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Admiralty & Maritime Accident Lawyers

Over $400 million recovered

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Many thousands of people make their livings performing demanding, sometimes risky work aboard oil drilling rigs, ships, tugs, and work boats, on the docks and in our shipyards. Although these jobs have known dangers, maritime workers have the legal right to reasonable protection against unsafe conditions — and you may have strong legal recourse if you have been injured at sea or in any maritime-related occupation.
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Maritime Law

Maritime and admiralty law are the sets of rules and regulations for causes of actions occurring on oceans, seas, and some interstate lakes and rivers.  Maritime and admiralty law cases are usually subject to federal courts (federal law and jurisdiction).

The Jones Act: Seaman Injured Working On Maritime Vessels

Seaman injured on seafaring ships are entitled to recovery under the Jones Act (46 U.S.C. § 30104) if they can prove that the employer was negligent in contributing to cause the injury.  Injured seaman are entitled to recover under the Jones Act lost past, present, and future earnings, medical expenses, pain and suffering and mental anguish.  Seaman also are entitled to “maintenance and cure” regardless of whether the employer was negligent.  

“Maintenance” payments provide basic daily living expenses like rent, food, groceries, and utilities.  Maintenance payments range from $12 to $50 per day and are required until the seaman reaches maximum medical improvement.

“Cure” refers to medical care for an injured or ill seaman.  The seaman is entitled to such care as part of “cure” until hear reaches maximum medical improvement.

Vessel Seaworthiness

Maritime law imposes the duty on all employers to make sure their employees work on vessels that are seaworthy.  Seaworthiness means that the ship is suitable for all aspects of the voyage or work to be performed.  Maritime law provides damages to employees (outside of the workers compensation scheme) who are injured due to a vessel being unseaworthiness, but only if the unseaworthiness was caused by the employer’s negligence.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

Federal law provides federal workers compensation benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) to employees in non-seaman maritime occupations such as longshore workers, ship-repairers, shipbuilders or ship-breakers, and harbor construction workers.

The Difference Between the Jones Act and LHWCA.

The Jones Act applies to any “master or member of a crew of any vessel” and the LHWCA excludes such persons from coverage.  An employee is covered under the Jones Act if he/she contributes to the function of the vessel or the accomplishment of its mission.  Other maritime employees generally are covered by the LHWCA, with the following exceptions:

  • Seamen (masters or members of a crew of any vessel – see FAQ 5);
  • Employees of U.S. government or any state or foreign government;
  • Employees whose injuries were caused solely by their intoxication; and
  • Employees whose injuries were due to their own willful intention to harm themselves or others.

The LHWCA also excludes the following persons if they are covered by a state workers’ compensation law:

  • Individuals employed exclusively to perform office clerical, secretarial, security, or data processing work;
  • Individuals employed by a club, camp, recreational operation, restaurant, museum, or retail outlet;
  • Individuals employed by a marina and who are not engaged in construction, replacement, or expansion of such marina (except for routine maintenance);
  • Individuals who (A) are employed by suppliers, transporters, or vendors, (B) are temporarily doing business on the premises of a maritime employer, and (C) are not engaged in work normally performed by employees of that employer covered under the Act;
  • Aquaculture workers;
  • Individuals employed to build any recreational vessel under sixty-five feet in length, or to repair any recreational vessel, or to dismantle any part of a recreational vessel in connection with the repair of such vessel; and
  • Small vessel workers if exempt by certification of the Secretary of Labor under certain conditions.

PROVEN ADVOCACY FOR INJURED SEAMEN, OIL WORKERS AND DOCK WORKERS
shipping rope on cargo ship dock
Our Gulf Coast maritime injury lawyers are prepared to move quickly and investigate your shipping industry or offshore oil industry accident or other serious on-the job accident thoroughly. Our experienced maritime accident & injury lawyers bring solid legal knowledge, extensive trial experience and connections to expert resources to bear on each maritime injury case we handle, seeking justice on behalf of:

  • Oil workers injured on offshore drilling rigs, fixed platforms, tankers and dive boats
  • Seamen, crew members, engineers, officers and others injured aboard all types of vessels at sea
  • Dock workers injured or killed while unloading cargo or performing other duties
  • Ship repairers, breakers, welders and other workmen injured on their jobs
  • Victims of offshore helicopter accidents
  • Our attorneys have handled challenging cases arising from offshore and inland claims nationwide and around the world, applying in-depth knowledge of:
  • Jones Act claims on behalf of workers injured on vessels at sea, docked ships or oil rigs
  • Survivors’ rights to benefits under The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) when a wrongful death occurs due to a maritime employer’s negligence
  • Dock workers’ and other non-Jones Act workers’ injuries and rights to benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)

Consult an Experienced Maritime Injury Lawyer, Free and Without Obligation

Whether your potential maritime injury case involves a ship capsizing, fire or explosion at sea, negligent cargo handling or equipment maintenance, or other factors, we encourage you to contact Hall & Lampros, LLP for a focused discussion of your needs, rights and legal options.

For your free case evaluation, call or text 404-876-8100 now or complete an intake form on our contact page and we will call you! Serving Clients Nationwide!