Mississippi Maritime Lawyers
Maritime Accident Attorneys Serving in Mississippi & All Over the Gulf Coast
Many workers have some awareness of the compensation they are entitled to if they are injured while on the job. However, when it comes to offshore work, not many people understand how much they’re entitled to under the law or even which law applies to them. It’s no mystery why—maritime law is built on centuries of history and has been modified for today at various moments by the United States. Both seamen and those who work between harbors are protected by the law and may be entitled to compensation.
Experts believe that offshore jobs includes some of the most dangerous work in the nation.
Like we said, maritime law can be complex for those who are unfamiliar with it. The Mississippi maritime injury lawyers at Arnold & Itkin have the experience and resources to get answers for our clients. We are help them back on their feet while holding their employer accountable for what happened. When companies use old equipment, ignore safety standards, or put others in danger by cutting corners, we will be there to make them answer for it. Whether you work on an oil rig or on a fishing boat, you may be entitled to claim multiple losses.
Common Mississippi offshore injuries include:
- Diving Accidents
- Crane Failures
- Vessel Collisions
- Dangerous or Poorly Maintained Equipment
- Lift Accidents
- Post-Traumatic Stress
Review your case with an attorney for free. Contact our Mississippi maritime attorneys today at (888) 493-1629 to learn your options.
Your Right to Maintenance & Cure
Historically, offshore work has always taken place in a dangerous setting. When ships did not return home, sailors would hobble into ports with stories of catastrophe and natural disasters to describe their experiences. Since the invention of ocean travel, people have created ways to mitigate the physical and financial risks posed by the sea. Everyone understood the dangers of offshore work.
With offshore work known to be inherently dangerous, maritime law was developed to make sure ship owners and captains provided for sailors who were injured during a voyage. Maintenance and cure was (and still is) maritime law’s most basic way of ensuring the health of injured seamen. Under this provision, a vessel owner is required to take care of an employee if they are injured aboard their vessel.
This principle can be broken down into its two terms:
- Maintenance: Once an employee is injured, they must be compensated for living expenses such as rent, electricity, transportation, and other basic amenities.
- Cure: This portion of the law requires shipowners to pay medical expenses at no cost to the injured. The word “cure” is used as employers are required to pay for medical care until the worker reaches maximum medical improvement.
Notably, this law does not require fault. It simply requires that the injury to have occurred on the ship while the seamen was employed. However, this law has limitations regarding what may be recovered as the worker experiences more hardship. It does not account for the pain, suffering, and future medical treatment needed after an employee is deemed to have fully recovered after the initial event. It also does not account for how a sailor can support themselves if they are no longer able to work offshore.
United States Maritime Laws
While maritime law is ancient, most US offshore employees rely on statutes to protect their right to long-term recovery. Four major laws have been passed by Congress to help protect offshore workers. These laws provide protection for an offshore worker's health and financial future.
These four maritime laws include:
- Jones Act
- Limitation of Liability Act
- Death on the High Seas Act
- Longshoreman & Harbor Workers Compensation Act
The Jones Act
The Jones Act is usually the most relevant law to those who have been injured due to the negligence of their employer while working offshore. This law was created to create broader protections for workers on vessels traveling between ports within the United States. Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, this act was enacted to protect maritime workers working in American waters.
The Jones Act holds vessel owners responsible for maintaining equipment and creating a safe work environment. As accidents are avoidable with proper safety practices, the Jones Act creates accountability in the event of negligence. Employers are required to compensate injured workers for a broad set of losses that maintenance and cure does not account for.
Jones Act claims can include the costs of:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Physical and mental anguish
- Medical care, present and future
- Living expenses during recovery
While it resembles maintenance and cure, the Jones Act covers a broad set of situations that protect the financial stability of injured employees beyond the initial process of medical recovery. Unlike maintenance and care, this law recovers proof of negligence on the part of the vessel owner.
Arnold & Itkin Won’t Let Employers Shift Blame
Our Mississippi offshore injury attorneys have seen the same pattern when workers are injured offshore. Employers fail to maintain equipment and employ safety practices, eventually leading to an injury. Though they proudly proclaim their dedication to safety, their words fail in practice. Instead, companies point the finger at their employees. When negligence causes an injury, employers blame the people they’ve hurt.
Arnold & Itkin finds this unacceptable. It is an employer’s job to protect the people that work for them, especially in a dangerous environment. We take pride in helping injured offshore workers stand up to large companies. Our dedication to fighting for workers has helped us win billions in settlements for clients. We do not allow complex cases to intimidate us, and we will never back down unless we are satisfied that the best options are presented to our clients. In fact, when BP attempted to shift blame to its employees for the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Arnold & Itkin’s attorneys were there to represent over one-third of the crew. We didn’t let the Deepwater Horizon crew take the blame then, and we won’t let you take the blame today.
If you have been injured, or a someone you love has been injured or killed, call us today at (888) 493-1629. Our Mississippi offshore injury attorneys are ready to listen to you case and provide free consultation. If we take your case, you do not pay unless we win.