. We understand every element of damages that is recoverable and we strive to maximize our clients’ recovery for each and every element available.
Family members are anxious to learn the fate of 28 Americans and 5 Polish nationals who disapeared around 7:20 a.m. Thursday October 1st abord the El Faro cargo ship. They are also asking why this captain sailed directly into hurricate Joaquin. Officials say is still no sign of the El Faro, who's last communication was a distress call stating that it had lost power and was taking on water. The 735-foot vessel was headed for San Juan, Pueto Rico from Jacksonville, Florida. Hurricane Joaquin was just a tropical storm when El Faro left port in Jacksonville, Florida but then quickly escalated into a category hurricane as it approched the Bahamas with 130 mile per hour winds. The President and CEO of the TOTE Anthony Chiarello, the ships owner, said Friday that "Our No. 1 priority is the safe return of the 33 people on the vessel" Officials of TOTE said that the captain of the El Faro "is a man of incredible experience" who has been at sea over 20 years. TOTE added that the majority of American aboard El Faro were based in Jacksonville, FL.
Since every case is different, we cannot guarantee the same results for everyone. Results are before attorneys fees and costs.
RON SHOLES, P. A.
9282 Atlantic Boulevard,
Jacksonville FL 32225 At the intersection of Southside Blvd. and Atlantic Blvd., next to Furniture Mart. Entrance and parking on the left side of the building.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 4608 Norwood Ave.
Jacksonville, FL 32206 Across the street from the
Brentwood Animal Clinic
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 637 Blanding Blvd., Ste. 4
Orange Park FL 32073 Next door to Fiore Chiropractic,
across from Starbucks Coffee.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 486 North Temple Ave.
Starke, FL 32091 Across the street from
Bradford High School
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 700 Reid Street
Palatka, FL 32177 Next to Pain Relief Centre
corner of N. 7th Street.
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Under Florida law you must file your P.I.P. insurance claim within 14 days after an accident or it could be denied!