David Gorewitz P.A. 

Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer

  • 1) Always report the accident immediately to your supervisor.
  • 2) Go to the doctor. Make sure the doctor knows all of your symptoms. Do not put off going to the doctor because you think you may be disciplined for requesting to go to the doctor. Serious injuries do not always show immediate symptoms.  If you are a Jones Act employee, you need not go to the doctor selected by your employer, especially if that doctor does not seem concerned about your welfare.
  • 3) Fill out a written accident report but do not admit you were wrong or careless. Such admissions, made in the tension and excitement of the moment, may not be accurate, but could turn out to be costly. 

Are you a Jones Act Seaman?

Maritime / Admiralty workers generally include merchant seamen, dredge workers, the crew of a cruise line or fishing vessel and any worker who is injured and is more or less permanently attached as a worker to a vessel or fleet of vessels. Even a worker covered by the Longshore Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act may have a claim against an owner of a vessel under the appropriate circumstances.
Injured seamen have the right to sue their maritime employers under the Jones Act for medical care, living expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and disability. Crew members also have the right to bring suit against the owners and operators of vessels for unsafe or "unseaworthy" conditions. The maritime employer has a duty to ensure that all seamen injured or ill while in the service of a vessel receive maintenance and cure benefits. See below for more information regarding the Jones Act.

Maritime / Admiralty Personal Injury Claims

Passengers on cruise boats

Many passengers fail to appreciate that their passenger ticket contains not only their itinerary, but constitutes the legally binding "contract of carriage" with the cruise line. The tickets always contain certain pre-conditions to filing suit, such as requiring passengers to notify the cruise line in writing of their intent to assert a claim. This time period is always very short -- usually six months for personal injuries. You must comply with this notice requirement or you could lose the right to bring your personal injury action.
The tickets also contain a very short limitations period in which the lawsuit must be filed (usually one year), whereas the typical statute of limitations in Florida for personal injuries is four years and two years for wrongful death or professional malpractice. The cruise lines also require that passenger lawsuits must be filed in a certain state or city, even though the passenger purchased the ticket in another state or lives thousands of miles away in a foreign country. These contractual requirements are usually considered by the courts to be valid. We represent people in Miami, Tampa and Brevard when required to do so due to the contractual language in the ticket of passage.  When required to bring suit out of state, we will associate a qualified law firm in that state to assist with the prosecution of your claim. 

David Gorewitz began his legal career in New Orleans, defending maritime employers from the numerous claims for injuries occurring in the Gulf of Mexico on oil drilling rigs, supply boats, tug boats and all other areas of maritime commerce.  

In spending years flying back and forth to the drilling rigs, Dave gained a unique perspective about how maritime employers defend claims.  We are well prepared to represent your interests if you were injured in the maritime industry whether on a cruise ship, a tug boat or a fishing vessel. 

  • 4) Take notes to clarify what has happened in your own mind but keep your notes and opinions to yourself. If possible, have photographs taken of the condition that caused your accident and keep them with your private papers. Have photographs taken of your injuries if physically visible. 
  • 5) Write down the names and addresses of all witnesses who know of your accident. Attempt to have them write down or at least state what they know. Keep these statements with your private papers. 
  • 6) You should not allow your employer to rush you into settlement. You may be entitled to significantly more than the ship owner offers you. If your injuries are serious, you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible -- before arriving at any agreements with anyone and before making any admissions.

1900 S. Harbour City Blvd. 
Suite 129 
Melbourne, Florida, 32901

(321) 984-0046