Archive for June, 2011

Maritime workers work hard to fulfill their duties in a variety of jobs in the industry. Some of these workers toil away on oilrigs. Others make their living on crab boats. There are a slew of jobs in between and every maritime worker earns his or her position on the proverbial totem pole. However, no matter where your place is on the totem pole, Jones Act accidents can still affect your livelihood. From the captain of a vessel to the cook, Jones Act accidents can happen to anyone, at any time. While you may take every precaution to prevent accidents, if an injury occurs, talk to a Jones Act accident attorney for advice.

A recent Jones Act accident involved a seaman and a broken door. The seaman was employed aboard a vessel as an oiler. Assigned the task of fixing a broken door, the seaman tried to make the repairs. The door was large and heavy. The worker was able to get part of the door hooked back up but it was not enough. The vessel hit a rough area of water and the door fell on the seaman. The door caused several injuries, including a ruptured disc and a pinched nerve. The Jones Act accident also aggravated an old injury.

The injured seaman decided to consult with a Jones Act attorney about his accident. A Jones Act claim was filed because the seaman should have never been asked to fix the door alone. The door was large and heavy and there was no feasible way the seaman could have safely handled it. While the injuries the seaman suffered were not so severe that he was never able to work, they still caused him pain and suffering. The Jones Act attorney was able to garner a settlement of almost $400,000 for the injured seaman.

Many Jones Act accidents occur when seamen are asked to perform tasks that require help. Without assistance, accidents like falling doors are no surprise. If you, or someone you know, have been hurt while you were performing your job duties, contact an experienced Jones Act attorney at the Ogletree Abbott Law Firm for advice. Your attorney can help you get the money you deserve for your injuries.


Before working in the maritime industry, it is a good idea to understand the risks. While there are many areas of the industry that pose little risk to your safety, many areas pose a high risk. For instance, if you are a deckhand aboard a fishing or crabbing vessel, you can expect wet surfaces creating potentially dangerous environments. You should not let possible risks deter you from taking a job in the maritime industry. Standard safety rules and regulations will help lower the day-to-day risks. However, it is always a good idea to know your rights in case you are a victim of a maritime accident.

Two workers were recently involved in a maritime accident on an offshore oilrig. The two men were assigned the task of painting the offshore rig. While the workers were doing their job, the staging they were on collapsed. Both men suffered severe back injuries from their fall. A water-blasting gun also lacerated both men during the fall. The two workers sought the advice of an experienced maritime law firm. A maritime accident claim was filed against their employer. It was discovered that the staging had a frayed line. This frayed line broke and caused the staging to collapse. It was also discovered that the water-blasting gun was defective. The high-powered sprayer should have stopped spraying when it fell.

Both of these defective pieces of equipment led to the back injuries and lacerations. The experienced maritime attorneys representing the workers did an excellent job of proving their claim. The employer settled the claim with both men. Without the maritime law experience of their attorneys, the workers may not have received a settlement at all.

This case clearly demonstrates two things: the need for stringent safety policies and the need for legal assistance. If better safety policies had been in place, the defective equipment could have been discovered before it led to the maritime accident. The experienced legal advice and work performed by the injured workers’ attorneys led to a successful claim and settlement. If you, or someone you know, have been injured in the maritime industry, contact an attorney to discuss your case. You, too, could be entitled to compensation.


The maritime industry employs thousands, if not millions, of people. Working in this industry often means that some of the regular rules do not apply to you. For instance, if you get hurt aboard a vessel, the Jones Act is the law that will provide for your financial compensation. Maritime accidents that require the filing of a maritime claim need an experienced legal team. If you try to negotiate your own terms with your employer, chances are that you are not going to come out on top. Your employer will have his or her own attorney. You need an experienced maritime attorney, too.

Recently, a deckhand was involved in a maritime accident aboard a vessel. The deckhand was working aboard a vessel and given the task of carrying a hose from one area to another. The area he was carrying the hose to was a containment area and he was told to drain the hose into the area. The hose was full of oil. As the deckhand was carrying this large, heavy hose, the hose broke. The oil spilled and the deckhand slipped and fell. The fall caused a severe, lower back injury.

The deckhand knew that he needed legal advice. He was unsure if he even had a maritime claim against his employer. He sought the advice of a maritime attorney and got the answers he needed. He did, indeed, have grounds for a claim and his attorney wasted no time in the filing process. The attorney argued that the deckhand should have had assistance in carrying the cumbersome hose. The maritime accident could have been avoided if the seaman had help. Instead, he was forced to maneuver the hose alone, causing it to break and leading to his fall.

The employer settled the claim for $350,000, along with the promise to pay for future surgeries. The injured deckhand no longer has to worry about his medical costs, thanks to the experience and talent of his maritime accident attorney. If you, or someone you know, have suffered any type of maritime-related injury, you have the right to your own attorney. Instead of dealing with your medical expenses on your own, let your attorney get you the money you need to pay your expenses.


Working in the maritime industry brings a lot of joy into the lives of many people. Many maritime workers choose the field because they adore being on the waters. They have an almost spiritual connection to the water. Others choose the field because they simply need a job. Unfortunately, accidents do not know the difference between water lovers and those that just need a paycheck. Jones Act accidents occur quite frequently because the maritime industry is a dangerous industry. When an accident occurs, one of the first phone calls you need to make is the one to your Jones Act attorney. You could have a Jones Act accident claim on your hands and you will need expert advice.

One woman with an extreme love of the water and a desire for new adventures was involved in a Jones Act accident. The woman was employed as a processor aboard a factory trawler. She was assigned the task of cleaning a large auger. The auger was about six feet long and was used to process the fish. The woman was told to leave the auger running while she used a water hose to spray it clean. While wearing her rain gear, she started to hose off the auger. Her sleeve became tangled in the spinning auger and her hand and arm were pulled in, as well. Because there was no emergency shut-off switch, she ended up losing a part of her hand and arm.

The maritime worker’s employer blamed the incident on the worker. However, she knew that she was not at fault for the potentially deadly accident. Her Jones Act accident attorney knew that, too. A Jones Act claim was filed against her employer. The worker’s attorney placed the fault on the employer for not allowing the worker to turn the auger off before cleaning. Before the case could go to trial, a settlement was reached in the amount of $2.5 million.

The multi-million dollar settlement will never bring the worker’s hand and arm back. However, she now has enough money to pay all of her medical and living expenses. Without her Jones Act attorney, this case could have had a much different outcome. If you, or someone you know, have suffered a maritime injury, contact a Jones Act accident attorney for legal advice and assistance.


Most people know that the maritime industry is a dangerous one. Maritime accidents occur quite frequently and in many cases, safety is an underlying issue. It is essential for maritime workers to be trained in safety procedures for their given line of work. Inexperienced maritime workers get hurt because they do not have the skills and safety training of their veteran co-workers. However, even workers that have been on the job for decades can still get hurt in a maritime accident. When an accident happens, Jones Act claims can be filed with the help of a maritime attorney.

Hiring a maritime attorney is one of your legal rights as a maritime worker. No matter what your employer might tell you, you must remember that you have the right to your own representation. Without your own attorney, your maritime accident could be swept under the rug. A recent maritime claim involved a seaman that was injured aboard a fishing vessel. The seaman was the captain of the fishing vessel and the vessel was docked at the time of the maritime accident. The captain was attempting to climb a ladder that he believed was securely in place. He was wrong. The ladder shifted, causing the captain to fall, resulting in a severe back injury.

The captain contacted an experienced maritime law firm for advice. Together, the captain and his attorney filed a maritime claim against his employer. Even though the fishing vessel was docked at the time of the accident, he was still performing work as the captain when he fell. The maritime accident fell within the legal protection of the Jones Act. The negotiating skills of the captain’s attorney proved to be successful. The attorney was able to garner the injured captain a settlement for $436,000.

This particular case demonstrates how maritime accidents can occur even when a vessel is docked. You think you are in a safe environment because the vessel is not on the open water; but accidents can and will happen anywhere. If you, or someone you know, have suffered an injury from a maritime accident, seek legal advice regardless of where the accident occurred. You could be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages and much more.


Maritime accidents can happen very quickly and with little or no warning. It only takes a split second for a piece of equipment to fail or to slip on a slick surface. When this happens, injuries often follow. Common maritime accident injuries are back, neck and shoulder injuries. These can occur due to many causes, but slips and falls are likely causes. If you have ever been severely injured as a maritime worker, you may have filed a maritime claim. Depending on the circumstances of your case and the skill of your attorney, you probably received financial compensation. Financial compensation for a maritime accident is the responsibility of your employer. If you did not receive any compensation, chances are that you did not hire a maritime accident attorney to handle your case.

One seaman experienced a split-second accident and, as a result, suffered severe injuries. The seaman was given the task of handling a mooring line. His immediate supervisor was nearby and gave the seaman instructions. Suddenly, the line split and struck the seaman in the legs. His legs shattered and he fell on the deck, causing a skull fracture and bleeding of the brain. A maritime claim resulted from this horrible accident. The maritime attorneys in this case discovered several key facts, including the fact that the equipment the seaman was using was not appropriate for the task. It caused too much strain on the mooring line, making it split.

The severe injuries did not kill the seaman, but he did have a long road of recovery ahead of him. He deserved compensation for his lost wages and medical expenses. Negotiations began between the injured seaman and his employer. The skillful tactics of the maritime accident attorneys were successful. The defendant could not argue with the fact that the equipment was not appropriate. The defendant settled with the seaman for $1.5 million.

Without the experience and skill of the maritime accident attorneys, this injured seaman most likely would have had to settle for a much lower offer. However, the seaman did the right thing and hired an attorney that worked hard to get a fair settlement. If you, or someone you know, have been hurt in a split-second, maritime accident, let an experienced lawyer help you get the settlement you deserve.


Have you been the victim of a Jones Act accident? If so, you may not know or understand your rights. There are many maritime employees that are injured every year and that fail to exercise their legal rights. This is often due to aggressive tactics from the employer. Some employers will threaten, coerce or even dismiss their injured employees to avoid a Jones Act accident claim. It is important for all maritime workers to understand their legal rights. One of the most important rights you have is the right to your own legal representation. You are not bound to the use of your employer’s attorney. Retaining the services of your own Jones Act attorney is paramount to the success of your Jones Act claim.

A twenty-year old man was employed as a deckhand aboard a crabbing vessel. Being the “new kid on the block”, he was given the task of handling the bait. This task involved putting frozen bait into a bait-chopping machine, gathering the chopped bait and putting it into jars that would go into the crab pots. The chopping machine often became clogged with bait. To remove the clog, the young deckhand was taught to lift a flap, scoop out the bait that was in the way and continue working. The machine was not turned off and the worker was simply advised to keep his hands clear of the spinning blades. Needless to say, an accident occurred and the deckhand lost a thumb and part of his hand to the blades.

The worker did not have a full understanding of his legal rights. However, he knew enough to contact an experienced Jones Act law firm. The attorney assigned to his case wasted no time in filing a Jones Act accident claim. The employer tried to blame the young man for the accident. However, the worker’s attorney argued that the machine did not have a safe design and that the procedure for removing clogs was not safe. The case settled for just over $2 million.

The deckhand in this case was lucky. He had experienced Jones Act attorneys on his side. Without their help, he probably would not have been offered any type of settlement. If you, or someone you know, have been involved in a Jones Act accident, contact an attorney. You could be entitled to financial compensation.


Jones Act accidents are accidents that fall under the rules of the Jones Act. These kinds of accidents occur in the maritime industry. Many Jones Act accidents result in claims being filed against a worker’s employer. These claims should always be handled by an experienced Jones Act attorney. If you are a maritime worker with a work-related injury, you need legal expertise in handling your potential claim. There are many Jones Act attorneys in the phone book. However, some are more experienced than others are and have the reputation and settlement histories to prove it. Choose your Jones Act accident attorney with care because it could make or break your case.

A tugboat captain has plenty of experience with choosing the right Jones Act attorney. The captain was injured when he was told to take the tugboat and pick up a crane. Although the trip to get the crane and bring it back went fine, the trouble started when he attempted to help the crane operator get the equipment off of the tug. The operator was not familiar with this particular crane and hit the wrong pedal at the wrong time. The gravel bucket on the crane swung free, knocking the captain and another worker down. The bucket landed directly on the captain’s arm, causing a partial amputation.

The captain immediately sought the expert advice of an experienced Jones Act accident attorney. A Jones Act claim was filed against the captain’s employer. The employer tried to argue that this incident did not qualify as a Jones Act accident. They claimed that at the time of the accident, the captain was a technical employee of the cement plant (the destination of the crane). However, they quickly changed their tune when they realized that this was, indeed, a Jones Act claim. They came to that understanding because of the powerful case the captain’s attorney presented. The claim settled for $1.5 million.

This case clearly shows how important it is to have legal expertise for any Jones Act claim. Without his attorney, the captain would have had to settle for workers’ compensation, an amount that would have been dramatically small. Instead, he chose an experienced Jones Act accident attorney to handle his case. If you have a maritime claim, do not handle it alone. Let an experienced attorney do your legal work and help you get your money.


When someone, or their family, needs a Defense Base Act injury attorney, they may need to review years of classified, or even secret, information. Because government officials are often reluctant to release this information, regardless of the costs to the injured worker, the help of a lawyer can also speed medical care. But in the case of “CK,” the injuries were caused by radiation, and were fatal. His case shows how serious all DBA jobs can be, as civilians perform essential work, which often put them in harm’s way. In the case of CK, he worked three contract periods as a waiter and dishwasher on US South Pacific military bases.

A claim brought by CK’s widow required the persistence of a DBA lawyer to obtain information about the source of CK’s leukemia. The fundamental issue was whether the nuclear radiation CK was exposed to had caused or contributed to the fatal cancer he developed, many years later. CK’s employer and its insurer admitted the existence, but not the extent, of CK’s radiation exposure at work.

Atmospheric tests at the Pacific Proving Ground (where CK lived) were organized as a series of operations. Each operation and detonation (sometimes called a shot) had its own name. Nuclear blasts book-ended CK’s three separate work periods. Early in his career, while stationed on Enewetok Atoll on Parry Island, Operation Castle Bravo shot was detonated. During his final contract, when he was assigned to Fox Island on Bikini, Operation Redwing’s Seminole shot was detonated, just before he left employment. In all, three tests were the sources of radiation exposure CK’s DBA injury attorney presented as evidence.

Virtually all of the workers on Parry Island watched the historic Castle Bravo shot at dawn the morning of March 1, 1954. For protection, they wore dark goggles the Employer issued. The bomb was detonated on Nam Island on Bikini Atoll, about 200 miles to their east. According to a Defense Department report, introduced by the defense base injury attorney, Bravo was “without question the worst single incident of fallout exposures in the entire U.S atmospheric testing program.” Not only were U.S. military personnel involved, but also thousands of foreign nationals and Marshall Islanders …including CK.

Decades later, the DBA attorney pointed out, it was learned that the US government terribly misunderstood the nature of the hydrogen fusion bomb tested by Castle Bravo: it was the first “dry” or solid fuel device of a powerful new bomb design. Bravo’s 15 megaton explosion, it was later learned, greatly exceeded safety predictions. The blast was 2.5 times more powerful than the best guess, making it almost double the estimated maximum possible yield. Fortunately for C. K., prevailing winds from Bikini blew to the east on the morning. This spared him and the other workers there from the heaviest fallout and contamination.

The key to winning CK’s case was to be based on these unknown risks of Bravo’s radiation. The injury attorney for CK’s widow, however, had to successfully argue that there was enough available medical evidence to link CK’s leukemia to the radiation. It was also fair, the DBA compensation attorney argued, to shift the burden of proving CK’s death was at least partly due to radiation onto the insurer and the US government. A single film “dosimeter” badge had been issued to C.K. Supposedly, the badge would record all radiation exposure. But as the defense base act injury attorney proved, these records were more than four months late in being reviewed. This presented at least two major problems: (1) there had been absolutely no badge data for CK’s radiation exposure, from June to December and (2) the readings for March, when radiation from the Castle Bravo and Castle Romeo shots should have been captured, were probably wrong: after only four weeks of use, film badge captures will generally fade.

In the 1990s, a Presidential Executive Order admitted that the government had been wrong in its use of radiation data. The Order supposedly changed the Department of Energy’s policy of assisting DOD contractors in opposing valid claims for workers compensation benefits. The Court also noted the government apology, in a decision allowing CK’s widow benefits under the defense base act. But for CK’s widow, only the persistence of her defense base injury lawyer was what finally gave some justice to her late husband.


It can be very distressing to suffer an injury in the maritime industry. Many times, your vessel is many miles away from shore. It is essential that all vessels employ medical personnel to assess every injury and determine the best course of action. Depending on the severity of the injury, medical personnel may have you airlifted off the vessel or simply assigned light duty. Either way, when you are involved in a Jones Act accident aboard a vessel, you need your own attorney. Even though your employer might try to convince you otherwise, keep in mind that you have the right to separate counsel. Having your own Jones Act attorney to handle your claim will help ensure that you receive a fair amount of compensation for your injuries.

A recent Jones Act claim involved a deckhand that suffered a severe shoulder injury. Ultimately, arthroscopic surgery was required to repair the injured shoulder. After the injury, the deckhand consulted with an experienced Jones Act attorney. The Jones Act accident resulted in a claim being filed against his employer. Shortly after the claim was filed, the deckhand was fired. His Jones Act attorney was able to prove that the dismissal was done as a form of retaliation. Basically, the employer was upset by the Jones Act claim and fired the employee.

The courts agreed with the attorney’s findings and awarded the injured seaman $623,000. This particular case demonstrates your right to legal counsel. An employer cannot dismiss you from your job, even if you file a Jones Act accident claim. There are various laws in place to protect seamen from unlawful dismissal. If you, or someone you know, have suffered a Jones Act accident, do not be afraid to retain an attorney. You have the right to legal counsel and many other rights under the Jones Act. Consult with an experienced Jones Act attorney at the Ogletree Abbott Law Firm for advice.