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Public Vessels Act Lawyer

Originally, the United States government enjoyed complete sovereign immunity from suits in admiralty for damages caused by public vessels. Current admiralty law waives government immunity through the Suits in Admiralty Act (SAA) and the Public Vessels Act (PVA). Currently, conflict exists regarding which statute governs which maritime claims. The SAA provides an in personam cause of action for private parties to recover damages (including those caused by public vessels) where a claim would have arisen had the vessel been privately-owned. The PVA, on the other hand, is aimed specifically at providing a right of action for damages caused by public vessels.

If you are injured aboard a United States-owned or operated vessel, your case will fall under the Suits in Admiralty Act (SAA) or the Public Vessel Act (PVA). All injury lawsuits under the Suits in Admiralty Act or the Public Vessel Act must be filed in the United States Federal District Courts. Our firm has filed thousands of cases within this section of the court system. Most Suits in Admiralty Act lawsuits can be filed in the Federal District where the injured Seaman resides.

The Public Vessels Act is a federal maritime law which allows legal action against the United States for damages caused by a public vessel of the United States. A public vessel is any vessel owned by or operating on behalf of the United States. PVA allows civilian seamen serving in government jobs to bring suit against the United States in cases of injuries suffered while at sea during the performance of work.

The PVA only applies in cases of injury occurring while employed by the government or on board a government-owned or government-operated vessel. Seamen injured while in civilian employ or while serving aboard commercial vessels are covered by other provisions of the law such as the Jones Act. Both PVA claims and Suits in Admiralty by or against vessels or cargoes of the United States have time constraints, so if you think you may qualify to file a lawsuit, contact our experienced maritime legal team as soon as possible with your questions.

If you have been injured during working hours while aboard a ship owned by or operated on behalf of the government, you may have grounds for compensation. Contact the experienced Public Vessels Act Lawyers of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P. to find out about how to pursue your claim and obtain the recompense you deserve by email at info@smslegal.com or by phone at (800) 836-5830.

Jones Act Lawyer

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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

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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
Recently
Filed Cases

Public Vessels Act Lawyer

Originally, the United States government enjoyed complete sovereign immunity from suits in admiralty for damages caused by public vessels. Current admiralty law waives government immunity through the Suits in Admiralty Act (SAA) and the Public Vessels Act (PVA). Currently, conflict exists regarding which statute governs which maritime claims. The SAA provides an in personam cause of action for private parties to recover damages (including those caused by public vessels) where a claim would have arisen had the vessel been privately-owned. The PVA, on the other hand, is aimed specifically at providing a right of action for damages caused by public vessels.

If you are injured aboard a United States-owned or operated vessel, your case will fall under the Suits in Admiralty Act (SAA) or the Public Vessel Act (PVA). All injury lawsuits under the Suits in Admiralty Act or the Public Vessel Act must be filed in the United States Federal District Courts. Our firm has filed thousands of cases within this section of the court system. Most Suits in Admiralty Act lawsuits can be filed in the Federal District where the injured Seaman resides.

The Public Vessels Act is a federal maritime law which allows legal action against the United States for damages caused by a public vessel of the United States. A public vessel is any vessel owned by or operating on behalf of the United States. PVA allows civilian seamen serving in government jobs to bring suit against the United States in cases of injuries suffered while at sea during the performance of work.

The PVA only applies in cases of injury occurring while employed by the government or on board a government-owned or government-operated vessel. Seamen injured while in civilian employ or while serving aboard commercial vessels are covered by other provisions of the law such as the Jones Act. Both PVA claims and Suits in Admiralty by or against vessels or cargoes of the United States have time constraints, so if you think you may qualify to file a lawsuit, contact our experienced maritime legal team as soon as possible with your questions.

If you have been injured during working hours while aboard a ship owned by or operated on behalf of the government, you may have grounds for compensation. Contact the experienced Public Vessels Act Lawyers of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P. to find out about how to pursue your claim and obtain the recompense you deserve by email at info@smslegal.com or by phone at (800) 836-5830.

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Maritime Injury Lawyers

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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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* 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.

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$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,

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$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

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