Offshore Injury Lawyer
Have you been injured in a maritime accident?
Throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the coastal regions of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, as well as on inland waters reaching as far as St. Louis, seamen, dockworkers, and oil and gas industry employees are exposed to dangerous working conditions. Maritime workers routinely suffer offshore injuries caused by dangerous conditions on offshore platforms, spars, jack-up rigs, tankers, crew boats, lay barges and other vessels. Diving accidents, gas explosions, lost overboard deaths and injuries from dangerous equipment frequently take limbs and lives of innocent workers.
A maritime lawyer is uniquely qualified to represent maritime workers or their families in serious injury or wrongful death claims resulting from accidents occurring at sea, in coastal areas or on inland waters. At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we handle cases governed by
maritime laws and have years of experience dealing with oil and gas companies, shipping companies and their insurance providers. If you or a member of your family has been seriously injured or killed as a result of an
offshore accident or offshore injury, it is extremely important that you get sound legal advice from a
qualified personal injury lawyer at our firm before you discuss the matter with your employer or their insurance company.
Our Maritime Injury Lawyers' Skill & Experience Make a Difference
Our goal at Arnold & Itkin LLP is to help injured offshore workers and other maritime employees their families get their lives back on track. We work tirelessly to prepare their case for trial, including conducting extensive investigations and consulting with quality maritime industry and medical experts. By taking that aggressive approach to our cases, we are often able to secure settlements for our clients without having to take their case to trial. Settlement, however, isn't always an option.
If the at-fault party fails to make a fair and full offer, we are always ready to stand up for our clients before a judge or jury. Through the years, we have been able to secure a series of substantial verdicts and settlements for our clients, including numerous multi-million dollar recoveries. We are dedicated to helping injured offshore workers, crew members, officers, stevedores, maritime workers and their families obtain the compensation they deserve. Our knowledge of admiralty law combined with our commitment to our clients makes for a winning combination; we focus on winning cases covered by:
- The Jones Act: This specialized branch of admiralty law compensates any seaman who suffers personal injury or illness due to unseaworthiness or negligence during the course of employment aboard a vessel operating in navigable waters. A victim may recover lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, physical pain, emotional anguish and cost of living expenses while in recovery. A worker injured on a pier, wharf, dry dock or terminal may recover under the Jones Act.
- Death on the High Seas Act: This federal law compensates families who lose a loved one to an accident that occurs in an offshore job. The act covers deaths that have occurred beyond three nautical miles from the shore of any state and includes commercial aviation accidents beyond 12 nautical miles from the shores of the U.S. Recovery, however, is limited to the family's monetary losses and does not include pain and suffering, loss of companionship or future medical expenses.
- Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act: This is a comprehensive workers' compensation scheme that provides medical and disability benefits to maritime workers who are injured or become ill on navigable waters. To recover under the act, a worker does not need to prove that the employer was at fault. The act also provides wrongful death benefits to survivors of maritime workers who are killed on the job.
- General Maritime Law: One of the main tenets of general maritime law is the principle of maintenance and cure. Under this law, a vessel owner must cover an injured seaman's medical treatment until maximum medical recovery is reached. The owner must also cover the seaman's basic living expenses until completion of the ship's voyage, even though the seaman is no longer aboard the ship when it reaches port.
Areas of Practice – Offshore Injury and Jones Act Claims
At Arnold & Itkin, we know what is on the line with cases involving injuries that were sustained while offshore. No matter whether you're a seaman,
longshoreman or even if you work in a harbor or a shipyard, it's in your best interests to get the involvement of a maritime lawyer from our firm so that we can help you in filing a claim. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars over the years and we're prepared to go the distance in our efforts to help you protect your legal rights. Some of the different related issues that we are able to help you with include the following:
Throughout the nation, admiralty law refers to the laws that govern the way in which vessels can behave while out to sea. Many of these laws are recognized and abided by internationally. These are some of the oldest laws in the book, but still remain relevant in modern days.
Jones Act Claims
The Jones Act provides coverage to United States seamen who have suffered a personal injury that was caused by the unseaworthiness of a vessel or the negligence of a third party. This is a specialized portion of admiralty law and can give a foundation for injured offshore workers to file a claim.
Although inland waterways and coastal waters, seamen find themselves susceptible to serious and even fatal injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury of this nature, you should not be forced to suffer in silence; there are laws that govern such claims that will be able to help you to seek the compensation that you justly deserve.
Maritime Injury Causes
There are many different causes that can leave a seaman suffering from a maritime injury. From fires to falls, and even defective / malfunctioning equipment, the hazards of the job can leave a worker susceptible to serious and debilitating offshore injuries.
Should a seaman suffer an injury while on the job, they could be protected by maritime law, which would allow them the opportunity to pursue just compensation. Topics that are covered by maritime law include the Jones Act, the Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act and other international and national maritime and admiralty law.
Your Medical Rights
Injured while offshore? You have medical rights that should be protected. For example, you have the right choose your own doctor. Want to learn more about the medical rights that you are allowed?
Importance of Hiring a Maritime Attorney
Unlike with state workers' compensation claims, there is no administrative body that oversees your maritime injury claim. Instead, claims covered by maritime law must be filed in state or federal court. Although some claims may be settled in pre-litigation negotiations, the only way to preserve your right to pursue a claim is to file a lawsuit. A qualified and experienced maritime lawyer can help you do that.
In many instances, your employer may ask you to sign an agreement or release in exchange for payment of unearned wages, maintenance and cure, or medical benefits. It is imperative that you have any documents you are given reviewed by a competent maritime lawyer before signing them so that you do not waive any of your rights of recovery. Maritime employers and their insurance companies have their own experienced lawyers. They will work hard to minimize their client's losses by making sure you are paid as little as possible. When facing them, you deserve to have competent legal representation on your side, protecting your rights.
Traits to Look for in Your Offshore Injury Lawyer
When selecting a maritime lawyer, you should inquire about the number of maritime injury cases they have tried. Select a personal injury lawyer who provides honest, direct answers to all your questions. Carefully consider the following traits of your potential counsel:
- Experience. Not all maritime law firms are the same. Select a maritime lawyer with experience not only in trying but winning maritime injury cases.
- Approach. If settling your claim quickly means compromising and getting less than you deserve, you may need a lawyer with a different approach. Sometimes a settlement outside of the courtroom is possible, but until you've won all the compensation you deserve, you'll need a team that will be prepared and willing to try your case in the courtroom if necessary
- Efficiency. Just because a maritime law firm is big doesn't mean they're the best. Some maritime law firms are so large that their many-layered organizational structures are an impediment to efficient practice. Ask whether the firm avoids wasteful spending and delays caused by inefficient practices, and request specific examples of how they will handle your maritime case efficiently.
Arnold & Itkin LLP is an experienced maritime law firm dedicated to helping injured maritime workers and their families obtain the compensation they deserve. Our maritime lawyers have tried more than twenty maritime cases in the past two years– more than some lawyers will try in their entire careers. Our extensive knowledge of maritime law, combined with a personal commitment to our clients, makes us a formidable advocate for your rights in the courtroom.
If you have questions about your rights following a catastrophic injury or wrongful death of a maritime worker, contact a lawyer from our firm today. We can answer your questions, evaluate your maritime injury case and help you understand your options for claiming compensation. We accept injury cases on a contingency basis, you pay us nothing unless we prevail and obtain successful recovery on your behalf.
Want to know more? Our firm maintains a site exclusively dedicated to offshore injuries.