If you have been injured while working
on a ship, we can help you.
Our maritime attorneys are experienced
in the investigation and prosecution of crew member injury and
wrongful or accidental death claims. We are known for our
responsiveness, thorough and hands-on litigation style,
investigative and negotiating skills, and our accessibility to
our clients. We go wherever you need us to be.
You may be entitled to benefits under
the Jones Act, which is a federal maritime statute
encompassing a very substantial portion of U.S. maritime and
admiralty law. The Jones Act defines the legal obligations and
duties between a seaman and his or her employer and the law
for the claims of crew members injured while working on the
ship. Jones Act claims are very complicated, and not a field
of law that many attorneys specialize in.
The Jones Act applies to officers and crew members on
nearly every type of vessel or ship, including cruise ships,
barges, tugs and tows, jack-up oil rigs, semi-submersible
rigs, push boats, dredges, tankers, freighters, crew boats,
supply boats, and fishing vessels. The law applies to seamen
on oceangoing or blue water vessels, as well as crew members
on inland waterways, including rivers.
harbor workers, ship builders, ship repair personnel, and fixed platform workers are not covered by the Jones
Act, as they fall under other maritime laws and are entitled
to different remedies. If you are a longshoremen, we can
Cure is your employer’s
or vessel owner’s obligation to pay your medical expenses
associated with the injury or illness. Cure is owed until
your doctor can do no more to heal your condition, which is
known as reaching maximum medical improvement.
Under the Jones Act, if you are injured
or become ill while serving on a ship, your employer or ship
owner is obligated to pay maintenance and cure, regardless
of whether your employer is at fault. Maintenance is a daily
rate that is designed to replace the living benefits you
have while on the vessel, such as food, lodging and
utilities. There is no standard maintenance rate; the amount
paid to each individual varies.
You are entitled to maintenance and cure regardless of
the cause of your injury. You do not have to prove that the
illness or injury resulted from your employment.
A maritime employer’s failure to
pay maintenance and cure is actionable, and, if the refusal
is willful, it can result in a claim for attorney fees and
punitive damages. A three-year statute of limitations
applies to maritime claims under general maritime law,
including those for maintenance and cure. Actions are filed
against an employer under the Jones Act in state or federal
court, depending on the state. You may or may not be
entitled to a jury trial, depending on the jurisdiction,
therefore, selecting the proper statute under which to file
suit is critical. Our maritime lawyers can help you in
selecting the correct jurisdiction to file your lawsuit.
Negligence exists when an employer is even slightly
careless in causing an injury. An employer has a duty to
provide a safe work environment and a seaworthy vessel. If
the vessel is not fit for its intended purposes or is
equipped with defective gear, including tools, large
equipment and even toilets, or the crew is incompetent or of
an inadequate size, it may constitute employer negligence.
The employer may also be liable if you are assaulted by a
fellow crew member.
Damages for injuries caused by employer negligence under
the Jones Act include pain and suffering, lost earnings,
medical expenses and loss of the ability to lead a normal
Our Florida Maritime attorneys help
seamen injured on vessels out at sea or in Miami, Fort
Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Tampa, Port Canaveral, Panama City,
Tampa, Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach and throughout the