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Deadline for Protecting Your Rights After an Injury on the High Seas


If you are injured at sea, it’s important that you take immediate actions to protect yourself. One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family is to protect the statute of limitation. In other words, you need to find out what your deadline is for filing a lawsuit and seeking compensation.  Even if you suspect that you may not want to pursue legal actions against anyone for your injuries, it is still crucial that you find out the applicable deadline.

At Michael F. Guilford, P.A., our dedicated Miami Seamen Crew Claims Lawyer can help parse through the details or your injury to help you understand your rights and how long you have to pursue them. All consultations are free of charge, so there really is no risk for giving us a call.

Statutes of Limitations for Injury Claims 

Unfortunately, when it comes to an injury and particularly an injury at sea, the deadline for filing your claim can vary widely depending on the type of claim and where it occured. For instance, here are a few of the general rules.

  • Florida Personal Injury Claims (non maritime) — 4 years from injury
  • Florida Wrongful Death Claims — 2 years from death
  • Florida Workers’ Compensation — 2 years from providing notice of injury
  • Florida Workers’ Compensation — Must notify employer within 30 days of  the injury
  • Jones Act Claims — 3 years from injury
  • Death on the High Seas Act — 3 years from injury
  • Suits in Admiralty Act — 2 years from injury
  • Public Vessels Act — 2 years from injury
  • Cruise Ship Passenger — 1 year from injury

Exceptions Are the Rule 

The above limitation periods often have exceptions or notice requirements that can shorten your claim period.  For instance, if you happened to be working for the federal government or you were injured on a government-owned ship, the Public Vessels Act may apply.

This law requires you to provide notice to the applicable agency in charge of the ship, and notice must be given early enough that the agency can make a reasonable attempt to settle your claim within the 2-year time period. You must still file your legal action within 2 years, even if you gave notice and received no response. Therefore, the effect can sometimes be a deadline of just months, not years.

All of the statutes of limitations above have similar exceptions and procedural rules that can potentially shorten the deadline, which is why it is so important to seek legal assistance as soon as you are injured. The longer you wait, the harder it can be to obtain necessary evidence, gather medical records, and put together a strong case.

Call Michael F. Guilford, P.A.

If you’ve suffered an injury at sea, don’t leave your financial recovery to chance. Call Michael F. Guilford, P.A. in Miami today to schedule a free initial case evaluation. During the call, we can help you pin down the potential statute of limitations and build a strategy for getting you maximum compensation for your injuries.


  • American Association for Justice
  • Florida Justice Association
  • Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers
  • American Association for Justice

It's Your Time To Win

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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Michael F. Guilford, P.A.

Courthouse Tower, Suite 750
44 West Flagler St.
Miami, FL 33130

Toll Free: 866-473-2636
Phone: 305-539-1999
Fax: 305-539-1998