Maritime Injury Lawyers
The area of Maritime Law is incredibly complex. If you are injured as a worker in the maritime industries, you will immediately be confronted by a host of threshold questions that will help to determine the outcome of your case.
· Does your case fall under the Jones Act?
· The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)?
· The Death On the High Seas Act (DOHSA)?
· General maritime law principles?
Each of these legal frameworks has their own challenges, procedures, and issues. If you are injured, you should immediately contact an experienced and knowledgeable maritime attorney. The attorneys of Simon Herbert & McClelland LLP have the experience and knowledge to handle your maritime injury case.
Texas, with its long coastline and important ports, is a crucial maritime hub for the United States. The work undertaken by maritime workers is important to our nation’s economy, but it can also be dangerous work where injuries or even death can occur. You need an attorney experienced in maritime law to help you determine under which statutory laws your injury falls. Even that threshold determination is not a simple one. The answer is important, because generally speaking Jones Act claims are worth more than LHWCA claims, but that is not always the case.
For the purposes of this article, let’s assume that it has been determined that your claims fall under the Jones Act. The Jones Act was passed in 1920 in order to protect the rights of “seamen”. It provides recourse for those seamen who are injured or killed while working on a “vessel” on navigable waters due to the negligence of their employer or fellow seamen or crewmembers, or especially due to the unseaworthiness of their vessel. As you can already tell, determining who qualifies as a seamen, what vehicles are considered vessels and what constitutes negligence are all technical and legal determinations. You need the counsel of an experienced maritime attorney to help you navigate through these issues. The maritime injury attorneys of Simon Herbert & McClelland LLP have dealt with these kinds of issues and can help you to determine what rights you should pursue to get compensation for your offshore injuries.
To qualify under the Jones Act, you must be categorized as a “seaman.” The Jones Act itself is rather vague on what makes a seaman, but the U.S. Supreme Court has clarified the definition. Basically, a “seaman” is a person who is assigned to a moveable vessel on navigable waterways. Additionally, the “seaman” must have a job assignment that contributes to the vessel’s function or mission. Finally, the “seaman” must be connected to the vessel for a substantial time period and in the nature of his work. In other words, he can’t just come onboard briefly and still be considered a “seaman” just because he sets foot on the vessel.
The second major decision is whether the water vehicle or structure at issue is a “vessel” for Jones Act purposes. This determination is sometimes difficult to make, and you should consult with an experienced maritime injury lawyer. The Jones Act attorneys of Simon Herbert & McClelland LLP can assist you in determining whether you were injured while working on a “vessel”. Some vessels may include: ships, boats, ferries, fishing boats, cruise ships, riverboats, riverboat casinos, casino ships, some barges, tankers, jack-ups, tow vessels and tug boats. These are only some examples of what have been determined as “vessels” by the courts.
Injured at Sea – Jones Act Lawsuit Attorneys
The Jones Act offers several benefits to the seaman. First of all, if the seaman becomes injured or sick while working on a voyage, whether or not there is negligence involved, that seaman is entitled to medical treatment and “maintenance” pay through the end of the voyage and until the seaman reaches “maximum medical improvement.” This is often called “maintenance and cure.” If there is negligence involved in the injury or illness, then the seaman is also entitled to sue the responsible parties for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, past and present loss of income and mental anguish. If death occurs, then the deceased seaman’s family may recover for funeral expenses, pain and suffering of their loved one, medical expenses, lost wages between the time of injury and death and other damages.
Many Jones Act claims involve seaworthiness questions regarding their vessel. If there is an unsafe condition aboard the vessel, then the shipowner or employer is often negligent. A shipowner has the duty to make sure that equipment and areas of the ship where workers will be performing their tasks are reasonably safe. Maritime law prescribes special rules on pursuing these negligence claims. Perhaps you also have products liability claims against the manufacturers of defective equipment that were involved in your injuries. With all of these factors to consider at once, at a time when you or your loved one has experienced a traumatic injury or death and your family is struggling with the emotions and pressures of making ends meet, you need an attorney with experience in these matters to help you navigate these treacherous waters. The accident and injury attorneys of Simon Herbert & McClelland LLP can help analyze your case and to help you make the best and most informed decisions possible regarding how to proceed with your potential claims.
It costs you nothing for an initial consultation with the attorneys of Simon Herbert & McClelland LLP. We will meet with you and evaluate your potential claims. There are many factors involved in determining the value of your damages or loss, and also in determining the possible outcome of your case. It is crucial that you meet with an experienced and knowledgeable maritime lawyer as soon as possible after your injury. There are many complicated and confusing aspects to navigating through a Jones Act claim, and the injury lawyers of Simon Herbert & McClelland LLP are knowledgeable and experienced with Jones Act claims. When you meet with us at your initial consultation, we can explain this entire process in detail.
Jones Act Lawyers – Offshore Injuries in the Gulf
Please contact us at 713-987-7100. The Jones Act Injury Lawyers at Simon Herbert & McClelland LLP welcome the opportunity to discuss the details of your potential case at a free initial consultation.