A maritime lawyer practices the law as it pertains to navigable fresh waters in the United States, as well as to the open water such as in the Gulf of Mexico or along the coastal seaboard of the US.
Maritime Attorneys Primary Focus...
is on issues pertaining not only to maritime law, often referred to as admiralty law, but also to the Jones Act. Admiralty law refers to the United States laws and regulations, including international agreements and treaties that govern the activities in any US navigable waters whether its inland waterways or the open sea. Admiralty law is a federally recognized body of laws that formalizes the long-standing maritime maintenance and cure traditions, which have been recognized for centuries. The rules governing who qualifies as a Jones Act seaman, as well as what kinds of seagoing vessels are covered by the Jones Act can be confusing. Court cases continue to emerge that expanded and refine the definition of which workers are covered under the Jones Act and which are not. The average personal injury lawyer is not going to know all the evolving fine points of maritime law. An accomplished maritime accident attorney will.
More Information RE: The Jones Act
The Jones Act, formally known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, safeguards specific rights of seamen when they qualify under the law. The Jones Act allows a maritime lawyer to bring legal actions on the behalf of an injured seaman, against ship owners, ship captain, or other crew members after an accident has occurred.
Do note that although the Jones Act is a comparative negligence statute, which means that your own negligence will merely reduce your damages proportionately, the Jones Act DOES NOT provide benefits to seamen who were injured completely through faults of their own. If you were speaking with a maritime lawyer, he might offer as an example the case where a seaman who is intoxicated while on board his vessel has an accident that is proven to be caused 100% by his own actions and not by the fault of someone else. In such a case, this seaman would not be covered under the Jones Act and could not claim any compensation for his injuries. On the other hand, a maritime attorney was able to convince a jury in a Jones Act claim that the seaman was 65 percent negligent and his employer was 35 percent negligent, the seaman would receive damages minus (in this theoretical example) the percentage (65%).
However, in cases where a maritime lawyer can demonstrate that a seaman's injuries are a result of employer negligence, that seaman would be protected. Common examples of employer negligence that your maritime lawyer would investigate include:
- - Failure to provide a seaworthy vessel
- - Lack of proper safety training before permitting seamen to perform their duties
- - Failure to repair malfunctioning parts and equipment
- - Failure to perform regular check-ups on all equipment and parts
- - Failure to ensure vessel decks contain no-skid surfaces
- - Failure to ensure warning signs are placed in hazardous areas onboard the vessel
- - Failure to provide workers with the proper safety equipment
- - Negligence of the seaman’s co-workers
- - Assault by a co-worker
- - Unsafe work methods
Additional Sources of Information Regarding Maritime Law and the Jones Act
Free Claims, Caselaw, and Legal Commentary Regarding the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 : Read dozens of articles about Maritime Law from the International Risk Management Institute
Text of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (Jones Act) SEC. 33. JONES ACT - RECOVERY FOR INJURY TO OR DEATH OF SEAMAN (46 App. U.S.C. 688 (2002)
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act is the statutory workers' compensation provision that covers certain maritime workers, including most dock workers and maritime workers not otherwise covered by the Jones Act.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act commonly abbreviated as LHWCA provides certain workers' compensation benefits for maritime workers who are not seamen covered under the Jones Act. Maritime lawyers do not handle such cases.
The LHWCA and Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA), are two of the other major maritime laws that are invoked during offshore and maritime injury litigation. The Death on the High Seas Act permits a maritime lawyer to advocate for widows or dependents of maritime workers who seek compensation for their loveones' deaths due to negligence of a ship’s captain or other crew members, or the un-seaworthiness of a vessel operating off shore by more than three nautical miles. When negligence is suspected in the case of the death of a maritime worker while employed on a boat or ship, there are other statutes, which also come into play, such as the General Maritime Law. Since negligence is such a serious charge, a maritime injury lawyer will seek additional benefits to which their injured client is entitled if the defendant(s) are found guilty.
Profit Pollution and Deception BP and the Oil Spill: Published on Nov 1, 2013
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill also referred to in the press as the BP oil disaster, the BP oil spill or the Macondo blowout, began on 20 April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. The maritime lawyers of the law firm of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. represented several individuals and their families who suffered serious injuries and death from the BP oil disaster, winning substantial compensation for them and their loved ones.
Maritime Lawsuits Are Complicated
As soon as possible, it is imperative to contact an experienced maritime accident lawyer, if you or a loved one is injured while employed as a maritime worker. You deserve to receive the compensation you deserve.
The maritime attorneys of the law firm of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., Steven J. Gordon, Todd Elias, and Jeff Seely, have dozens of years of combined legal experience. We offer our clients not only the dedication and commitment to their health and wellbeing, but also the resources to handle Jones Act / Maritime Law cases for workers in all kinds of maritime professions. The maritime lawyers of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P well deserve their reputations for successfully litigating on behalf of injured maritime workers.
If you have sustained a serious injury through the fault of others no matter whether you are a deckhand, a mate, an engineer, a tankerman, a cook, or a captain, a maritime injury attorney of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. wants to help. Contact us today to put our aggressive, client-focused approach to work for you or your loved one.
To learn more about admiralty laws and your rights, please contact our maritime lawyers today. A maritime accident lawyer will review your case and explain your legal options free of charge.back to top