Mississippi Maritime Lawyers

Gulfport Offshore Accident Attorneys Serving All of Mississippi

When offshore injuries change lives, survivors and families deserve answers. Just because offshore work is inherently dangerous doesn’t mean companies shouldn’t be held accountable after catastrophic accidents. They should. With a deep understanding of maritime law, our Mississippi maritime lawyers are here to help you. We help our clients get back on their feet and hold their employers accountable. Our team of Mississippi offshore accident attorneys has earned a reputation for never backing down from a fight. We know that people come to us during the most challenging times of their lives. Our team fights to level the playing field. We demand justice and never accept less than our clients deserve.

Call our Mississippi offshore injury attorneys today at (888) 493-1629 for help!

Our firm proudly helps clients throughout Mississippi, including in Liberty, Bassfield, Ellisville, Walnut Grove, Columbia, Foxworth, Philadelphia, McComb, Prentiss, Buckatunna, Waynesboro, and more.

Maritime Accidents

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Supporting Mississippi Maritime Workers After Accidents

Maritime accidents can impose severe financial and emotional burdens on seamen and their families. Victims often face extensive hospital stays, long-term rehabilitation, and the need for in-home care—all while losing the ability to earn a living. The implications extend beyond immediate medical costs to include future health complications and the need for ongoing support such as physical therapy.  It's essential for injured seamen and their families to secure adequate compensation under maritime law to cover these comprehensive costs and help them maintain financial stability 

At Arnold & Itkin, our Mississippi maritime injury lawyers understand the complexities of maritime law and are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the full financial compensation you deserve. Our attorneys fight relentlessly on behalf of maritime workers to cover all associated costs of their injuries and secure their future. If you or a loved one has been affected by a maritime accident, contact us at (888) 493-1629 for a free consultation to discuss your case.

What Is Maritime Law?

Admiralty law, commonly referred to as maritime law, regulates the operations of vessels and addresses incidents on the sea. Originating from British admiralty courts that functioned independently from common law courts, this legal area was adopted into the U.S. system shortly after the Constitution was ratified, reflecting its British roots. Notably, Congress has enacted four significant laws to safeguard offshore workers, including the Jones Act, the Limitation of Liability Act, the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA), and the Longshoreman & Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA).

Key principles of maritime law include:

  • The right of rescuers to claim a Marine Salvage award for retrieving property lost at sea.
  • The ability of creditors and seamen to secure a Maritime Lien against a vessel.
  • The duty of ship owners to ensure passenger safety.
  • The provision of maintenance and cure benefits to seamen.

Under maritime law, individuals in maritime settings such as harbors, ports, and nearby areas are legally protected and may be eligible for financial compensation if they suffer injuries or illnesses related to their maritime duties. This legal framework ensures that workers receive the necessary support and recompense in the event of workplace incidents.

Your Right to Maintenance & Cure in Mississippi

Maintenance and cure is maritime law’s basic way of ensuring the health of injured seamen. Under this provision, a vessel owner is required to take care of an employee who is injured aboard their vessel.

This principle can be broken down into two terms:

  • Maintenance: Once an employee is injured, they must be compensated for living expenses such as rent.
  • Cure: Shipowners are required 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.

The right to maintenance and cure does not require proving fault. It simply requires the injury occurred on the ship while the seaman was employed. However, this law has limitations regarding what may be recovered as the worker experiences hardship. It does not account for the pain, suffering, and future medical treatment needed after an employee is “fully” recovered. It also does not account for how a sailor can support themselves if they can no longer work.

Mississippi Jones Act Attorneys

Known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act was written to protect maritime workers working in American waters or on American vessels. It holds vessel owners and supervisors responsible for maintaining equipment and creating a safe work environment. A successful Jones Act claim compensates workers for losses caused by the carelessness of the owner or supervisor. While it resembles maintenance and cure, the Jones Act covers more losses.

Successful Jones Act claims can include compensation for damages such as:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Physical and mental anguish
  • Medical care, present and future
  • Living expenses during recovery

Before the Jones Act, injured offshore workers could only receive compensation for wages, board, and medical care until they reached maximum recovery. In many instances, workers found themselves fully "recovered" from their injuries but with no way to move forward financially because of their lasting impact.  The average Jones Act claim is far larger and more comprehensive than a claim for maintenance and cure. However, for a Jones Act claim to succeed, the seaman must prove that the owner or employer was at fault. That could mean anything from proving that the employer knew about a hazardous leak to proving that the employer didn't hire enough staff to perform the vessel's duties. The circumstances of your accident will help us figure out how exactly your employer's action or inaction led to your injury.

Your Rights Under the Jones Act

The Jones Act lists all the rights and entitlements offshore workers can expect from maritime employers. 

As an offshore worker, the Jones Act gives you the right to:

  • Reasonably safe working environments
  • Make a legal claim if injured due to negligence
  • Maintenance and cure related to the injury or illness
  • Additional compensation if the vessel or crew is deemed unseaworthy
  • Punitive damages if an employer initially refused payment of maintenance and cure

In addition to this, the families of deceased offshore workers have the right to bring wrongful death claims under the Jones Act when their loved ones die due to negligence or unseaworthy vessels.

Mississippi Boat Accident Attorneys

With the nation’s largest river serves as its western border, water is integral to Mississippi. As steamboats carrying goods ran up and down the Mississippi during the 19th century, Mississippi played a crucial role in the nation’s economy. Major transportation routes along the river built this state in its earliest days. Today, the various waterways of Mississippi are still used for commerce and pleasure. According to the Coast Guard’s recreational boating statistics for 2017, Mississippi waters saw a total of 34 boat accidents. Of these accidents, 17 percent were fatal, and 6 people lost their lives. Nationally, 4,291 accidents were reported, and 658 people were killed. More than half of the accidents resulted in injuries.

Boat accidents can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including the following:

  • Alcohol (Boating Under the Influence): Many boating accidents happen in a recreational setting, where drinking is acceptable or expected. This means that alcohol is often involved to some extent in many accidents. In fact, many boat accidents in Mississippi are caused by drinking. In 2017, 19% of boating fatalities were caused by alcohol.
  • Inexperience: Mississippi law requires any individual born after June 30, 1980 to complete a safety course before operating a boat. However, completion of a course is not always a sign of experience. Additionally, there is no age requirement to obtain a Mississippi boating license. Young children can operate boats with the supervision of anyone 21 years of age or older. When inexperienced boat operators aren’t provided with careful supervision, the results can be disastrous. Boats do not stop as quickly as land vehicles, so it is easy to misjudge how long it can take to stop.
  • Severe Weather: Bad weather causes hazardous conditions difficult for even experienced operators. When water is choppy, a boat can take on water, capsize, or even sink. In fact, the duck boat accident in Missouri happened in the choppy waters of a sudden summer storm. The accident took the lives of 17 people who were taking a tour of the lake.

Mississippi Cruise Ship Accident Lawyers 

If you've suffered an injury in Gulfport, either as a passenger or a worker on a cruise ship, we're here to help. Cruise ship operators and vessel owners have a duty to prioritize safety over profits. When they fail to uphold this responsibility, it can cause endanger workers and passengers alike. Whether your injury occurred due to unsafe conditions aboard the ship, during embarkation or disembarkation on a gangway, or any other cruise-related activity, we are prepared to help you.

Our Mississippi cruise ship accident attorneys are committed to upholding your rights and securing the compensation you deserve. We aim to hold negligent parties accountable and ensure that such oversights are addressed to prevent future incidents. By choosing our team, you're not just hiring a lawyer, you're hiring an advocate who will stand firmly beside you, fighting to make sure that those responsible for your accident are held fully accountable.

Call (888) 493-1629 for a Free Consultation Today

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 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.

At Arnold & Itkin, we find this unacceptable. 

It is an employer’s job to protect the people who work for them. As maritime lawyers, 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 verdicts and settlements. 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 tried to shift blame to its employees for the Deepwater Horizon disaster, our attorneys were there to represent over one-third of the crew. We didn’t let the crew take the blame then, and we won’t let you take the blame today. We’re ready to listen to your case and help. Call today.

Call our Mississippi offshore injury attorneys at (888) 493-1629 for a free consultation.

Common Questions

  • What Offshore Accidents Happen in Mississippi?

    Because of its coastal area and vast network of rivers and lakes, Mississippi is the location of many types of offshore accidents. From oil rig explosions to tubboat collisions, the Mississippi offshore industry is filled with dangers for workers. Common Mississippi work accidents involve oil rig explosions and fires, barge accidents, tugboat accidents, dredging accidents, and deck accidents.

  • How Can a Mississippi Offshore Injury Lawyer Help?

    A Mississippi maritime lawyer can help recover the costs of any injury caused by a preventable offshore accident. Since offshore work can be grueling and dangerous, our lawyers often help people with life-changing and permanent injuries, which are often referred to as catastrophic. Offshore injuries may include severe burns, crush injuries, amputation, drowning or near-drowning, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and more.
  • Which Mississippi Workers Are Covered by the LHWCA?

    Besides the Jones Act, another important law exists to help maritime workers. The Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a law that covers maritime workers who don't necessarily spend their time on vessels working. It helps harbor workers, longshoremen, shipbuilders, repairers, and other members of the offshore industry move forward after accidents. Like the Jones Act, the LHWCA holds negligent employers accountable for accidents that they failed to prevent. If you're uncertain if you qualify for recovery using this law, call our Mississippi maritime lawyers today at (888) 493-1629.

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