Mississippi Maritime Lawyers
Gulfport Maritime Accident Attorneys Serving All of Mississippi
Many workers have some awareness of the compensation they are entitled to if they are injured 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 are some of the most dangerous in the nation.
The Mississippi maritime injury lawyers at Arnold & Itkin can help you get answers for our clients. We help clients get back on their feet while holding their employer accountable for their injuries. 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.
Our Mississippi maritime lawyers have helped clients hurt by:
- Diving accidents
- Crane failures
- Vessel collisions
- Falls overboard
- Dangerous or poorly-maintained equipment
- Lift accidents
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Review your case with an attorney for free. Contact our Mississippi maritime attorneys today at (888) 493-1629 to learn your options.
Our firm proudly helps clients throughout Mississippi, including in Liberty, Bassfield, Ellisville, Walnut Grove, Columbia, Foxworth, Philadelphia, McComb, Prentiss, Buckatunna, Waynesboro, and more.
Your Right to Maintenance & Cure in Mississippi
Offshore work has always taken place in dangerous settings. When ships did not return home, sailors would hobble into ports with stories of catastrophe and natural disasters to describe their experiences. Everyone has always understood the dangers of offshore work. Since the invention of ocean travel, people have created ways to mitigate the physical and financial risks posed by the sea.
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, the right to maintenance and cure does not require proving fault. It simply requires the injury to have occurred on the ship while the seamen were 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:
- The Jones Act
- The Limitation of Liability Act
- The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA)
- The Longshoreman & Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA)
Mississippi Jones Act Attorneys
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 broaden protections for workers on vessels traveling between ports within the United States. Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, this act was written to protect maritime workers working in American waters or on American vessels.
The Jones Act holds vessel owners and supervisors responsible for maintaining equipment and creating a safe work environment. As accidents are avoidable in most cases, the Jones Act holds accountability employers accountable for negligence. A successful Jones Act claim compensates injured workers for losses causes by the carelessness of the owner or supervisor of the vessel. While it resembles maintenance and cure, the Jones Act covers far more losses than just basic needs and initial medical care.
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
Compensation for these costs mean 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
When are workers entitled to hold their employer accountable under the Jones Act? What sort of negligence qualifies under the law? The Jones Act lists all the rights and entitlements offshore workers can expect from any and all maritime employers. For instance, it is always the vessel owner’s responsibility to keep the vessel and equipment safe for its employees to live and work.
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
If your loved one died at sea, the Jones Act protects you too. 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. Bereaved families can claim losses that include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of household income.
Why the Jones Act Is Important for Mississippi Offshore Workers
Before the Jones Act, injured offshore workers were only able to receive compensation for their wages, board, and the cost of their medical care until they reach maximum recovery. In many instances, workers found themselves fully "recovered" from their injuries but with no way to move forward financially because of the lasting impact of them. The medical and legal community describes injuries that change a person's life as being catastrophic.
Catastrophic maritime injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
The injuries listed above are notable because they often mean that a person will require lifelong care, have limited mobility, or won't be able to make a living as they once did. At Arnold & Itkin LLP, our Mississippi maritime catastrophic injury lawyers fight for the compensation that will enable clients to live their lives as comfortably as possible after sustaining serious injuries. We're focused on fair results, recovery, and making sure the people who turn to us get the help they need.
Can Mississippi Workers Use 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. Our team will listen to your story, discuss your options, and help you decide what your next steps should be. Importantly, you should speak with our LHWCA law firm about your claim even if your employer has already offered compensation. We'll examine their offer and make sure they're treating you right.
Features of Admiralty Law
Admiralty law, also known as maritime law, governs the conduct of vessels and incidents at sea. Although most countries have their own maritime laws, many aspects of admiralty law are recognized internationally through multilateral treaties. The term admiralty law came from the British admiralty courts, who presided over maritime matters separately from England's common law courts. As the U.S. judicial system is based on the British system, amended admiralty laws are gradually incorporated into our legal system soon after the constitution was ratified.
Maritime law has many basic legal tenants associated with the sea and seamen, including:
- A rescuer's right to claim a Marine Salvage award for recovering property that was lost at sea.
- Creditor and seamen's rights to have a Maritime Lien against a vessel as a security interest.
- The duty for ship owners to provide reasonable care to passengers.
- The benefit of maintenance and cure
Mississippi Offshore Accident Lawyers
Just because offshore work is inherently excusable doesn’t mean that companies shouldn’t be held accountable after accidents. Since the dangers of offshore work are well-documented, companies are responsible—both legally and morally—to protect the well-being of their workers. When preventable offshore injuries change lives, survivors and the families of victims deserve answers. At Arnold & Itkin, our Mississippi offshore accident attorneys have earned a reputation for never backing down from a fight. We know that people come to us during the most difficult times of their lives. We also know that people are facing powerful companies after offshore accidents. That’s why we level the playing field by demanding justice and never accepting less than clients deserve
Call our Mississippi offshore accident firm today at (888) 493-1629 for help. Our team is standing by to listen to your story and help you decide what to do next at no cost.
Offshore Accident FAQ
WHAT ARE COMMON MISSISSIPPI OFFSHORE ACCIDENTS?
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 explosion to tub boat 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
- Deck accidents
- Equipment failure
WHAT TYPES OF INJURIES DOES A MISSISSIPPI OFFSHORE ACCIDENT FIRM HELP WITH?
A 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 injuries that are lifechanging and permanent. This type of injury is often referred to as being catastrophic. Offshore injuries may include severe burns, crush injuries, amputation, drowning or near-drowning, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and more.
Helping After Mississippi Maritime Accidents in Gulfport & Across the State
After a serious injury, many seamen may face extensive medical bills and other related challenges. In many cases, seamen are unable to work, pay bills, or support their families. There might also be future costs that will come due to the injuries sustained in a maritime accident. For that reason, it is vital for the injured seaman and their family to recover just damages under maritime law. The Mississippi maritime accident lawyers will fight tirelessly to help you recover full costs for your offshore accident.
Common costs that could result from a maritime injury or death of a seaman:
- Long-term rehabilitation
- In-home care
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Future health complications
- Emotional and financial counseling
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Physical therapy
Mississippi Cruise Ship Accident Lawyers Helping After Gulfport Accidents
If you've been injured in Gulfport as a passenger or worker on a cruise ship, our team is ready to help. Cruise ship operators and vessel owners should never be allowed to place profits over safety. When they do so, they place workers and passengers at risk. Whether you've been injured in an accident caused by unsafe conditions on a ship or while boarding on a gangway, we're standing by to help you recover. Our Mississippi cruise ship accident lawyers are ready to protect your rights and help you demand accountability from those who should have prevented your accident.
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. As maritime lawyers in Mississippi, 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 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. Our firm is ready to listen to your case and provide you a free consultation.
Call our Mississippi offshore injury attorneys today at (888) 493-1629 for your free consultation.