Oil Exec Apologizes For Blaming Filipino Workers In Louisiana Blast
Black Elk Energy executive John Hoffman apologized last month for blaming Filipino workers in an November explosion on an offshore oil platform. Three workers died in the accident, which occurred off the coast of Louisiana.
The fire began on a rig that was owned by Houston-based energy company, Black Elk Energy. Hoffman at the time attributed the accident to worker error. The apology was conveyed through Philippine Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr.
The explosion happened in the same week that BP settled all criminal charges arising out of the 2010 oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. BP has agreed to pay $4 billion to settle all charges arising out of the explosion, which killed 11 workers. The offshore BP explosion triggered a massive environmental spill, believed to be the largest maritime disaster in history.
The offshore injury lawyers at Schechter McElwee Shaffer and Harris represent offshore oil rig and platform workers who have been injured in accidents in the Gulf of Mexico. If you have been injured in an offshore accident, consult an experienced maritime lawyer at our firm.
Houston Jones Act Attorney: What To Look For In Your Search For Legal Representation
Under the Jones Act, qualified maritime workers are able to seek compensation for injuries sustained in the course of their work. If you’re looking for a Houston Jones Act attorney, maritime workers should know some things about this federal law.
This maritime legislation allows for the compensation of seamen who have been injured, a seaman is defined as someone who works on a vessel who meets certain qualifications, which a Houston Jones Act attorney can help determine whether whether you do. But if you are a Southeast Texas resident who needs a lawyer experienced in this area of maritime law, how do you choose the right legal representative?
In your first stop in your search for a Houston Jones Act attorney, area maritime workers should consult family and friends. Finding someone you trust who has used the services of a maritime lawyer previously will be great because you can get an honest opinion on his or her services. Don’t choose based solely on a referral, though, before personally meeting your prospective legal representative.
When doing research for a qualified Houston Jones Act attorney, local maritime workers can also benefit from doing Internet searches. Be sure to include “Houston” in your search phrasing to get the benefit of finding lawyers in your area. Avoid anyone who asks for credit card information or to transact business entirely online as these could be scams. When your list of prospects is finished, schedule consultations to get a feel for which attorney you connect with best.
To find the right Houston Jones Act attorney, maritime workers can also look to see if there are lawyer referral services available to them. Many communities offer these types of services to certain groups such as the disabled, immigrants, elderly, etc. You may be able to get attorney services for a discounted rate through a referral service.
Finally, you have your list of options. The search is narrowed down to just a few candidates and you are conducting interviews of your prospects. Look for someone you feel comfortable with and has personal chemistry with you. Having a good rapport with your Jones Act attorney Houston will go a long way in helping win your maritime claim.
Another aspect to consider in your consultations is communication. Your Houston Jones Act attorney should have great communications skills and be easily reachable, returning calls or emails within a reasonable timeframe. Delays can be costly for your case, so you need a lawyer who has the time to dedicate to you and your case.
Experience in maritime law goes a long way when it comes to choosing a Houston Jones Act attorney seamen can count on. Ask about their prior experience with cases similar to yours, their overall track record in winning cases, and how long they have been practicing as a maritime attorney.
NTSB: Houston Ship Channel Collision A Result Of Pilot Error
The National Transportation Safety Board has confirmed that its investigation ruled pilot error as the cause of an October 2011 vessel collision in the Houston Ship Channel.
A Greek-flagged chemical tanker, the Elka Apollon, was inbound in the channel while the container ship was inbound. Both ship’s pilots had earlier agreed by radio to pass near the Houston and Bayport ship channels’ intersection. As the vessels were about to pass each other, the Elka Apollon tanker’s pilot failed to correct the vessel’s path; it crossed the channel and crashed into the container ship.
Some of the containers fell onto the chemical tanker’s deck, but no fatalities resulted from the accident. No injuries were reported.
The NTSB investigation found the inappropriate response of the Elka Apollon pilot was the cause of the incident. Other factors that contributed include the narrow waterway and density of traffic in the channel at that time. Those factors, and the channel’s banke effects, allowed for very little room for error in navigation.
The Jones Act attorneys of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris have spent decades representing crewmembers who have been injured while working on container ships and chemical tankers.
Electrical Injuries A Risk For Maritime Workers
Although electrical injuries may be a risk for many forms of work, maritime workers could be at a particularly high risk of serious injury.
For maritime workers, the constistently wet work environment that they labor in increases the risk of suffering serious injuries if they come in contact with a live power line or exposed wiring, or experience a malfunctioning tool.
Electrical injuries run the gamut of severity, from mild shock to fatal electrocution. Other injuries can include burns, cardiac arrythmia and loss of consciousness. When electrocuted, the current can cause the worker to be thrown, which can result in other injuries such as fractures, brain injuries or spinal cord injuries.
If the injuries are severe enough to cause nerve damage, all or part of limb function can be affected. That can translate to a dramatic decrease in their income as it may prevent the worker from returning to his regular job function.
Workers employed on vessels such as cruise lines, tankers, cargo ships, barges or tugboats may be covered under the Jones Act in the event of an electricity related injury. Maintenance and cure benefits may apply, which can cover medical expenses and living costs. Other damages may also be recovered.
For harbor workers, longshoremen, ship yard hands or workers in ship building facilities, compensation may be possible under the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act.
Maritime Employee Injuries Versus Cruise Ship Injuries
There are lots of legal guidelines, statutes plus precedents which will are relevant specifically to maritime law. There are actually different guidelines and compensation rules for sailors, dock workers, shipbuilders among others who work in port environments. Cargo vessels and cruise ships are frequently owned by individuals of other nations or listed in other countries around the world. Which means international laws as well as treaties could be relevant.
If you have been injured on a docking station, on a ship or even while doing work in any kind of maritime trade, you’ll need a lawyer who is familiar with maritime lawsuits. If you were injured on a cruise ship, you will need the services of a law office that includes cruise ship injury lawyers.
Maritime law, also referred to as admiralty law, is a group of laws that addresses accidents on the ocean plus in port environments which include docks, dry-docks and inland waterways. Dependant upon the situation, a federal court or a state court may have jurisdiction over the legal claim. There are actually deadlines regarding processing injury lawsuits that have to be fulfilled. These kinds of deadlines vary dependent on if the injury took place on a ship or on land.
There is yet another due date if a death was involved. Cruise ship injury lawyers are fully aware of these deadlines. They’ll be proficient in filing maritime lawsuits, and will know when and where to file based on the particular circumstances.
If you’re a dockworker or sailor and you’ve been injured at work, you need a maritime attorney. You have unique privileges to damages that don’t cover non-maritime staff. You might have rights to lost wages, room and board and medical bills even if you were at fault. You’ll need a competent legal professional to assist you through the procedure for making your legal claim.
In the event your injury was a result of the negligence of the ship’s owner, it is all the more crucial that you have got a lawyer to protect your legal rights. Its possible you have rights within a federal law referred to as Jones Act, which includes medical bills, lost money-earning potential, physical and mental pain and disfigurement. There are lots of requirements as well as cut-off dates associated with this kind of lawsuit.
Wounds While On Cruise Ships
Maritime lawsuits regarding injuries on-board cruise vessels carry their own unique special conditions and deadlines. Your admission included numerous pages of conditions and terms that specified your legal rights. This paperwork also specified the procedure that has to be observed to make a claim.
Federal legislation states that you must abide by those terms to ensure success in your lawsuit. For example, cruise vessels could enforce a filing due date of a year. They might in addition demand that the suit be filed within their home port. Which means you may have to file in a location like Miami or Galveston. This may be in a totally different state or even on the complete opposite coast from you.
The seasoned legal professionals at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris have been successfully dealing with maritime lawsuits for over 45 years. If you have been hurt as a maritime worker or aboard a cruise ship, make contact with them right now to determine whether you do have a claim.
Repressing Maritime Piracy Within World wide Regulations
Maritime piracy has been around virtually as long as maritime delivery and commerce. Learning a tad regarding the track record of prosecuting pirates and in what ways intercontinental legislation has advanced can help a maritime lawyer when it comes to instances concerning affected individuals associated with this situation criminal offense.
Regarded As Crime Against Business
Before, maritime customs quickly formulated to help grant jurisdiction for any region in order to file suit maritime pirates. It was simply because those that robbed the goods from freighters and also damaged crewmembers and also guests were definitely viewed as foes among all individuals and also invaders associated with business.
Maritime piracy can cause the expense of products transferred by way of sea to rise, equally by means of cutting down the availability of products within the open industry, and through setting off rates to rise.
High Court On The High Seas
Those accused of maritime piracy were generally subject to summary trials onboard naval vessels. The commanders of naval ships for any land were viewed as permitted to perform trials should they or their crews saw or even obtained details about acts of piracy relating to the high seas.
The impact of the extensive leeway that nautical commanders and admiralty courts had regarding getting convictions for maritime piracy was that piracy was efficiently suppressed until very late in the Twentieth century, when pirates grew to be operating off of the coastline of Somalia.
Hot Spot Of Maritime Piracy Off Somalia Coast
At least one valid reason pirates picked waters off the coast of Somalia in order to gain access to goods and also control ships to obtain ransom was that the government in Somalia had been unsuccessful. Clearly there was nobody regarding Somalia to be able to file a claim against acts of piracy. Some other governments were generally not wanting to file a claim against such offences due to its expense along with political significances. Bordering countries were many times unwilling to be considered prosecutors of people who successfully removed dollars or possibly goods from First World countries or even firms.
Maritime Piracy And International Rules
There has been some conversation of trying acts involving piracy committed on the ocean at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. All of the reasons against doing this are generally that it would likely stretch the sources of the court and also sidetrack the legal court from its primary task of trying cases of genocide, war crimes, and other such criminal offenses which are considered severe criminal acts towards mankind. Even though people are frequently harmed plus slain in piratical acts, piracy is regarded as by many to be more of an economic crime than towards human beings.
In 1947, the United Nations set up the United Nations Convention relating to the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This convention gave a selected definition of piracy, that a maritime lawyer needs to be well familiar. Bringing legal charges against piratical activity is deemed inside the jurisdiction from any nation, given that all places are impacted by piracy. UNCLOS sets forth policies regarding prosecuting charged pirates to ensure that their standard individual legal rights will not be violated.
Identifying Maritime Piracy
The concept of maritime piracy with UNCLOS is a lot more detailed compared to earlier definitions under intercontinental regulations. The UNCLOS description involves acts perpetrated onboard aircraft plus seagoing ships.
More to the point for any maritime lawyer, the UNCLOS distinction stipulates that acts need to be perpetrated outside the jurisdiction of any state. If the act transpires inside the territorial waters associated with a region, it really is in the jurisdiction of that particular region. A maritime lawyer should be aware of that some locations are generally not wanting to prosecute piracy under global jurisdiction because they are apprehensive that the charged, if prosecuted successfully, may inquire about asylum for themselves along with their members of the family as soon as they have served their term of prison time.
In case you’ve ever been the target of maritime piracy, seek advice from the experienced maritime lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris to understand what choices are accessible to you.
Clock Is Ticking On Submitting A Jones Act Lawsuit
Maritime accidents are really a exclusive kind of claim. Somebody’s right to a maritime claim with an injury that transpired at sea can differ with the position of the person, perhaps the hurt individual is a traveler or possibly a crewmember of the ship on which the actual damage took place.
The legalities involving any sort of accident covered by maritime law are often different from any sort of accident that occur on land, plus the time frame you must document the claim may well significantly be determined by your situation. For any person injured on the ocean, the advice of a Jones Act attorney is critical.
Personal injuries to Seamen
The Jones Act is a federal government law which gives injured seamen the authority to bring a case when they are wounded onboard a vessel. As a maritime law claim is often intricate, wounded seamen frequently seek out the recommendation from a Jones Act attorney, a maritime law professional.
To reach your goals in a Jones Act lawsuit, the hurt seaman will have to establish the fact that the employer was in fact irresponsible and / or the fact that the manager permitted the actual vessel to become “unseaworthy.”? A skilled maritime attorney has experienced many types of maritime incidents and may quickly assess if the harmed seaman has a maritime claim, even if in line with neglect, unseaworthiness or both.
How Long do You actually Really have to Report a Jones Act Claim?
Every kind of legal claim possesses a limitation concerning the length of time that you could bring a case. This is called the Statute of Limitations. Jones Act cases have a three-year time limit. This means that you’ve 36 months to file for a lawsuit; or you will definitely be fully banned from trying to get a resolution. Statutes of limitations are very exact, and at this time there are few exclusions. Certain instances are simple. In cases where, by way of example, a seaman falls and then breaks a leg, the time limit is probably 3 years using the date involving the actual slip.
Personal injuries Resulting from Poisonous Elements – Unique Issues on Time Limitations
Injuries a result of dangerous materials are frequent in Jones Act cases. What if a seaman experiences a trauma via inhaling a deadly element then displays no indications for more than 3 years? The particular statute of limitations in these cases will begin from the point when the seaman realized or reasonably should’ve known of his injury, not the exact breathing in itself, which often can rarely ever come to be recognised. This law just isn’t totally straightforward on the topic of potential problems that may very well result from an injury. For example, a seaman slips straight into a drum of benzene, an incredibly harmful chemical. He suffers immediate injuries such as skin burns, headaches and also tummy problems. Nevertheless the long lasting effect might be a lot more significant: cancer. For this reason a highly trained Jones Act attorney should be contacted. Any time a claim settles, the experienced maritime attorney will know the fact that the release form needs to take account regarding long term future complications.
With the very first indication of indicators the seaman, soon after going after health advice, will need to seek the advice of the Jones Act attorneys of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris who can describe the particular legalised choices available. A maritime injury is often sad, perhaps even devastating. But still sadder is often a scenario where a seaman forfeited his or her rights to make a claim due to the fact the case is barred by way of the statute of limitations.
Visiting a Maritime Lawyer for the First Time
Maritime law is actually a broad, and particularly complicated, portion of law that may go into a selection of issues. Regardless of your particular need, deciding on your maritime attorney is definitely important to the success associated with your claim or transaction. Here are a few crucial issues to bear in mind whenever getting together with a prospective maritime attorney at law the first time:
1. Exactly what is Their Certain Area of Maritime Law Experience?
As described previously, maritime law addresses a wide variety of claims and requirements. These days, a maritime issue may also frequently cross international borders so you want to understand what would be the complete percentage of cases taken care of by way of the maritime legal representative. You ought to ensure your type of case falls into a legal area that the attorney at law actually is definitely investing almost all of their work-time.
2. Exactly how Strong is Their Knowledge in That Section of Maritime Law?
It’s also advisable to ask your potential maritime legal representative how much time they have been dealing with your kind of case. Considering that an understanding of many countries’ maritime protocols as well as international conventions will be important, you will additionally need to ask about what other jurisdictions plus legal systems they’ve already needed to understand in cases. You ought to absolutely additionally find out about their success rate with your style of case.
3. Can The Maritime Lawyer Make Clear The Legalities As Well As Legal System To You Clearly?
Your legal representative will certainly be your representation in all of the negotiations on terms with other parties plus in legal proceedings, if they ever become necessary. On the other hand, this really is still your claim and you should try to be a proactive individual in it. When you meet up with a prospective maritime legal professional, he or she should be able to give you a distinct, simple clarification of maritime law and legal courts. When you present the specifics involving your claim, she or he should also be in a position to be able to distinctly give an explanation of just what some of your legal choices may be.
This kind of discussion during an initial getting together with is vital for a couple of reasons. To start with, by just listening to your probable legal options through the different law firm candidates you meet up with, you’ll be able to get a sense, selection of resources, of your legal situation. Maybe even more importantly, you’ll also get a feeling of your rapport and also quality of interaction with every maritime attorney with which you communicate. By having a good personal rapport, with very clear communication, together with lawyer is both beneficial to becoming successful plus decreasing the worry regarding dealing with legalities.
4. Help Your Maritime Legal representative Help You
The level of your connection with your attorney will likely rely on just how well you correspond with them. Even if you ultimately make a decision not to seek the services of that individual attorney, your discussion with that legal representative remains guarded by the attorney-client privilege, which means tell the truth. Answer questions the legal representative has of you fully as well as truthfully. You’re not doing yourself any kind of favors in your search for the best legal professional if you keep important information and / or deceive the attorney at law.
It could also be beneficial to your maritime attorney if you provide any sort of pertinent papers, photographs, or even information along.
If you want maritime legal professionals who definitely have a diverse range of expertise in maritime claims, make contact with Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris today.
Maritime Lawyer Will Help Figure out Jurisdiction Issues Regarding Maritime Cases
If you were damaged in a maritime accident or possibly already been the sufferer of a criminal offense while on a cruise, the question of which court has authority will be particularly important for you.
Jurisdiction determines which court or courts possess authority to hear a criminal or possibly municipal lawsuit, which could be really complicated with regards to maritime claims. A maritime attorney is the ideal particular person to help you to select which courtroom or courts may have jurisdiction in your unique situation; yet, there are a few basic criteria that will help you choose where to submit.
U.S. Waters Or International Waters?
Prior to getting in to concerns regarding state or federal jurisdiction, it’s important to know how wherever an incident takes place could affect any courtroom cases that might originate from it.
The actual laws guiding a ship begin with what flag that vessel is flying below. In general, a ship is controlled by the rules connected with whichever country’s flag it flies (indicating where the vessel is certainly authorized). Nevertheless, the actual region where an event transpires should also be looked at while determining jurisdiction. These basic recommendations will help you, yet consulting a maritime attorney is necessary in deciding just what protection under the law you might have in your certain circumstance.
Every time a vessel is within some other nation’s internal waters — bays and / or ports, for example — the actual vessel, the staff, as well as travelers are actually governed by any rules of that nation. Typically the host nation’s regulations normally pertain within the territorial waters, also. This runs to as much as A dozen miles in the country’s coast. As soon as a vessel hits international waters (Twenty four miles from the shoreline), all the laws and regulations of this vessel’s nation of origination apply.
State And Federal Jurisdiction
Within the U.S. Constitution, federal government courts keep jurisdiction regarding occurrences which occur on the ocean or inside the navigable waters of the United States. This particular authority is not mutually exclusive, though. The aggrieved party could also submit the maritime claims throughout state court if the state’s laws and regulations supply help in the specified type of lawsuit.
For most cases, such as if the claim will be brought against a bit of property (for instance a ship), authority will undoubtedly be absolutely federal. It is essential to notice, furthermore, that when a case is brought in federal court, the particular person filing the actual lawsuit is not normally entitled to trial by jury.
The maritime attorney will be able to best assist you to decide if a state or maybe federal court has got jurisdiction.
Other Legal rights In Maritime Claims
In the U.S., maritime laws enacted recently provide for more coverage, particularly of maritime personnel on U.S.-flagged ships that comes with maritime lawyers a chance to look for reparations intended for clients seriously hurt during the course of work.
The Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, along with the Death on the High Seas Act are examples of these sorts of guidelines. Usually, these kind of legal guidelines are applicable in cases of maritime staff hurt or killed, and even employer neglect makes a contribution to the actual lawsuit.
The maritime lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris have a lot of experience in assisting persons across the United States with maritime lawsuits.
5 Blunders To Avoid When Filing Maritime Lawsuits
For maritime staff, the possibility of on-the-job accidents is certainly more than in a great many other sorts of professions. Understanding an individual’s liberties is a must, where there certainly are a a lot of blunders a lot of workers make any time processing maritime claims immediately after getting hurt.
No matter whether you’re injured presently or maybe are just trying to get educated of your privileges, recognizing these kinds of usual blunders that people make will help you in case suddenly you become involved in a maritime lawsuit.
1. Not Having A Person Stand For YOUR Welfare
For anybody who is injured on the job, you can be assured that the companies may have many others defending their own welfare. Even if you may very well believe — or merely trust — that the company’s motives will be professional, you cannot possess guarantee you will be receiving the compensation and care and attention to which you are generally legitimately entitled.
Talking to an attorney who is experienced with maritime claims allows you to make sure your proper rights are adhered to.
2. Holding out For Too Long To File
How much time you will have to report a case immediately after a personal injury may vary based on the situation. As an example, in some cases maritime claims with regard to lost pay should be filed inside of half a year from the accident date. In addition, the particular time limit intended for declaring may be as prolonged as 36 months.
Once again, that’s where possessing experienced legal counsel will benefit you. Speaking to an attorney soon after a personal injury will guarantee that you do not neglect the submission due date for your personal specific circumstances.
3. Not Being Straightforward Concerning Your Lawsuit
What your mother told you applies — honesty really is the best policy. Telling lies as well as exaggerating about the degree of one’s pains or even the way they happened does not work and definately will greatly harm your case. Take into account that the reason for your own maritime claim should be to get the complete reparation you are entitled to within the law. To be frank is the perfect way to reach that goal.
4. Requesting Far Too Much, Not Enough Or Nothing At All
Experienced counsel can help you as to what sum is reasonable to ask for in any maritime lawsuit. Reparation for accidental injury claims can differ greatly dependant upon the situation. You ought to avoid impractical expectations, but you at the same time don’t want to ask for less than precisely what the legal system allows for with your individual accident — something a insurance claims adviser is usually anxious for you to definitely do.
And whenever you’ve been damaged, don’t make the actual oversight of applying for virtually no compensation. Maritime laws were definitely prepared for one’s safety. Allow the legal guidelines to work for you.
5. Requesting Unemployment Benefits
If the personal injury leaves you unable to accomplish your work, there’s a chance you’re thinking of submitting a claim for unemployment benefits to help pay your expenditures. This can be a tremendous error for any maritime claim.
Depending on your state, the unemployment benefits organization might require you to declare in writing that you’re still able to carry out your job at the company you labored for. If you are dealing with a personal injury claim, placing your signature to this sort of form is often devastating to your case. Your maritime lawyer should be contacted prior to filing for benefits or affixing your signature to any documentation.
The maritime claims legal professionals at Schechter McElwee Shaffer & Harris have several years of knowledge of dealing with the several different types of maritime lawsuits.