Maritime Injury Lawyers

Speak With A Maritime Lawyer Now
Calls Answered 24/7


Assessing the Jones Act: The Rights Your Employer Doesn’t Want You to Know

Workplace safety is never more important than when you work at sea. From drowning to falling to slipping on the deck, maritime employees face a variety of serious threats on a daily basis, which employers are responsible for protecting them from. The Jones Act establishes your rights as a seaman, allowing you to hold accountable any employer who does not adequately protect your safety.

Assessing the Jones Act

Background & Basics

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, more commonly known as the Jones Act, is a Federal law designed to protect and maintain the United States merchant marine system. Though the law covers a wide range of maritime topics, it is notable for its provisions on maritime worker safety. The act enshrines the rights of seamen to bring legal charges against their employers if the latter’s negligence causes them serious injury. If you can prove that your employer violated the Jones Act, you are entitled to compensation for the costs of your injury, which include:

  • The price of medical care, including treatments for the long-term effects of the injury
  • Lost wages that you were unable to earn because you were undergoing medical treatment, or because of disability that resulted from your injury
  • Pain and psychological suffering that result from your injury, as well as the cost of counseling
  • Loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment, and other effects that impact your quality of life

The Jones Act law establishes a significantly lower burden of proof for compensation than most other personal injury cases have. Whereas most cases require the plaintiff to prove that their employer was the primary cause of the harm, the Jones Act requires you to show only that they played a role in the injury. This makes it clear that it is the responsibility of maritime employers to safeguard the rights of their workers in all circumstances, no small matter in an industry with so many risks.

Jones Act Jurisdiction

For the Jones Act to apply to you, you must fit the following characteristics:

  • Vessel Validation– You must have been part of the crew of a commercial vessel at the time of your injury. A wide range of ships and boats qualify, including tankers, fishing vessels, casino boats, tug and tow boats, restaurant ships, barges, and freighters. It does not matter whether the boat was moored or in motion at the time you were injured.
  • Seaman Status– You must qualify as a seaman for the Jones Act to apply. The Supreme Court has defined this as anyone who spends at least 30 percent of their working hours serving a vessel that is in navigation. You may also qualify if your work is covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. If there is any doubt, consult a Jones Act attorney for help determining whether you are a seaman.
  • Location Limitations– You must have been on board the boat at the time that you contracted the injury. The law does not apply if you were on a nearby dock, even if you qualify as a seaman. You also must have been on the boat primarily so that you could aid in its mission.
  • Navigable Nuances– The injury must have occurred while the boat was on a body of water that is considered navigable. Oceans, gulfs, large lakes, and large rivers usually qualify, but as with seaman status, you should check with an attorney before filing. If the water is not navigable, your case will have to be filed under land-based laws instead.

To benefit from the Jones Act law, you must file your claim no more than three years after the injury occurred. It is thus important to begin the filing process as soon as possible in case there are delays. You can file the claim in a state court as an admiralty claim, or in a Federal court as either an admiralty or a law claim. Where and how you file may impact the amount of compensation you get, so make sure to discuss the case with your attorney before you decide.

Jones Act claims

Valid Violations

There is a myriad of things that can go wrong on the ocean, and thus a myriad of ways that your employer can fail to keep you safe. You can file Jones Act claims for injuries resulting from:

  • Sub-par Safety– Your employer must provide a safe environment for you to work in. This means cleaning up spills, cordoning off slippery or damaged walkways, keeping all sections of the hull in good condition, and providing training so that you know how to do your job competently. They must also distribute appropriate safety devices to employees who are performing especially dangerous jobs. Overlooking any of these duties can cause serious injury or death.
  • Damaged Devices– To do your job safely, you must have equipment that is up to date and in proper working order. This means that the employer must regularly inspect all equipment, repair or replace devices that are not working correctly, and inform all members of the crew not to use equipment that is damaged.
  • Crew Chaos– The employer is responsible for the actions of all other members of the crew. Thus, if another crew member assaults you or causes you to be injured through negligence, the employer must be held accountable for failing to keep them in line. The employer may also be at fault for failing to assemble a competent crew if your injury is the result of another seaman’s poor judgment.
  • Reticent Rescue– If you jump or fall off of the ship, the employer is responsible for making every effort to rescue you. Failing to respond quickly enough or to devote the appropriate resources is grounds for a lawsuit.
  • Medical Matters– If you become sick or injured on the ship, the employer must provide you with the proper medical care. Failing to provide the right care may lead to much more serious medical problems down the road, for which the employer will be responsible.

Understanding the scope of violations is one of the most important ways you can gain the upper hand over your employer in Jones Act claims. Many employers assume that if another employee assaults you or neglects your safety, for example, it is that employee’s fault, and any compensation you might win must come from them. Likewise, if equipment does not work properly, the employer might expect you to blame the manufacturer. The last thing they want you to realize is that they are responsible for everything that happens on the ship.

Your employer may also expect you to think that if you assume the risks before the injury happens, you cannot hold them accountable. But the fact that you were aware of the danger does not absolve them of their responsibility to maintain a safe ship. The Jones Act law makes it clear that they are responsible for all of the results of their negligence, not only those for which you were unaware of the risks.

Savvy Steps

As with any personal injury case, the quicker and more decisively you act, the more likely your Jones Act claims are to succeed. If you were injured while working on a commercial vessel, make sure to take the following steps:

  1. Pursue Proof– As soon as you are in a stable condition, gather as much evidence as you can. Take pictures of the accident site, and gather the names and contact information of nearby coworkers, employees, and any other witnesses. If your injuries are too severe for you to do this yourself, ask a trusted co-worker to do it for you.
  2. Commit To Care– Seek out medical treatment as soon as possible, and follow the instructions of your care providers to the letter. Try to keep a record of all the treatments that you receive, and ask your care providers for their names and contact information. This will allow you to refute any accusations that your injuries would not have been as severe if you had not neglected your own care.
  3. Locate A Lawyer– Consult a qualified Jones Act attorney as soon as possible. Ask them if you qualify for compensation under the Jones Act, and answer any questions they ask you as honestly and comprehensively as you can. If they determine that you qualify, file your claim as soon as possible according to their instructions.
  4. Consider The Costs– Keep detailed records of all the expenses that result from your injury. Make sure to obtain and store receipts for any bills that you pay out of your own pocket, as it will otherwise be difficult to prove that you paid them. Also, keep a record of indirect expenses, such as days of work you have to miss due to treatment or disability.
  5. Speak Sparingly– Try to avoid talking to your employer or their lawyers about the case when your attorney is not present. If you do have to talk to them, avoid signing anything or sharing key details of the case. The more information you give them, the greater the chance that they will find a way to counter your claim.
  6. Record The Results– Keep a daily log of all your experiences after the accident. Write down anything that may result from your injuries, including pain, mental anguish, and trouble sleeping. The more detailed your record, the easier it will be to identify subtle effects of the injury for which you deserve to be compensated.

Holding your employer accountable under the Jones Act is not just about getting compensation for yourself, though that would be reason enough. It’s also about protecting your fellow seamen. If an employer pays no price for neglecting your safety, they have no reason to show any more care in the future. Demanding compensation sends a powerful message that seamen’s rights cannot be ignored. The more that employers are held accountable for their past negligence, the more they will care for employees in the future, ensuring a safe maritime working environment.

No maritime employer should get away with putting their workers at risk. For more information about your rights under the Jones Act, contact Maintenance and Cure at {email}, call {phone}, or  visit our website today.

http://maintenanceandcure.com/jones-act-lawyers/; http://maintenanceandcure.com/maintenance-and-cure/; http://maintenanceandcure.com/contact-us/;; http://www.jonesactlaw.com/library/you-have-more-rights-after-a-boat-accident-under-maritime-law-than-your-employer-wants-you-to-know-part-a/; http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/overview-the-jones-act-seamens-injuries.html; https://www.ohiobar.org/ForPublic/Resources/LawYouCanUse/Pages/LawYouCanUse-690.aspx; http://www.saltwaterlaw.com/Maritime-Injury-Death-Claims/Crewmember-Injuries.aspx; https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/515/347/case.html; https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/46/30104; https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/515/347/case.html; http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/damages-how-much-personal-injury-32264.html; http://www.jonesactlaw.com/library/how-to-figure-out-if-you-have-a-jones-act-or-maritime-case/; http://www.maritimelawfirms.com/resources/maritime/maritime-injury-claims/jones-act-case.htm; http://www.theledger.com/news/20090410/life-of-a-merchant-marine-filled-with-work-danger; http://maintenanceandcure.com/negligence-jones-act/; http://maintenanceandcure.com/the-dangers-of-falling-moving-objects-on-ships-and-vessels/;

U.S.S. Fitzgerald Sailors Awoke to a Disaster at Sea

The United States Navy destroyer Fitzgerald departed early on a Saturday morning from the American base at Yokosuka, Japan. It was still dark, but the weather was clear. Only a handful of the 350 sailors would have been awake. The crew had mere minutes to prepare for the collision on the starboard side which killed 7 crew members. 116 members of the crew were still asleep when the collision happened.

U.S.S. Fitzgerald disaster

Each year, maritime accident lawyers review cases just like this one to shed light on complex, confusing events. Let’s take a look at the details of this case and how maritime law fits in.

What Happened?

It’s still unclear what went wrong, and multiple investigations are still under way. Anyone’s best guess is that whoever was on duty saw the unexpected lights of a cargo ship, the ACX Crystal from the Philippines, and attempted to steer away from it. The collision caused significant damage to areas above and below the water line. A concave area formed that extended one-third of the way across the ship.

The crew showed tremendous effort to keep the Fitzgerald from sinking before tugboats arrived. They towed the destroyer back to Yokosuka before divers explored the submerged compartments. They found the bodies of all seven victims and released their identities.

Determining What Went Wrong

Maritime laws are complex and, often, the investigation into a maritime accident can make or break a case. Because incidents are so rare, there’s very little history to go on. Most veteran sailors with decades of experience can count on one hand the number of incidents with which they’ve ever been involved.

In the case of this incident, something went wrong, but it’s exceptionally difficult to determine exactly what that something was. Nevertheless, very few incidents are ever true accidents—and that means someone must be held accountable.

Bryce Benson, the ship’s commander, received injuries in the collision but will make a full recovery. Navy ship commanders have ultimate authority and responsibility for their vessel, and that often means they, or the Navy as a whole, are held responsible when accidents occur. Commanders are accountable for everything that happens on their ship, even if it wasn’t their fault, and that includes Benson.

Benson would have updated the standing orders before standing down for the night. This is regular practice on all Navy ships, and these orders almost always mandate the night watch to alert the captain of unusual activity. Some standing orders require notifying the commander if the ship’s closest point of approach is less than 5,000 yards.

Whether Benson recorded the events or not, investigators are currently attempting to identify if true fault under maritime law exists. In the process, they’ll assess competency, protocol, timelines, and radar records, and interview each person aboard. If any sailor, or the commander himself, failed to follow protocol or operated the ship unsafely, he or she may be held responsible monetarily or legally.

If you’ve been injured in a ship accident, either while in the Navy or while on another boating vessel, Maintenance & Cure wants to help. Contact us today for a consultation on your options, either for defense or for seeking contribution when it matters most. From the Jones Act to international waters, we understand how to best help you achieve your goals through Maintenance & Cure.

Maritime accident lawyers

Getting Familiar with the Jones Act

Under the Jones Act, injured maritime workers have the right to compensation. That wasn’t always true.

Once upon a time, if a maritime worker suffered an accident on the job and sustained an injury, they were out of luck. The law provided no means of redress, even if their employer proved negligent.

Over the past century, maritime workers have secured hard-earned legal rights. Now the Jones Act shields them from employer negligence, unsafe working conditions, and accidental injury.

In addition to safeguarding workers, the Jones Act also establishes protectionist measures that help keep U.S. waterways safe and the U.S. shipping industry afloat.

If you work on a U.S. vessel that navigates U.S. waters, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the history and provisions of the Jones Act. Whether or not you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, you should know a bit about the law that governs the American maritime industry.

Take a look at our infographic to learn more.

What is The Jones Act?

Click below to embed this infographic into your website:

The Severity of Maritime Piracy Crimes

Pirates—those much-romanticized scourges of centuries past—are still very much with us today, as viewers of the nightly news can attest. The unlawful activities of modern-day pirates on the high seas have achieved notoriety around the globe.

Even so, piracy is still a shadowy subject for most people, and understandably so. Few of us, even in the maritime industry, have first-hand experience with pirates. Piracy is, however, a serious problem that has far-reaching effects on the international stage.

Severity of Maritime Piracy Crimes

A Worldwide Phenomenon

The general public has come to associate modern-day piracy with activities occurring off the coast of Somalia, specifically in the Arabian Sea (particularly the Gulf of Aden) and the Indian Ocean. These goings-on can be traced to the deleterious societal effects of the ongoing Somali Civil War, which have made maritime piracy an attractive alternative to poverty. Piracy in these seas diminished significantly over the last decade or so, but, in early 2017, a burst of renewed pirate activity made it clear that this problem hasn’t gone away quite yet.

Piracy is not limited to this region, however. Nor is Somalia the only nation that harbors pirates. Another hotspot for criminal activity is the South China Sea, where pirates from Malaysia and Indonesia often harass maritime vessels. In addition, the Gulf of Guinea, in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, has seen dozens of incidents in recent years.

How It Happens

Pirates use a variety of tactics to capture and board unsuspecting maritime vessels. Sometimes they use high-speed engines to quickly catch up to vessels, often approaching from a blind spot, before defensive action can be taken. Another tactic is to pose as a friendly vessel in order to gain the trust of the crew on the targeted ship.

Once aboard, pirates frequently seize hostages, demanding a sizable payout for their release. Alternatively, they may simply raid the vessel for its cargo.

The Cost of Piracy

Wherever it occurs, maritime piracy enacts a steep cost. According to the non-profit group Oceans Beyond Piracy, Somali pirates caused $1.7 billion in financial losses in 2016. If that sounds steep, consider that this figure represents a dramatic drop from $7 billion in the year 2010. In West Africa, piracy accounted for nearly $800 million in losses (2016).1

In addition to incurring heavy losses in ransom money and lost goods, the actions of pirates force local governments to devote a substantial amount of resources to counter-piracy measures, such as providing military escorts to cargo ships.

Anti-Piracy Laws

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982 is the primary piece of international legislation covering piracy.

In recent years, the U.S. has assumed a more central role in the prosecution of captured pirates, often imposing harsh sentences up to life in prison. Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., has helped a number of piracy victims obtain suitable compensation under the guidelines of the Jones Act. If you have been harmed during the course of a pirate assault, you should contact our office as soon as possible for a free consultation.

Maritime piracy lawyers

Sources

http://oceansbeyondpiracy.org/reports/sop/summary

Navigating Your LHWCA Injury Claim

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or LHWCA, provides compensation to a select group of maritime workers in the event of disability, illness, injury or death if it happens on the job in applicable locations. LHWCA compensation may cover full or partial medical costs, living expenses and the costs associated with rehabilitation and occupational retraining. This compensation is referred to as the costs of maintenance and cure.

While LHWCA compensation is encompassing and beneficial to those needing to use it, the terms and stipulations are somewhat lengthy. If you’ve received an injury, contracted a disease or have been otherwise compromised while performing your regular maritime work duties, and you need to file a claim, contact an experienced longshoremen injury attorney to help guide you through the process.

Your longshoremen attorney will know whether you’re covered under the LHWCA, what type of benefits to which you’re entitled, and how to go about starting your claim. He or she will also partner with you throughout the process to give you a better understanding of what to expect.

What Is the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?

The LHWCA was drafted in 1927 to help protect workers who sailed in navigational waters. Criteria was more specific when the Act was first introduced. It has since been expanded to include a wider range of workers such as those who work on-shore in harbors and on docks, performing maintenance, construction and other maritime duties. Most maritime employers are required by federal law to offer insurance to workers under the LHWCA. Compensation is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor through the Office of Workers’ Compensation.

Navigating Your LHWCA Injury ClaimIf you’re a worker who is injured or becomes ill as a result of performing your job duties in a maritime setting, you may be eligible to collect monetary benefits via the LHWCA, toward disability, maintenance and cure until you’re healed and able to return to your previous job, or, in the event of a permanent disability, until you’re trained and able to work a new job somewhere else. In the event of your death from your work-related injury or illness, LHWCA may be able to pay benefits to your dependent family members.

Who Is Covered Under the LHWCA?

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act covers maritime workers who fit certain criteria:

  • They perform such work as loading or off-loading ships in a port or harbor as well as building or deconstructing boats, docks or other harbor constructions. The Act also covers certain workers employed by private contractors in the defense base industry and those engaged in scientific exploration of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands, such as workers employed on oil rigs.
  • Covered employees must have received their injury in the navigable waters of the United States or in or on their adjoining ports, harbors, wharves, etc. Navigable Waters of the United Statesis defined as any water subject to tidal control and that’s used for interstate or international commerce.
  • Employees who fit these two categories must have received an injury or contracted a debilitating illness while performing their required job functions.

How Is the LHWCA Different from the Jones Act?

The Jones Act is more encompassing, including such maritime workers as the captain and crew of cruise ships, fishing boats, crabbing boats and more. An employee can receive compensation based upon either the Jones Act or the LHWCA, whichever more adequately covers their particular occupation, but never both.

Define Compensation

Define “Compensation”

Compensation is the money you require to either be cured or to return to life with a disability. In the event of death, it’s a stipend paid to your family to help alleviate the monetary cost of your loss of earnings. Your personal injury attorney can help you decide which benefits you’re entitled to receive. These may include:

  • Full or partial medical expenses
  • The costs associated with rehabilitation, such as learning how to live with an amputation or hearing loss
  • Compensation to cover lost wages while you’re in recovery
  • Compensation to cover the costs of training you to perform a different job should your injury prevent you from returning to your previous one
  • A scheduled monetary reward for the loss of use of certain body parts
  • A disfigurement and death benefit

Basically, the Act helps protect you and your loved ones if you should receive a traumatic or life-altering injury while on the job.

What Types of Injuries Are Covered?

In this instance, injury refers to any type of way you could be hurt while performing your regular maritime duties, including:

  • Occupational Disease: An occupational disease is defined as one that is caused by exposure to harmful substances or chemicals. Mesothelioma is an occupational disease that many workers have contracted due to exposure to asbestos. Other occupational diseases include breathing disorders such as COPD or asthma, autoimmune diseases such as Graves’ Disease, and various skin disorders. All may be caused by exposure to workplace toxins, and all may make it difficult to return to work in your normal capacity.
  • Loss of Vision or Hearing: Exposure to loud noises or intense light can contribute to loss of vision or hearing in some people.
  • Injuries received during the performance of regular maritime duties, such as electrical shocks, burns, falls, contact with equipment, hypothermia, hyperthermia, head injury, drowning, broken bones or amputation.

How Do I File a Claim?

File a Claim

There are rules you must follow to file a claim under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act:

  • You must notify your employer of your injury within 30 days of receiving it.
  • You have one year to file a formal claim.

If you need to file a claim for compensation under the LHWCA, your first step is to narrow down your choices of longshoremen attorneys. At Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris, we have a long, successful history of working to resolve cases involving maritime injury. You may need something so simple as a phone call to your employer from a member of our knowledgeable staff for payments to commence. Then again, you may need actual representation in court. Regardless, we’re there for you. Call us today at 1-800-836-5830 to schedule an initial consultation. We’ll help you determine whether you have a valid claim, and then we’ll help you file for and collect compensation.

A case involving compensation for maritime injuries can be complicated. That’s why you need the services of professionals on your side to help you collect the funds to which you’re entitled.

How Long Does It Take for Payments to Begin?

The good news is that payments can begin in as little as 14 days after you notify your employer of your injury. This typically happens when the employer chooses not to dispute the legitimacy of the claim. Having a good maritime injury lawyer on your side can help set the wheels in motion so you can claim benefits faster.

Often, however, collecting on a maritime injury claim may take longer. If your employer controverts your claim by saying he had no knowledge of your injury, for instance, or if it’s not immediately clear whether your injury meets the requirements needed, your payments could be delayed until a ruling is made.

What’s My Role in Justifying My Claim?

If you notified your employer of your injury within the allotted time and filed your claim before the deadline, you’ve fulfilled your role in activating your claim. You may be required to tell your story again and to give the names of possible witnesses who can help substantiate your recollection, but that’s where your responsibility ends and your attorney’s responsibilities begin. We’ll make sure your employer abides by federal law in determining whether you receive benefits and how much your payout will be. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Act is very clear regarding who does and who does not qualify for compensation. If you meet the criteria, we’ll help you procure the money you need to pay your medical and injury-related expenses. And, in the event of your injury-related death or illness, we’ll see that your family receives benefits as well.

All longshoremen lawyers are not created equal.  Claims to collect compensation from the LHWCA are very specific, and they require the services of experienced attorneys to navigate them efficiently so your payments are not delayed. You can trust the law offices of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris to collect the facts needed and to get the wheels rolling on your personal injury claim. We understand how devastating a workplace injury can be, how impactful it can be on the families of those injured. You need fair and just compensation, and you need it in a timely fashion. That’s what we’ll do for you. Call us today at 1 (800) 836-5830 to discuss your options.

Source

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/33/329.4

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/u/united-states-longshore-and-harbor-workers-compensation-act-of-1927.asp

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/autoimmune-diseases

http://maintenanceandcure.com/maintenance-and-cure/

https://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/lhwca.htm#910

A Maritime Worker’s Rights and the LHWCA

The LHWCA (Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act) is the lifeline of many maritime workers injured on the job. Most injured individuals will find they fit the LHWCA requirements, although qualifications for coverage are strict. The protections and policy ins-and-outs of the act mean the injured worker needs to do a little digging to get the information. However, the longshoremen lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer, & Harris, L.L.P., know where to look. To save you time, we’ve assembled a complete breakdown of the LHWCA and how it affects you.

How Does the LHWCA Work?

The LHWCA is a federal law and as such it provides protection for employees injured and permanently or temporarily disabled as a result. To qualify, the injury must have happened in specific occupations and locations defined in the LHWCA. The protections extended to the injured employee include medical treatment and compensation of a percentage of regular pay. There is even compensation for job retraining—or vocational rehabilitation—should the resulting disability preclude the individual from returning to his or her original occupation. For those killed on the job, a death benefit is available to the spouse or other specified beneficiaries. To get these protections, the injury must occur on navigable waters or in locations adjacent to these waters. Adjacent locations would include docks, loading and unloading, shipbuilding, and ship repairing areas.

A Maritime Worker's Rights and the LHWCA

Who’s Covered Under the LHWCA? Who’s Not?

Many maritime workers are under the protection of the LHWCA. These include such occupations as longshore workers and harbor workers, such as shipbuilders, ship repairers, and ship-breakers. Excluded under the act are United States government employees, individuals who caused their injuries through intoxication, and those who caused their injuries through deeds of purposeful self-harm. Interestingly, also excluded are seamen, both shipmasters and crew members, who are covered under a different provision, i.e. the Jones Act or Merchant Marine Act of 1920.

When state workers’ compensation is a viable alternative, the LHWCA also excludes a number of other occupations. These include those workers who perform administrative assistant tasks, the duties associated with a camp, club, or recreational facility, and those working in restaurants and retail establishments and the like.

What the LHWCA Covers, In Detail

  • Medical: The LHWCA covers the costs of all services performed by those in the medical profession as a result of the injury. Your medical care, surgery, hospital stay, and accompanying supplies are most of what the act covers. Another benefit is the payment of travel costs and mileage associated with the treatment of the injury.
  • Compensation of Pay: Not only are your medical needs covered but the LHWCA also gives you some percentage of original pay or salary. The act judges between the national average of weekly pay and your own weekly average. The numbers work out to your receiving no more than either your full average weekly pay or twice the national average of weekly pay. You will receive the lesser of the two. These averages are each taken from the time of your injury.
  • Disability: The LHWCA demarcates between four types of disability. Here is a quick breakdown of the pay you can expect under each of them.
  • Temporary and Permanent Total Disability:The injured will receive a total of 2/3 of his or her weekly average pay. The amount changes every year. It’s based on different iterations of the weekly national average pay. Temporary disability is subject to the current national weekly average applied to the time period of your injury. Permanent disability rates come from the previous year’s national weekly average pay.
  • Temporary and Permanent Partial Disability:The compensation for a temporary partial disability is also 2/3 of the weekly average pay. It is slightly more complicated for those with a permanent partial disability. The LHWCA provides a listing of temporary disabilities and the number of weeks the injured individual will receive the 2/3 average pay.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation: If you can’t return to work, the LHWCA provides for vocational rehabilitation, which is basically job retraining. You can get evaluated and tested, counseled and placed, and even possibly return to school. In fact, if schooling is your selected option, the act may pay for tuition, books, and other necessary supplies. There is also the possibility of a maintenance allowance of no more than $25 per week.
  • Death Benefit: If the employee is deceased because of an injury under the LHWCA, the surviving spouse is due 50% of his or her average weekly pay. This payment will last for the life of the spouse or until remarriage. If the deceased and spouse have children, the spouse is also due 16-and-2/3% for each child on top of the 50% payment. Surviving children, if no surviving spouse, get 50% of the average weekly wage for the first child and 66-and-2/3% for all other children. This sum is shared among the surviving children. Other surviving beneficiaries can include any grandparents, parents, siblings, or grandchildren that are dependent upon the deceased employee’s income.

Maintenance and Cure

Are you a longshore, harbor, shipbuilder, or ship repairer who’s affected by a work-related injury? It may fall under the LHWCA. If your injury has left you with few options and little hope, we would like to help you resolve your situation. We’ve solved many cases identical or similar to your own. Please feel free to drop us a line at 1 (800) 836-5830, so we can help you get your life back.

Source

https://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/elg/longshor.htm

https://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/FAQ/lsfaqs.htm

https://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/LS-560pam.htm

Looking Back at The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Although it’s been seven years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the environmental and human devastation may linger for generations. On April 20, 2010, the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico faltered, exploded and burned into the sea off the coast of Louisiana, dumping nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil. It topped a heartbreaking history of missteps that made tragedies such as the Exxon Valdez oil tanker pale in comparison. For families who lost loved ones and those whose health was damaged, it’s important to enlist the help of an experienced Jones Act attorney.

Deepwater Disaster

The offshore drilling rig was owned by Transocean and leased by BP oil. A natural gas explosion compromised the core and shot up into the platform causing a massive burn. Significant oil leakage didn’t actually occur for two days. Fully engulfed in fire, the rig finally collapsed on April 22 and that ruptured a riser used to discharge underground mud, opening the crude floodgates.

Looking Back at The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

An estimated 60,000 barrels per day contaminated the Gulf of Mexico until it was finally capped in mid-July. It was like watching a horrific car wreck, 24 hours a day for nearly three months. Unfortunately, capping the well was only the first step in halting a calamity that continues to do harm to this very day.

Environmental Damage

While ships and cleanup technologies were brought to bear as quickly as possible, the uncaptured oil created a visible slick stretching over a thousand square miles. And, more than 1,000 miles of coastline suffered tremendous pollution. As oil and tar balls hit the shore, beaches, marshes and brackish waterways had to be cleaned manually as birds, fish, shellfish and plant life withered and died. The harm caused by crude that settled on the ocean floor may never be completely quantified. But what may have done an equal amount of injury were the methods used to “clean up” the spill.

Efforts to corral and siphon the massive oil slick were only modestly effective in handling the spread. Much of it was set ablaze and huge plumes of black smoke rose into the air, damaging the lungs of emergency workers and seamen. Compounding the noxious burns was the fact that dispersants were dropped on uncontained slicks. At the time, the theory was that these substances would help break down the oil so that naturally occurring bacteria could metabolize it. Sadly, that strategy added to a wealth of human suffering over the long haul.

Impact on Seamen

It’s impossible to place a monetary value on the damage to your health or the loss of a loved one. Families such as the 11 brave workers killed during the Deepwater Horizon explosion and other offshore accidents are eligible to seek damages under the Jones Act. The 17 who suffered a debilitating offshore injury can seek compensation through what longshoremen lawyers more specifically call “Jones Act maintenance and cure.” That basically means forcing the insurance company to pay lost wages and medical bills to people like the injured crew of Deepwater Horizon. Over the years, BP oil and others have been — to some degree — held accountable and have been required to put more than $7.8 billion into settlement resources for people harmed by the calamity. Tragically, the oil burns and chemicals also inflicted harm on the men and women who worked tirelessly to protect the environment and people living along the coastline.

Civilian Impact

The decision to use Corexit as a dispersant may have created an unforeseen harm to the coastal population. According to the Center for Disease Control, Corexit can cause chemically-induced pneumonitis, skin and nervous system problems that include depression, vomiting, brain impairment, as well as liver and kidney damage. People living along the Gulf coast have experienced high rates of these and other health problems potentially linked to the 1.8 million gallons of the dangerous chemical. The Corexit cleanup tactic was basically a carpet bombing of the waters that families and their children swim in and the air they breathe every day. The move to cure the oil slicks can only be likened to the effect spraying Agent Orange on American soldiers had during the Vietnam War.

For many people, the Deepwater Horizon incident is not an environmental disaster that was cleaned up seven years ago. The harm done to the health and wellbeing of seamen and the civilian population may linger for lifetimes in some cases. If you or a loved one has suffered due to the Deepwater Horizon incident or the pollutants used in the cleanup, call us for a consultation.

Source

6 Reasons You Should Be Talking About Oil Rigs

The importance of oil rigs, oil production and oil prices in 2017 can’t be overstated. Oil has a profound effect on the world economy and the American economy. It also affects the lives of people all over the world. Spikes in oil production can spur jobs and convert economies of developing nations into first world economies. On the other hand, production from oil rigs can harm the environment. An overlooked issue, perhaps, is that oil rigs can also be dangerous.

Talking About Oil Rigs

Offshore accidents, of course, are in the news from time to time. The 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill demonstrated that. To refresh your memory, BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded, with catastrophic results. Almost five million barrels of oil were spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven people on the oil drilling crew died. Many others were injured and needed the help of a personal injury attorney or an offshore injury attorney to repair their lives. In addition, the spill destroyed many marine and wildlife habitats and damaged the area’s water, air and beaches.

The possibility of accidents is one reason that people should be talking about oil rigs. Here are six others:

1. The American Economy:

Oil production in the United States has doubled in recent years. When oil production doubles, the number of oil rigs also approximately doubles. A chart in the article “US Oil Rig Count Surges to Highest Since First Week of January” shows an incredible correlation between oil rigs and oil production. When the number of rigs in the U.S. increases, gas prices at U.S. pumps fall. This is great news for Americans who now have more money to spend on other goods and services. This also helps American companies producing those goods and services.

2. The World Economy:

Good news for Americans might be bad news for other nations. The Huffington Post article “Why Oil Stocks Will Be the Best Investment in 2016” reports that excess oil production has harmed the economies of other oil-producing nations. Companies in Algeria, Canada, Iraq, Nigeria, Russia and Saudi Arabia have had to cut their prices because demand is so high. Consequently, their profits have dropped. This has spurred the closure of 65 percent of foreign nations’ oil rigs.

3. The Trump Administration:

Increasing the number of jobs in the United States was a key platform in the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. Although many economics experts dispute that building oil pipelines will produce a lot of jobs, President Trump has reversed Obama Administration decisions on two pipelines: The drilling rigs at the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines — the kinds of rigs needed for on-land oil drilling — are now active.

4. The Environment:

Oil rigs are also an ongoing issue because many people believe that oil production harms the environment. Fear about oil’s impact on the environment was a factor in the Obama Administration’s decisions on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Environmentalists were also enraged that the Obama Administration approved opening up areas adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean for offshore oil drilling. The oil platforms — the kinds of rigs needed for offshore oil drilling — have had problems in the past with safety. The BP case was an example of that.

5. Salaries:

Working on an oil rig can be very lucrative. An engineer with no experience — a trainee — can earn $60,000 per year plus an additional $90 per day working on an oil rig. That is what Vice Magazine reports in the article “What It’s Like Working on an Offshore Oil Rig as a Woman.” People who are promoted get raises of $7,500 per year. In addition, directional driller salaries are “ridiculous,” the article reports. What’s “ridiculous”? How about $220,000 per year? In an era of dramatic income inequality — when salaries in numerous professions are way down — people should be talking about the salaries of oil rig workers.

6. Working Conditions:

Why can’t all news about jobs be good news? That’s not the real world. While salaries are good — often great — on an oil rig, working conditions are often difficult. The bad news is that workers can be told to work for more than 24 consecutive hours, according to the Vice article. That’s a formula for accidents. In addition, many people work night shifts. Others work every day for a month. Working like a dog also crimps workers’ personal lives. The bottom line is that turnover at rigs is very high. “They just work you until you’re broken and then you’re done,” said one worker.

Working on an oil rig is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. The risks are numerous. Explosions. Falling. Dangerous machinery. Dangerous chemicals. Isolation. Fatigue. Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P is so concerned about the dangers that it has established the Maintenance and Cure team at its law firm to help people who have suffered because of the risks of oil rig work.

The law firm has local maritime lawyers and offshore lawyers who are experts in maritime law. Our attorneys understand the Jones Act and many other laws that oil companies often violate. Our expertise in maritime law has helped more than a number of oil rig workers. Many workers have won more than $1 million in court cases and settlements.

If you are an oil rig worker who is concerned with conditions at your workplace and/or has been injured because of bad workplace conditions, please phone Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P at 1-800-836-5830. Calling us could be the best investment you ever made.

Source

  • http://fortune.com/2016/08/30/stock-market-worries/
  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gobankingrates/why-oil-stocks-will-be-th_b_9532562.html
  • https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/whats-life-like-as-a-young-woman-working-on-an-oil-rig
  • http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-23/us-oil-rig-count-surges-highest-first-week-january
  • http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/10-reasons-why-bp-got-off-and-offshore-oil-drilling-just-got-more-dangerous-20150312
  • http://maintenanceandcure.com/maintenance-and-cure/
  • http://maintenanceandcure.com/oil-rig-explosion-attorneys/
  • http://maintenanceandcure.com/
  • http://maintenanceandcure.com/oil-rig-workers-high-risk-injury/

The Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act

If you are a maritime worker, it is important that you are informed about the Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. The Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that covers maritime employees who have sustained work-related injuries. If you have sustained work-related maritime injuries on the navigable waters of the United States or adjoining areas, you may be entitled to compensation.

The LHWCA allows employees to seek compensation, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation services if required. It covers longshoreman, harbor workers, shipbuilders, and more. Don’t get the LHWCA confused with the Jones Act, which covers seamen. The LHWCA covers maritime-specific work.

Take a look at the graphic below to learn more about The Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act and be sure to contact your maritime injury attorney. They know the ins and outs of the LHWCA and can assist you in getting the compensation you deserve!

The Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act

Click below to embed this infographic into your website:

2017 Oil Prices, Rig County & the Economic Impact

How oil prices rise and fall is one of the many ways to determine the rate of economic growth. Oil prices are mainly determined by demand and supply forces in the market. The rate at which a country is producing oil will determine how the prices will be, and thus, the impact on the economy.

Various analysts have different views on what we should expect the oil prices to look like in 2017. There are those that expect prices to rise, and then, there are those that foresee a decline in prices. Whatever the case, the economy will be affected as well as the rate at which drilling activities will be carried out.

2017 Oil Prices, Rig County & the Economic Impact

What’s the forecast for prices in 2017?

The consumption rate of natural gas in 2015 was 74.7 billion cubic feet (BCF) per day. In 2016, it was 75.1 (BCF) per day. In 2017, the rate is expected to be 75.4 (BCF) per day, according to a report given by The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration). The high consumption rate expected in 2017 is due to high commercial, as well as residential, use of oil during the winter season.

According to Bank of America analysts, there have been consistent low oil prices in the U.S. This has led to demand growth over the past years. When there is a gap between supply and demand, prices tend to go up, and therefore prices are expected to be on the rise this year.

Additionally, the recent decision made by OPEC to reduce oil production will definitely push prices up. However, if the OPEC members, as well as non-members, refuse to adhere to the dialing back on production law, the pressure on pricing should be expected.

U.S. drillers are expected to react to the high prices by drilling more oil in an attempt to increase supply, which, in return, may reduce prices. And with the increase of drilling, maritime accident attorneys are likely to be impacted in 2017 as chances of  drilling accidents will increase

What is the expected Rig Count in the year 2017?

The movement to reduce oil production by OPEC, with an attempt to boost oil prices, is a great enforcement to the U.S. rig count in the year 2017, according to Platts RigDataThe rig count is expected to grow by 27% in 2017. With these forecasts, the following is expected:

  • Oil prices will increase as supply levels match that of the demand
  • Increase in oil production levels. Operators will focus on getting the best wells to drill oils. In this case, local maritime lawyers will be incorporated just in case something happens out in the field.
  • Production volumes will not increase largely as earlier expected.

The fact that the production volumes per well will be less only means that more wells need to be drilled. Platts RigData says that more than 11,000 wells are expected to be drilled in the year 2017. This is an increase in number of wells compared to the year 2016, which was 8,900 wells in total.

How local maritime lawyers can be of use to workers drilling or third parties

With the increase in number of wells, more people are likely to be employed to help in drilling. These will, therefore, increase employment levels, hence improving the standards of living. With all these employees working out in the field, the employees should at least have insurance coverage that can be used in case of an accident. This is where maritime lawyers come in.

While drilling, oil may spill into the water causing human and environmental harm in the sea. Harm may also be done to sailors especially if oil tanks being transported leak oil into the sea.

As for sailors who get into accidents either transporting oil or gas tanks, the Jones Act should be their way of getting compensation. The employers of sailors should be able to compensate sailors when an accident occurs during work. Nevertheless, the Jones Actis able to protect Americans injured at sea and therefore, sailors should familiarize themselves with such laws.

Forecast on the effect of increasing wells or drilling

There are those of others who are bearish in nature, while there are those who are bulls. As for the bulls, the factors below are the key determinants of oil prices in 2017:

  • Demand for US gasoline
  • Low levels of production and the law on reducing production by OPEC
  • Imports and demands of India’s crude oil
  • Decline in Russia’s crude oil production
  • Imports from China

Bearish people, on the other hand, believe that oil prices will decrease once wells are increased. The main drivers for most bearish beliefs include:

  • Energy policy implemented by Donald Trump
  • High U.S. oil inventories
  • High production of crude oil in Nigeria and Libya
  • Supply outages globally

With all these facts, there is a likelihood of supply imbalance all through the year, despite increased spending.

What to look out for as you invest in the oil sector in 2017

So many factors indicate an increase in oil prices as well as rig count in the year 2017. However, competition from other producing countries can cause a major drift in demand. This means that demand may increase or decrease but in most cases, it is likely to go down due to stiff competition. When this happens, prices will definitely go down.

Another thing to look out for is natural disasters that are completely unexpected. Such disasters may lead to oil depletion and thus low supply. Anything like a terrorist attack on oil hubs can also cause a major impact on demand and supply of oil.

With all these facts, it is good that you make an informed decision before investing your money based on forecasts.

How will oil prices and rig count affect the US economy?

In the year 2015, prices of oil were quite low. This impacted the US economy in various ways. Some of these ways included:

  • High rate of unemployment. This was mainly for those workers in the oil industry
  • Increased rate of spending
  • Increased consumption rate and thus economic growth
  • Decline in corporate profitability

2015 was a year when oil prices declined. As we said earlier, prices are determined by two forces namely demand and supply. In the year 2015, demand was low whereas, supply was very high. In order to determine how forces of demand and supply affect prices, a model showing a correlation of oil prices with other financial variables is used.

Using that model, the World Economic Forum was able to know that demand for oil toward the end of 2016 was declining at a high rate. With the same model, the prices in 2017 are likely to be high.

Let’s look at how this increase in prices will affect the economy. Some of the implications include:

  • Employment opportunitiesMost wells have a short production life. This means that there is always another well being drilled in search of oil. All this drilling requires truck drivers, drilling machines and drilling workers among others. Apart from that, whenever there is an activity going on, businesses arise. For example, hotels, hospitals and other social platforms are likely to emerge. All these lead to job growth.
  • Low standards of living

Most people use oil in one way or another. When prices increase, it only means that they spend more on oil and less on buying household items. It is not only households that are affected by the high oil prices, businesses also suffer a great deal. This is because most of their goods are transported or shipped from one place to another by cars or vessels that use oil. This makes production costs very high which, in turn, makes all the prices to hike.

  • Inflation

Increase in prices leads to inflation. Oil prices affect all prices of goods made with crude oil, and it affects the cost of transportation, production and heating. With all the prices hiking, the value of a dollar declines and, thus, one may have a lot of dollars but just manage to buy very few items.

Economic Impact

  • Slow or low economic growth

With oil prices rising, the cost of production also increases. The demand and supply of goods get affected in the long run. For instance, supply of goods will reduce since the cost of production is very high, whereas demand reduces because people prefer to save their money for future days or for more basic things.

Decrease in demand and supply means that the level of consumption is also decreasing and, thus, low economic growth.

  • Recessions

When oil prices increase, people tend to use their money just on basic things. This is because, despite the prices rising, the salaries or wages remain the same yet the cost of living has increased. When fewer people go on vacations or to restaurants for leisure activities, then the economy is no longer growing. A country can, therefore, be said to be undergoing a recession period.

  • Government finances reduce

Since the rate of unemployment is very high, the government is forced to spend a lot of money on unemployment benefits. On top of that, taxes reduce since few people are working and for those working, the salaries are too small to generate enough income in the form of taxes for the government. In the end, the government ends up spending more than it receives, and this may cause the country to take loans from other countries and thus debts increase.

With all these facts in mind, investors need to invest wisely in oil companies, and citizens need to prepare for what is expected to happen in the year 2017. As for employees working in the sea or those drilling wells, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with maritime laws just to be on the safe side in case of any accidents or oil explosions.

For more information on maritime lawyers or the Jones Act, please read more from the Maintenance and Cure Company, and also visit our contact us page today. We care about your problems, and you can be assured of getting the best services from us.

Source

https://ourfiniteworld.com/2013/01/17/ten-reasons-why-high-oil-prices-are-a-problem/

http://marketrealist.com/2017/02/energy-calendar-crude-oil-natural-gas-traders-february-13-17/

http://fueloilnews.com/2016/10/21/forecast-rig-count-to-grow-by-nearly-a-third-in-2017/

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-07/oil-prices-rig-count-and-economic-im

FREE confidential case Evaluation
Contact our experienced maritime attorneys to see if you have a case.

 
 
 
 
 

* Please be aware that your submission of this contact form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Featured In:

Recently
Filed Cases

Recent
Successful Cases
Jones Act Lawyer

tbls

We have board certified personal injury trial lawyers prepared to take on your case. Details

 

bbb

Newsweek Leaders in Maritime
FREE confidential case Evaluation
Contact our experienced maritime attorneys to see if you have a case.

 
 
 
 
 

* Please be aware that your submission of this contact form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Recently
Filed Cases

Recent
Successful Cases

Blog

Assessing the Jones Act: The Rights Your Employer Doesn’t Want You to Know

Workplace safety is never more important than when you work at sea. From drowning to falling to slipping on the deck, maritime employees face a variety of serious threats on a daily basis, which employers are responsible for protecting them from. The Jones Act establishes your rights as a seaman, allowing you to hold accountable any employer who does not adequately protect your safety.

Posted in General, Jones Act

U.S.S. Fitzgerald Sailors Awoke to a Disaster at Sea

The United States Navy destroyer Fitzgerald departed early on a Saturday morning from the American base at Yokosuka, Japan. It was still dark, but the weather was clear. Only a handful of the 350 sailors would have been awake. The crew had mere minutes to prepare for the collision on the starboard side which killed 7 crew members. 116 members of the crew were still asleep when the collision happened.

Posted in Jones Act, News

Getting Familiar with the Jones Act

Under the Jones Act, injured maritime workers have the right to compensation. That wasn’t always true.

Once upon a time, if a maritime worker suffered an accident on the job and sustained an injury, they were out of luck. The law provided no means of redress, even if their employer proved negligent.

Posted in General, Jones Act, News

The Severity of Maritime Piracy Crimes

Pirates—those much-romanticized scourges of centuries past—are still very much with us today, as viewers of the nightly news can attest. The unlawful activities of modern-day pirates on the high seas have achieved notoriety around the globe.

Navigating Your LHWCA Injury Claim

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or LHWCA, provides compensation to a select group of maritime workers in the event of disability, illness, injury or death if it happens on the job in applicable locations. LHWCA compensation may cover full or partial medical costs, living expenses and the costs associated with rehabilitation and occupational retraining. This compensation is referred to as the costs of maintenance and cure.

Posted in General, Jones Act

A Maritime Worker’s Rights and the LHWCA

The LHWCA (Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act) is the lifeline of many maritime workers injured on the job. Most injured individuals will find they fit the LHWCA requirements, although qualifications for coverage are strict. The protections and policy ins-and-outs of the act mean the injured worker needs to do a little digging to get the information. However, the longshoremen lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer, & Harris, L.L.P.,

Posted in General, Jones Act, News

Looking Back at The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Although it’s been seven years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the environmental and human devastation may linger for generations. On April 20, 2010, the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico faltered, exploded and burned into the sea off the coast of Louisiana, dumping nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil. It topped a heartbreaking history of missteps that made tragedies such as the Exxon Valdez oil tanker pale in comparison.

6 Reasons You Should Be Talking About Oil Rigs

The importance of oil rigs, oil production and oil prices in 2017 can’t be overstated. Oil has a profound effect on the world economy and the American economy. It also affects the lives of people all over the world. Spikes in oil production can spur jobs and convert economies of developing nations into first world economies.

The Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act

If you are a maritime worker, it is important that you are informed about the Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. The Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that covers maritime employees who have sustained work-related injuries. If you have sustained work-related maritime injuries on the navigable waters of the United States or adjoining areas, you may be entitled to compensation.

Posted in General, Jones Act, News

2017 Oil Prices, Rig County & the Economic Impact

How oil prices rise and fall is one of the many ways to determine the rate of economic growth. Oil prices are mainly determined by demand and supply forces in the market. The rate at which a country is producing oil will determine how the prices will be, and thus, the impact on the economy.

Page 1 of 2212345...1020...Last »
Jones Act Lawyer

tbls

We have board certified personal injury trial lawyers prepared to take on your case. Details

 

bbb

Newsweek Leaders in Maritime
FREE confidential case Evaluation
Contact our experienced maritime attorneys to see if you have a case.

 
 
 
 
 

* Please be aware that your submission of this contact form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Jones Act Lawyer

tbls

We have board certified personal injury trial lawyers prepared to take on your case. Details

 

bbb

Newsweek Leaders in Maritime
Recently
Filed Cases

Blog

Assessing the Jones Act: The Rights Your Employer Doesn’t Want You to Know

Workplace safety is never more important than when you work at sea. From drowning to falling to slipping on the deck, maritime employees face a variety of serious threats on a daily basis, which employers are responsible for protecting them from. The Jones Act establishes your rights as a seaman, allowing you to hold accountable any employer who does not adequately protect your safety.

Posted in General, Jones Act

U.S.S. Fitzgerald Sailors Awoke to a Disaster at Sea

The United States Navy destroyer Fitzgerald departed early on a Saturday morning from the American base at Yokosuka, Japan. It was still dark, but the weather was clear. Only a handful of the 350 sailors would have been awake. The crew had mere minutes to prepare for the collision on the starboard side which killed 7 crew members. 116 members of the crew were still asleep when the collision happened.

Posted in Jones Act, News

Getting Familiar with the Jones Act

Under the Jones Act, injured maritime workers have the right to compensation. That wasn’t always true.

Once upon a time, if a maritime worker suffered an accident on the job and sustained an injury, they were out of luck. The law provided no means of redress, even if their employer proved negligent.

Posted in General, Jones Act, News

The Severity of Maritime Piracy Crimes

Pirates—those much-romanticized scourges of centuries past—are still very much with us today, as viewers of the nightly news can attest. The unlawful activities of modern-day pirates on the high seas have achieved notoriety around the globe.

Navigating Your LHWCA Injury Claim

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or LHWCA, provides compensation to a select group of maritime workers in the event of disability, illness, injury or death if it happens on the job in applicable locations. LHWCA compensation may cover full or partial medical costs, living expenses and the costs associated with rehabilitation and occupational retraining. This compensation is referred to as the costs of maintenance and cure.

Posted in General, Jones Act

A Maritime Worker’s Rights and the LHWCA

The LHWCA (Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act) is the lifeline of many maritime workers injured on the job. Most injured individuals will find they fit the LHWCA requirements, although qualifications for coverage are strict. The protections and policy ins-and-outs of the act mean the injured worker needs to do a little digging to get the information. However, the longshoremen lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer, & Harris, L.L.P.,

Posted in General, Jones Act, News

Looking Back at The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Although it’s been seven years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the environmental and human devastation may linger for generations. On April 20, 2010, the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico faltered, exploded and burned into the sea off the coast of Louisiana, dumping nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil. It topped a heartbreaking history of missteps that made tragedies such as the Exxon Valdez oil tanker pale in comparison.

6 Reasons You Should Be Talking About Oil Rigs

The importance of oil rigs, oil production and oil prices in 2017 can’t be overstated. Oil has a profound effect on the world economy and the American economy. It also affects the lives of people all over the world. Spikes in oil production can spur jobs and convert economies of developing nations into first world economies.

The Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act

If you are a maritime worker, it is important that you are informed about the Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. The Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that covers maritime employees who have sustained work-related injuries. If you have sustained work-related maritime injuries on the navigable waters of the United States or adjoining areas, you may be entitled to compensation.

Posted in General, Jones Act, News

2017 Oil Prices, Rig County & the Economic Impact

How oil prices rise and fall is one of the many ways to determine the rate of economic growth. Oil prices are mainly determined by demand and supply forces in the market. The rate at which a country is producing oil will determine how the prices will be, and thus, the impact on the economy.

Page 1 of 2212345...1020...Last »
Maritime Injury Lawyers

Speak With A Maritime Lawyer Now
Calls Answered 24/7


Board Certified Attorneys

We are maritime injury attorneys that have recovered millions for our injured clients. We have always been a strong advocate for maritime personal injury victims and the families of those who are killed while working in service of a vessel or under the Jones Act law. Our concern is for the safety of those involved and helping their families find out the whereabouts and conditions of their loved ones.

These are some of the diverse groups of injured workers we have represented:

  • Jones Act seamen
  • Workers on oil rigs, offshore platforms and jack-up rigs
  • Crews and workers on barges, supply boats, tankers, freighters and other vessels

The list is by no means comprehensive. If you are unsure whether you qualify as a Jones Act seamen or whether you might be covered by other maritime regulations, it’s vital that you contact our maritime lawyers today to learn about your rights.

We have represented workers and their families in the following disasters:

  • Deepwater Horizon Disaster
  • M/V Jillian Morrison Explosion
  • Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. Barge B No. 125 Explosion
  • British Petroleum Texas City Refinery Explosion
  • Phillips 66 Refinery Explosion

The team of Jones Act attorneys and maritime lawyers at SMSH have over 100 years of combined trial experience. Contact our Jones Act lawyers today for a free, confidential case evaluation.

Why Hire the Worldwide Jones Act, Offshore & Maritime Injury Lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris?

The Jones Act and maritime injury lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris have spent more than five decades representing seamen, longshoremen and other maritime workers, and recovered millions of dollars for our clients. SMSH has always been a strong advocate for maritime personal injury victims and the families of those who are killed while working in service of a vessel. Our concern is for the safety of those involved and helping their families find out the whereabouts and conditions of their loved ones, as well as recovering the compensation they are entitled to for injuries, medical bills and other damages.

Here are some of the reasons why thousands of injured maritime workers have chosen Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris to represent their interests:

  • We have recovered over $620 million dollars for offshore and maritime workers, including recovery of $17.5 million in the largest Jones Act settlement ever paid by the United States government.
  • Each of our Jones Act attorneys and maritime injury lawyers has more than 25 years of experience, with total of more than 100 years of trial experience for the team.
  • Our maritime injury lawyers have represented clients in some of the nation’s worst maritime and refinery disasters, including: the Deepwater Horizon explosion; the M/V Jillian Morrison explosion; the Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. Barge B No. 125 explosion; the British Petroleum Texas City Refinery explosion; and the Phillips 66 Refinery explosion.
  • As dedicated maritime injury and Jones Act attorneys, we understand the financial difficulties that families often face when a loved one is injured and unable to work. Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris offers interest free loans to assist our clients with day-to-day living expenses while waiting for the conclusion of their case.
  • Our attorneys provide assistance to maritime, offshore and port workers across the United States.
  • We have board certified Personal Injury Trial lawyers.
 

The Maritime Attorney Difference

Maritime and offshore accidents fall under a different set of laws than other personal injury or workers’ compensation claims. There are specific maritime laws that govern claims, including the Jones Act, the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and general maritime laws. To receive the full protections these laws offer, it’s crucial to have an attorney who understands the complexities of each. If you’ve been injured while working on a vessel, offshore or in one of the nation’s many ports, contact the Jones Act attorneys at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris today for a free consultation.
Our experienced offshore injury lawyers have handled cases throughout the Gulf of Mexico coastal region of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, and represented clients from all 50 states of the United States. We have years of experience representing the crew working on inland waters such as the Mississippi River, Ohio River, Kentucky River, the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and many more. We have also handled cases worldwide in countries as far away as the Ukraine and Israel. We routinely represent clients from the Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. We have also made claims for clients from Columbia, Venezuela, Bangladesh, The Philippines, Romania, Croatia, England, Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands, Russia, China, Mexico, and Brazil.

Time is of the Essence

If you or a member of your family has been seriously injured or killed as the result of an offshore accident, please speak to a qualified maritime lawyer before talking to your employer or any insurance company or adjuster. If you work on a vessel, boat, barge, tanker, fishing boat, an offshore drilling rig or platform, or any other kind of ship, you may qualify for Jones Act compensation. Working in, on, or near water means you need the specially-trained legal assistance of the Board Certified maritime lawyers of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.

A few small tidbits of advice for the injured offshore worker:

  1. Fill out an accident report or incident paperwork as soon as possible after your injury.
  2. If your employer gives you any paperwork to sign, have it reviewed by a competent maritime lawyer so you don’t waive your rights to more money.
  3. Do not give a recorded statement to anyone without first seeking legal counsel.
  4. Do not accept the word of a company doctor as to the extent of your injuries, seek out your own doctor for a second-opinion.
We are Worldwide Jones Act attorneys and Maritime lawyers with over 100 years combined experience in Maritime Personal Injury Cases and we have handled thousands of cases. Your initial consultation for your maritime accident case is FREE. You pay us nothing unless we win your case and get you money. Call a maritime lawyer NOW at 1-800-836-5830 or e-mail us at info@smslegal.com.

How can we help?

captcha
* Please be aware that your submission of this contact form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Recent Successful Cases

$17.5 Million in Jones Act Deckhand Case

 

In March 2008, our client was employed as a deckhand in a shipyard. He suffered a head injury.

Read More


$2.5 Million Recovered in Jones Act Case

 

While on stern of tug attempting to hook up a barge, the “L” line became tight, broke, hit our client,

Read More


$1.6 Million Recovered for Offshore Workers

 

On April 20, 2007, while working as blasters, painting an offshore rig on a platform, our two clients injured

Read More