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New Details Emerge on the Condition of El Faro Before its Last Voyage

The latest information suggests that El Faro, a 40-year-old cargo ship, sunk near the Bahamas on its last voyage to Puerto Rico.  As reported by CNN, former crewmembers of El Faro previously expressed concerns that the ship was not fit to sail through a major storm in the region.  The crewmembers reported that the ship had problems taking on water and showed signs of other structural problems.  They also reported to CNN that El Faro was covered in rust, had holes on the deck, and that the cook’s room leaked water.

El Faro was classed by the American Bureau of Shipping and was required to undergo routine inspections by the United States Coast Guard. Tote Maritime, the company that operated El Faro, insists that El Faro met all applicable standards and certifications.

Allegations of unseaworthiness are a common feature of maritime injury claims.  Unseaworthiness does not necessarily mean that a ship cannot sail or be navigated. In the context of maritime injury claims, a ship, such as El Faro, is unseaworthy if the ship, or any of its parts or equipment, is not reasonably fit for its intended purpose.  Serious leaks or holes in the deck are just some of the many unsafe conditions that may render a ship unseaworthy.  Additional investigation into the condition of El Faro is necessary to determine if the ship was unseaworthy for its last voyage and if its condition caused, or contributed to, the fate of its crewmembers.

All crewmembers deserve a safe working environment. When crewmembers embark on a voyage, they are at the mercy of their vessel and the weather conditions they encounter aboard.   Attorneys at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, LLP have represented hundreds of seamen that have been injured on vessels.   In many of these cases, the crewmember’s injuries or fatalities have been attributed to unseaworthy conditions on the ship, such as faulty equipment or inadequate safety gear.

U.S. Coast Guard Believes the Missing El Faro Cargo Ship Sank

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday morning they believe the missing U.S.-flagged El Faro container ship likely sank.  The search for the 33 people, 28 Americans and four Polish nationals aboard, continues, Coast Guard officials said.

Contact with the 790-foot ship was lost Thursday as the vessel sailed into the tumultuous path of Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin.  At that time, the ship had lost propulsion and was taking on water, but the crew was reportedly “pumping it successfully,” officials with TOTE Maritime said.

El Faro, a vessel of the TOTE Maritime fleet serving in the Jones Act Puerto Rice trade, departed Tuesday from Jacksonville, Florida headed toward Puerto Rico.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the brave crewmembers during this difficult time, “ said Matthew Shaffer, Maritime Attorney and a managing partner of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris (SMSH).

In his experience, Shaffer said ship-owners will often “race to the courthouse” in an attempt to limit its liability for disasters similar to these.  It is the duty of the ship-owner, however, to avoid severe weather and protect the crew, he said.

The Maritime Attorneys at SMSH have represented ocean-going seaman and their families in numerous maritime disasters occurring worldwide in the last six decades.  SMSH attorneys have been involved in the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the Maersk Alabama piracy case and, recently, represented the family of a young man lost in a dredge sinking. They have helped thousands of clients across the nation, including Shaffer settling the largest single Jones Act lawsuit on record.

About Shaffer & Harris

The Maritime injury attorneys at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris have spent decades helping victims of all types of accidents. Their attorneys have more than 100 years of combined trial experience in maritime and industrial accidents.

If you are a seaman, offshore worker, or port worker who was injured as a result of negligence, call 800-282-2122 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a maritime injury attorney at SMSH. Legal assistance is available both in English and Spanish (Español).

Heat-Related Illness and Maritime Workers

Maritime and offshore workers are exposed to many severe weather conditions. During the hottest months of the year, these workers are at high risk of heat-related illness.

Our maritime and offshore injury lawyers want workers and employers to know how to recognize the signs of heat illnesses and what to do if someone is suffering from these symptoms.

Heat Exhaustion

Someone showing the following symptoms may be suffering from heat exhaustion:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Severe thirst
  • Rapid breathing and/or pulse
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Muscle cramps

If a worker exhibits any of these symptoms, immediately move him or her to a shaded area. A worker showing heat exhaustion symptoms should not be left alone. Heavy clothing should be removed. The worker should be given a cup of cool water to drink every 15 minutes. Fan the worker, spray him or her with cool water, and apply a wet cloth to the skin.

If symptoms do not improve within a few minutes, call 9-1-1. Any worker suffering from heat exhaustion should not return to work for the rest of the day.

Heat Stroke

If a worker exhibits the following symptoms, he or she may be suffering from heat stroke:

  • Not sweating
  • Skin is hot, red and/or dry
  • Pupils are small “pinpoints”
  • Convulsing
  • Confused
  • Collapse

These signs should be treated as a medical emergency and 9-1-1 should be called right away. Move the worker to a cooler, shaded area. He or she should lay down and be fanned/sprayed with cool water. Place ice packs under the armpits and around the groin. Someone should remain with a person with heat stroke symptoms until paramedics arrive on the scene.

Prevent Heat-related Illness

In order to avoid the heat-related illnesses above, it’s important that both employers and employees understand what precautions to take.

  • Drink plenty of water or electrolyte drinks, even when you’re not feeling thirsty
  • Hold off on the most intensive work until cooler parts of the day, such as first thing in the morning or late in the evening
  • Wear clothing that is light-weight and fits loosely
  • Wear a hat
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine before and during working hours
  • Pace yourself, and work on building up a tolerance to working in hot conditions
  • If you start to feel any of the symptoms above, immediately stop and tell your supervisor.

Workers who suffer from serious heat-related illness on a vessel, offshore rig, or in a port can contact the maritime injury attorneys at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris for assistance and information about your legal rights.

Another Vessel Collision In Houston Ship Channel

July brought another collision in the Houston Ship Channel. A crash between 2 barges ignited a fire on one that burned for 4 hours and shut down the Intracoastal Waterway for several hours.

On July 20 at about 1:20 a.m., Kirby Inland Marine-owned tugboat Captain Shorty C was pushing 2 barges filled with cumene east in the channel. Enterprise Marine Services-owned tugboat Jackie was pushing two barges loaded with naphtha and heading west. Cumene is an additive for gasoline, and naphtha is a flammable petroleum product used in gasoline and as a solvent.

As the ships were crossing the channel at the intersection of the Intracoastal Waterway, the Captain Shorty C lost power and one of its barges struck a barge being pushed by the Jackie.

No injuries were immediately reported.

A fire broke out on the Jackie-towed barge, but officials did not know whether diesel fuel or the naphtha the vessel was carrying was burning. The fire lasted until about 5:20 a.m. A Port of Houston fireboat and a T&T Marine Salvage vessel put out the blaze, Coast Guard officials said.

Three of the four barges were damaged in the incident.

There have been at least four collisions in the Houston Ship Channel this year alone. As the second busiest U.S. waterway, as many as 800 vessels use the channel in a day.

If you have been injured in a vessel collision, the maritime attorneys of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris can help you recover financial compensation for the damages caused.

Bridge Worker Dies From Fall After Tow Boat Hits Bridge

A worker on the Eads Bridge in St. Louis died recently when the structure was hit by a tow boat pushing barges.

The bridge worker fell from scaffolding where he was sandblasting when the collision occurred and landed on the tow boat’s platform. The 24-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the worker was employed by Thomas Industrial Coatings, based in Mississippi.

In 2006, three workers for Thomas Industrial Coatings were killed in separate scaffolding accidents, according to reports from OSHA.

Scaffolding is common in the construction and maritime industries, particularly in shipyards where workers use these temporary structures while working on vessels. While injured construction workers may be protected by workers compensation or general personal injury laws, and injured shipyard workersmay be entitled to compensation under federal maritime laws.

If you are a worker who was injured on scaffolding, contact Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris today to get help protecting your legal rights.

Barge Collision In Houston Ship Channel Sparks Vessel Fire

A collision between two barges in the Houston Ship Channel early Monday morning ignited a fire on one of the vessels and closed the Intracoastal Waterway until the afternoon.

A Kirby Inland Marine-owned tugboat, the Captain Shorty C, was heading eastbound pushing two barges filled with the gasoline additive cumene. The tugboat Jackie, an Enterprise Marine Services vessel, was heading westbound pushing two barges carrying approximately 1 million gallons each of the highly flammable petroleum product naphtha.

Around 1:20 a.m. as the boats were crossing the intersection of the channel and the Intracoastal Waterway at Bolivar Peninsula, the Captain Shorty C lost power. One of its barges collided with a barge being pushed by the Jackie. The crash sparked a fire aboard the ship hauling naphtha that lasted four hours. It was finally extinguished about 5:25 AM by a Port of Houston fireboat and a T&T Marine Salvage vessel.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Andy Kendrick said it was not yet known whether diesel fuel or the naphtha cargo was burning in the fire.

The Intracoastal Waterway was shut down from mile marker 348 to the ship channel until afternoon. According to a spokesman from the Texas General Land Office, it was unlikely that the naphtha would affect the waterway because it evaporates very quickly. Air quality monitoring did not show any risk to the public.

This has been at least the fourth vessel collision this year in the Houston Ship Channel. The waterway is one of the most travelled in the U.S., seeing up to 800 vessels a day at times. In March of last year, a bulk carrier struck a barge owned by Kirby Inland Marine in the channel near the Texas City Dike, causing a spill of around 168,000 gallons of fuel into the water.

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, LLP, maritime lawyers, have successfully litigated injury claims against many of the largest maritime companies. If you were hurt in a vessel collision, contact us today for assistance.

Search Ends For Crewmember Missing After Tugboat Sinks In Mississippi River

One crewmember was missing after a tugboat capsized and sank Saturday morning on the Mississippi River. The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for the worker over the weekend after determining that he was onboard the vessel when it sank.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the missing crewmember’s family and friends,” said Cmndr. Kelly Denning of the United States Coast Guard. “We appreciate all the support provided by our state, local and industry partners in the search effort … Based on several eye witness accounts, however, we have determined that the missing crewmember was onboard the vessel when it sank. Pending further developments, we have decided to suspend the active search.”

Four other crewmembers escaped the ship and were rescued by a nearby good Samaritan. The cause of the tugboat’s sinking is being investigated.

Jones Act Seaman Status

Many tugboat workers qualify as seamen under the Jones Act, a federal maritime law. Jones Act seamen are eligible for certain protections, such as maintenance and cure compensation, negligence claims, and more.

To qualify as a seaman, a worker must meet these standards:

  • Worker is assigned to a vessel and spends at least 30% of employment time on that vessel.
  • Vessel must be in navigation.
  • Worker contributes to vessel’s navigation or function.

If a seaman is killed while working less than 3 nautical miles from shore, his surviving family members — most often spouse or minor children — may be entitled to compensation for damages such as loss of financial support, funeral expenses and more.

It’s not uncommon for an employer to deny a Jones Act claim based on seaman status. When this happens, an experienced Jones Act attorney from Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

$2.5M Recovered for Daughter Of Dredge Worker Killed in Delaware Accident

Matthew Shaffer negotiated a $2.5 million settlement in just 60 days on behalf of the 4-year-old daughter of a crane operator killed in a dredging accident in December.

The worker was on a crane barge on the Christina River in Delaware on Dec. 2, 2014, when the barge capsized, throwing three crewmembers into the water. The 2 other workers were immediately rescued, but the single father from Newport News, Va., drowned when he was unable to escape the crane operating station.

Shaffer filed a claim under the Jones Act and the Death on the High Sease Act on behalf of the worker’s family against the employer, Norfolk Dredging.

“We moved quickly and successfully reached a settlement within 60 days of being retained by the worker’s family,” Shaffer said. “Cases like these usually takes 2 to 3 years to resolve, and sometimes even longer. However, I think the company recognized that there was indisputable negligence and there was also a clear appreciation for this young man. He was such a hard worker, and they knew him and knew the family and wanted to get it resolved as quickly as they could.”

The majority of the $2.5 million settlement will be placed in a trust to protect the financial security of the man’s daughter.

“It was an honor to represent this family and to make sure this little girl will be taken care of, that she’ll be housed, educated and supported for the rest of her life so that her father didn’t die in vain,” Shaffer said.

Read more about the case in our press release.

Captain Dies, 3 Crewmembers Rescued After Tugboat Sinks Off Fire Island In New York

A tugboat captain died and three crewmembers were rescued in March when the vessel sank off New York’s Fire Island.

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued the three crewmembers after one of the men was able to make a cell phone call as the Sea Bear was sinking.

“They had only seconds to let us know before they sank,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer Morgan Gallapis.

Lars Vetland, 43, of Staten Island; Jason Reimer, 38, of Leonardo, New Jersey; and Rainer Bendixen, 22, of Bay Head, New Jersey, were pulled from the stormy, icy waters about a mile off of a section of the island known as Fire Island Pines. The crewmembers were wearing immersion suits and were treated for hypothermia.

The captain, Donald Maloney, wasn’t able to put an immersion suit on before the vessel sank in the 37 degree waters. The Coast Guard, a helicopter, Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau Boats, and two other tug boats assisted in the search for Maloney.

The accident occurred during a storm, but the cause of the sinking was not yet known. The tugboat was among three that were returning to their base after working on a dredging project.

“This tug was in the back of the line when it sank,” Gallapis said. “The other tugs continued without seeing them. They heard the distress call and headed back to assist in the search.”

Ship Sinking Accident Help

A full investigation is key in determining the cause of a vessel sinking. While weather can often be a factor, there are usually other factors that lead to the ship going down.

“When a ship sinks in stormy weather, it’s most often not just because of the storm,” said maritime lawyer Dennis McElwee. “The underlying cause may be Improper crew training, an unseaworthy vessel, improperly loaded cargo, or other issues of negligence.”

The maritime attorneys at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris help crewmembers who have been injured and the families of those killed in ship sinking accidents. Our attorneys conduct an independent investigation to ensure evidence is preserved and analyzed to determine the true cause of the sinking.

Our law firm has extensive experience in maritime worker drowning cases, including a recent case in Wilmington, Delaware, in which a dredge worker drowned.

SMSH attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience in investigating ship sinkings and other maritime accidents. Our New York maritime lawyers have helped hundreds of seamen and other maritime workers from across the United States to get the maximum compensation possible for their injuries and other damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Source: USA Today

2nd Collision Reported in Houston Ship Channel in a Week

For the second time in a week, two ships collided in the Houston Ship Channel. The most recent collision, which happened Monday in foggy conditions, led to a spilling of a gasoline additive and a shelter-in-place order for 300 residents near where the accident occurred.

The 600-foot chemical tanker Carla Maersk and 623-foot bulk carrier Conti Peridot collided about 12:30 p.m. near Morgan’s Point. The collision ruptured three of the Carla Maersk’s port tanks, which lead to a leak of some of the vessel’s 216,000 barrels of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, or MTBE.

“This chemical, when it’s in liquid form will float on water and is toxic to both people and wildlife – you will smell this chemical long before you reach toxic levels and we encourage anyone on the water to stay away from areas where you can smell this,” U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

The flammable liquid can cause dizziness and suffocation with prolonged exposure, and two dock workers were taken to the hospital after being overcome by fumes.

The leak was contained within a few hours, but it wasn’t yet known how much of the cargo spilled into the channel.

The channel was closed to traffic for three days following the accident, finally reopening Thursday.

The Houston Ship Channel connects the Gulf of Mexico to the Port of Houston, which is home to the nation’s largest and one of the world’s largest petrochemical complexes. About 70 ships travel the channel daily as well as 300 to 400 tugs and barges.

Legal Help For Workers After Maritime Injuries

As was evident in this case, ship accidents can affect a wide range of maritime workers, from the seamen on the vessel to the workers at the dock who were overcome by fumes from the spill.

If you were injured while working aboard a vessel, you may be entitled to maintenance and cure benefits under the Jones Act. Injured dock workers may be entitled to benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act.

Toxic exposure can cause both short- and long-term medical problems. If you were affected by exposure to toxic liquids or gases during your work on a vessel or in a port, the Houston maritime lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris can help explain your rights and pursue compensation for your injuries.

With more than 100 years of combined experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients over the years to recover millions of dollars under the  general maritime laws, the Jones Act and the LHWCA. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.
For the second time in a week, two ships collided in the Houston Ship Channel. The most recent collision, which happened Monday in foggy conditions, led to a spilling of a gasoline additive and a shelter-in-place order for 300 residents near where the accident occurred.

The 600-foot chemical tanker Carla Maersk and 623-foot bulk carrier Conti Peridot collided about 12:30 p.m. near Morgan’s Point. The collision ruptured three of the Carla Maersk’s port tanks, which lead to a leak of some of the vessel’s 216,000 barrels of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, or MTBE.

“This chemical, when it’s in liquid form will float on water and is toxic to both people and wildlife – you will smell this chemical long before you reach toxic levels and we encourage anyone on the water to stay away from areas where you can smell this,” U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

The flammable liquid can cause dizziness and suffocation with prolonged exposure, and two dock workers were taken to the hospital after being overcome by fumes.

The leak was contained within a few hours, but it wasn’t yet known how much of the cargo spilled into the channel.

The channel was closed to traffic for three days following the accident, finally reopening Thursday.

The Houston Ship Channel connects the Gulf of Mexico to the Port of Houston, which is home to the nation’s largest and one of the world’s largest petrochemical complexes. About 70 ships travel the channel daily as well as 300 to 400 tugs and barges.

Legal Help For Workers After Maritime Injuries

As was evident in this case, ship accidents can affect a wide range of maritime workers, from the seamen on the vessel to the workers at the dock who were overcome by fumes from the spill.

If you were injured while working aboard a vessel, you may be entitled to maintenance and cure benefits under the Jones Act. Injured dock workers may be entitled to benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act.

Toxic exposure can cause both short- and long-term medical problems. If you were affected by exposure to toxic liquids or gases during your work on a vessel or in a port, the maritime lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris can help explain your rights and pursue compensation for your injuries.

With more than 100 years of combined experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients over the years to recover millions of dollars under the  general maritime laws, the Jones Act and the LHWCA. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.

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Blog

New Details Emerge on the Condition of El Faro Before its Last Voyage

New information suggests that the missing cargo ship, El Faro, sunk near the Bahamas. Former crewmembers have suggested that the ship was not fit to sail through a storm.

Posted in General, Jones Act

U.S. Coast Guard Believes the Missing El Faro Cargo Ship Sank

The U.S. Coast Guard announced they believe the missing El Faro cargo ship carrying 28 Americans have sunk. The search for the 33 total people aboard is continuing.

Posted in General, Jones Act

Heat-Related Illness and Maritime Workers

Maritime and offshore workers are exposed to many severe weather conditions. During the hottest months of the year, these workers are at high risk of heat-related illness.

Posted in General, Jones Act

Another Vessel Collision In Houston Ship Channel

July brought another collision in the Houston Ship Channel. A crash between 2 barges ignited a fire on one that burned for 4 hours and shut down the Intracoastal Waterway for several hours.

Posted in General, Jones Act

Bridge Worker Dies From Fall After Tow Boat Hits Bridge

A worker on the Eads Bridge in St. Louis died recently when the structure was hit by a tow boat pushing barges.

Posted in General

Barge Collision In Houston Ship Channel Sparks Vessel Fire

A collision between two barges in the Houston Ship Channel early Monday morning ignited a fire on one of the vessels and closed the Intracoastal Waterway until the afternoon.

Posted in General, Jones Act

Search Ends For Crewmember Missing After Tugboat Sinks In Mississippi River

One crewmember was missing after a tugboat capsized and sank Saturday morning on the Mississippi River.

Posted in Jones Act, News

$2.5M Recovered for Daughter Of Dredge Worker Killed in Delaware Accident

Matthew Shaffer negotiated a $2.5 million settlement in just 60 days on behalf of the 4-year-old daughter of a crane operator killed in a dredging accident in December.

Posted in Jones Act

Captain Dies, 3 Crewmembers Rescued After Tugboat Sinks Off Fire Island In New York

A tugboat captain died and three crewmembers were rescued in March when the vessel sank off New York’s Fire Island.

Posted in General, Jones Act, News

2nd Collision Reported in Houston Ship Channel in a Week

For the second time in a week, two ships collided in the Houston Ship Channel, this time leading to a spilling of a gasoline additive and a shelter-in-place order.

Posted in General, Jones Act
Page 5 of 23« First...34567...1020...Last »
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We have board certified personal injury trial lawyers prepared to take on your case. Details

 

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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

 

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Newsweek Leaders in Maritime
Recently
Filed Cases

Blog

New Details Emerge on the Condition of El Faro Before its Last Voyage

New information suggests that the missing cargo ship, El Faro, sunk near the Bahamas. Former crewmembers have suggested that the ship was not fit to sail through a storm.

Posted in General, Jones Act

U.S. Coast Guard Believes the Missing El Faro Cargo Ship Sank

The U.S. Coast Guard announced they believe the missing El Faro cargo ship carrying 28 Americans have sunk. The search for the 33 total people aboard is continuing.

Posted in General, Jones Act

Heat-Related Illness and Maritime Workers

Maritime and offshore workers are exposed to many severe weather conditions. During the hottest months of the year, these workers are at high risk of heat-related illness.

Posted in General, Jones Act

Another Vessel Collision In Houston Ship Channel

July brought another collision in the Houston Ship Channel. A crash between 2 barges ignited a fire on one that burned for 4 hours and shut down the Intracoastal Waterway for several hours.

Posted in General, Jones Act

Bridge Worker Dies From Fall After Tow Boat Hits Bridge

A worker on the Eads Bridge in St. Louis died recently when the structure was hit by a tow boat pushing barges.

Posted in General

Barge Collision In Houston Ship Channel Sparks Vessel Fire

A collision between two barges in the Houston Ship Channel early Monday morning ignited a fire on one of the vessels and closed the Intracoastal Waterway until the afternoon.

Posted in General, Jones Act

Search Ends For Crewmember Missing After Tugboat Sinks In Mississippi River

One crewmember was missing after a tugboat capsized and sank Saturday morning on the Mississippi River.

Posted in Jones Act, News

$2.5M Recovered for Daughter Of Dredge Worker Killed in Delaware Accident

Matthew Shaffer negotiated a $2.5 million settlement in just 60 days on behalf of the 4-year-old daughter of a crane operator killed in a dredging accident in December.

Posted in Jones Act

Captain Dies, 3 Crewmembers Rescued After Tugboat Sinks Off Fire Island In New York

A tugboat captain died and three crewmembers were rescued in March when the vessel sank off New York’s Fire Island.

Posted in General, Jones Act, News

2nd Collision Reported in Houston Ship Channel in a Week

For the second time in a week, two ships collided in the Houston Ship Channel, this time leading to a spilling of a gasoline additive and a shelter-in-place order.

Posted in General, Jones Act
Page 5 of 23« First...34567...1020...Last »
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Maritime Injury Lawyers

Speak With A Maritime Lawyer Now
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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.

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