It can be hard to find lawyers with the right qualifications and education in maritime law to take on your case. The good news is that the Mississippi maritime injury attorneys at Richard Schwartz & Associates Injury Lawyers, P.A. have 40+ years of experience helping clients navigate complex legal matters related to maritime cases. Our team is familiar with various sea-based industries, as well as the maritime laws that control businesses and their employees.
When you have been injured in a maritime accident or on-land (harbor), you want to make sure you have someone at your side who understands this special category of law and how it affects your case. Let the team at Richard Schwartz & Associates help. We work diligently to determine who is responsible for an accident and how they will cover costs from medical expenses and lost future income, all while ensuring our client’s best interests are safeguarded.
Maritime Injury Law
Maritime injury law applies to events that occur on or near navigable waters, including oceans, large lakes, and rivers that can be used for commercial shipping. They are divided into territorial waters and high seas.
The rules of these laws can be very complicated, and maritime accidents are treated differently than those onshore. Finding out who is responsible and how much money will be paid can affect the outcome. If you have been injured, contracted a disease, or a loved one has died as a result of working on or near the water, you need a maritime injury lawyer who thoroughly understands these laws to handle your case.
Areas that may fall under this law include:
- Wharfs, piers, and docks
Maritime Law Information
In maritime workplaces, it is important that you are in good health in order to be able to work under the demanding and hazardous conditions of ships, barges, oil rigs, and other settings. With these types of jobs, almost any kind of injury can occur, including hearing loss or contraction of diseases that may not be immediately apparent. If your injuries are serious, you may never be able to work again.
There are two laws that are relevant and important for maritime accidents and on-land (harbor) injuries:
- The Jones Act
- Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act
These laws are in place to ensure that those who are involved in maritime accidents and those on-land (harbor) receive money for medical expenses and lost wages.
The Jones Act vs. The Longshoremen’s Act
The Jones Act is a sub-section of the 1920 Merchant Marine Act that deals with coastal shipping and guarantees the rights of the sailors and other employees of vessels or rigs that operate in those waters. As with any Federal Act, the laws change regularly, so attorneys must stay up-to-date on the law.
The Longshoremen’s Act covers workers employed in occupations such as longshore workers or other people that are in alongshore operations, such as harbor workers, ship repairers, shipbuilders, and shipbreakers. The Longshoremen’s Act also refers to rigs that are stationary, and do not move.
The Longshoreman’s Act is a lot like worker’s compensation—you get recovery for your lost wage capacity. In Jones’ Act, you receive pain and suffering compensation in addition to everything else. The distinction between the two acts can change your case significantly, but it is a difference that should be determined by an experienced maritime injury law attorney in Mississippi.
The Jones’ Act covers people who work on movable entities, such as certain rigs or a boat for example. In order to benefit from The Jones’ Act, a worker must be a seaman who is signed to a particular vehicle in navigable waters. When a worker spends at least 30 percent of their time serving on a Merchant Marine vessel, they can qualify for benefits under the Jones Act.
What you get with legal representation:
- A client services specialist responds to your call, email, or text
- We collect all necessary information and conduct a free case evaluation
- We submit your information to the attorney who is best suited to handle your situation
- The lawyer reviews this information and then becomes your Attorney of Record
- An investigator visits your home to conduct an interview, collect facts, photos, and other official documents related to your case
- Your case is then assigned a complete team: a lawyer, an adjuster, and paralegals/legal assistants
We represent workers who have been injured in accidents on:
- Crew boats
- Tow and tug boats
- Supply boats
- Shrimp and fishing boats
- Ferries and water taxis
- Cruise ships
Hurt on a Cruise Ship? You Need a Lawyer.
Being injured on a cruise ship is a complicated matter, and cruise lines put many barriers in place to prevent injured passengers from making claims against them. Before you go on a cruise, you should always read the fine print and make sure that you understand the rules that apply on board. If you are hurt while on the cruise, don’t sign any agreements before reaching out to our firm. Many accidents at sea are due to hazardous conditions, and the cruise line may be responsible for your injuries.