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Common Fisherman Injuries


Florida has year-round fishing opportunities for recreational fishermen. But for serious commercial fishing outfits, the waters south of Miami are just another day at the office. But when commercial fishermen are seriously injured or killed on the open seas, Florida’s workers’ compensation laws may not protect them.

Fortunately, Michael F. Guilford is here to offer free consultations for those who are seeking compensation for their injuries. Give us a call today and find out more about your rights.

Florida’s Seafood and Aquaculture Industry 

Florida’s seafood industry is booming. A statewide report based on data from 2014 reveals that Florida was ranked seventh in the nation for seafood production.  Florida fishermen catch 92% of all of America’s supply of certain fish, including:

  • Grouper
  • Pompano
  • Mullet
  • Stone Crab
  • Pink Shrimp
  • Spiny Lobster
  • Spanish Mackerel

As of 2014, Florida had 404 active aquaculture operations. But fishing is  a dangerous job, especially when operating on the high seas far from the coast. Anything can go wrong, from weather to equipment failures, leading to horrific injuries.

Common Fishing Injuries 

Fishermen work long and unforgiving hours at sea. There is no “off-duty” when you are working on a fishing vessel in the Caribbean or deep Atlantic. Even in warm climates like off the coast of Florida, winter water temperatures can plummet in deeper waters. Common injuries include:

  • Lacerations
  • Amputations
  • Broken bones
  • Lifting injuries
  • Back and spine injuries
  • Head traumas
  • Drowning
  • Hypothermia
  • Heat injuries
  • Infections
  • Burns
  • Chemical exposure
  • Untreated medical conditions

Whatever the injuries, victims have rights under state and federal laws. But don’t expect all attorneys to understand the nuances of  a maritime injury . It takes years of experience to become well versed in admiralty and maritime law. 

Options for Injured Fishermen 

Depending on the employer and the location of the injuries, injured fishermen may have several options for seeking financial compensation. Whether injured near shore, in a harbor,  or on the open seas, you will likely need to bring a claim pursuant to the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (also known as the “Jones Act”) and the general maritime law. These laws offers comprehensive compensation to injured seafaring workers and crew members, including:

  • Compensation for medical expenses
  • Payment for lost wages
  • Money to help while you recover
  • Compensation for pain and suffering and physical disfigurement

On the other hand, if you’ve lost a loved one due to a work injury at sea, you may have a right to damages through another federal law – the Death on the High Seas Act. This law is similar to state wrongful death statutes that provide for compensation for the surviving spouses or dependents of someone killed at sea.

Getting Experienced Help Right Away 

Just like other injury claims, however, federal maritime laws have strict limits on how long you can wait to make a claim. So, contact Michael F. Guilford, P.A. in Florida today to schedule a completely free case evaluation. Let us help you understand your rights and make an informed decision about how to pursue fair and just compensation.


Contact the Law Offices of Michael F. Guilford, P.A. for a free initial consultation with Michael Guilford. Flexible appointment times are available. If you can't come to us, we will come to you. Call toll free 866-473-2636 or describe your injuries in an email.

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