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When dealing with maritime injuries and Jones Act claims, there is never a definitive timeline.  For some injured workers, settlements are reached quickly and with little hassle.  For others, usually the more complex cases, the timeline can be longer.  With an experienced maritime lawyer handling your case, you can rest assured that your case will be over as swiftly as possible.  A maritime case that started in 2008 is one example of the varying timelines when it comes to maritime injuries.

A Texas refinery worker was burned over 25% of his body when a flash fire erupted.  The fire happened when hot oil ignited and since the worker was on a platform, he was unable to escape the fire.  The worker knew he had a maritime case that needed professional legal counsel.  He hired a maritime law firm that took control of his case and filed a claim against ExxonMobil.  The maritime attorney argued that the oil should have been transported in an enclosed pipe since it was a fire risk.

While this case did have to go to trial, the arguments for the plaintiff were strong and compelling.  The dedication of the maritime law firm in this case resulted in an award of $2.4 million for the plaintiff. When a maritime attorney is educated in the law and works aggressively for his or her client, the outcome is that much more likely to be positive.  Whether you have a claim that is settled quickly or one that requires more effort, your maritime lawyer should approach the case with compassion and aggression.

If you, or someone you know, have been injured in the maritime industry, consult with an attorney as soon as you can.  When you need a maritime attorney to handle your Jones Act claim or other maritime law claim, do not be hasty in your choice.  Collaborate with experienced lawyers that will always have your best interests at heart.

 

When dealing with Jones Act cases, not all claims involve a personal injury suffered on the job.  Some claims result from illnesses that were left untreated and resulted in disability or death.  For instance, one Louisiana seaman was the recipient of a large settlement for a Jones Act claim.  The situation started when the seaman was working on a rig and got sick.  He had symptoms much like the flu and severe headaches.  This lasted for several days and he was not taken ashore for medical care.

When the seaman was finally taken off the rig and to a hospital, he was diagnosed with a serious condition.  He had a large, bleeding, malformation of a blood vessel and it was located on his brain stem.  Doctors admitted the seaman and monitored him for two weeks and finally made the decision to perform surgery on the malformation.  The surgery resulted in the seaman becoming completely disabled and bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

The maritime lawyer that this client retained was able to prove that the injury could have been reduced or even prevented if treatment had been provided sooner.  Since the seaman did not have access to hospital care on the rig, the disability fell on the shoulders of his employer.  The settlement reached in this case provided the plaintiff with $7.15 million, more than enough to provide for his family for the rest of their lives.

This particular case demonstrates how not all Jones Act claims start because of physical injuries like slipping and falling.  Having an experienced maritime lawyer on your side can mean the difference between a few thousand dollars and several million dollars.  If you, or someone you know, have experienced an injury or illness on the waters, contact your maritime lawyer immediately.  You and your family have the right to have your day in court.

 

When you retain the services of an experienced Jones Act attorney, you can rest assured that your case will be handled aggressively.  With the complexities of the Jones Act making it possible for negligible defendants to settle for less than you deserve, it is essential to have an experienced team representing you in court.  A recent Jones Act claim was settled for the hefty sum of $4 million because the plaintiff had trained and educated attorneys on his side.

A deckhand was injured on a fishing boat when the compressor of a circulating seawater system exploded.  The compressor had already showed signs of trouble when it repeatedly shut itself off.  The deckhand was made to address the problem simply by pushing the reset switch.  The malfunction causing the compressor to switch off was never addressed.  This constant resetting of the system damaged internal parts of the compressor.  Ultimately, it was reset one too many times and it exploded.

This particular case was handled by a Jones Act attorney that had a full understanding of maritime law.  The $4 million settlement reached involved the owner of the vessel, the company that installed the circulating system, and the manufacturer of the defective compressor.  This case demonstrates the quality of legal care you will receive from a reputable, experienced Jones Act attorney.  When you are dealing with a maritime injury, you need the legal expertise of a qualified Jones Act attorney.

If you, or someone you know, have suffered an injury in the maritime industry, you have rights.  You have rights to a variety of forms of compensation, including medical expenses and lost wages.  Instead of settling directly with your employer on your own, let a professional handle your Jones Act claim for you.  No amount of money can reverse your injury but you deserve to be compensated for the actions that led to your injury.

 

The investigative process of a maritime injury is detailed and complex. When a maritime worker is injured on the job, a number of actions immediately take place. Understanding the investigative process can help you during your offshore legal claim. The investigation process starts as soon as an incident occurs. It is essential that all injuries, small and large, be reported immediately. Once an injury is reported and the investigation is officially launched, there are key facts that must be recorded:

1.       Date and time of the incident

2.       All pertinent information about the vessel where the incident occurred (location, condition)

3.       The injured party or parties

4.       All other persons involved, either directly or indirectly, in the incident

5.      Facts about the incident (personal injury, property damage, environmental damage, illness)

6.       The exact area aboard the vessel where the incident occurred

7.       Sea and atmosphere conditions during the time of the incident

As the investigation proceeds, interviews are conducted to gather all the required information. The vessel will be examined for malfunctions or areas of disrepair that could have caused the incident. The incident may even be reconstructed for a better understanding of what happened. Finally, the investigators will make an informed decision pertaining to fault.

When dealing with any offshore legal claims, the investigative process is one of the most important parts of the claim. A shoddy investigation could lay blame on an innocent party. If you are involved in an offshore legal claim due to an injury, it is important that you cooperate with investigators. However, it is also important that you have legal representation during the investigation. Just as you would retain an attorney on land, you also need an attorney for maritime matters.

The investigation of a maritime injury is complicated. An attorney can advise you of your rights as the investigation proceeds. If you or someone you know has been injured on the waters, seek the advice of an experienced, offshore legal firm. They will assist you during the investigation and in filing your claim.

 

When you suffer an injury in the maritime industry, your Texas Jones Act law firm may ask you to do something strange. They may request that you disable your social networking accounts. That’s right – your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You may think that social networking has nothing to do with the maritime industry. For the most part, you are right. However, social networking can have an adverse effect on Jones Act claims.

When you post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter, you probably do not give much thought as to who sees your remarks. The fact is, many people add friends, family members, co-workers, and even upper management to their social networking accounts. This means that all of these people will see your posts. Usually, this is not a problem. When the Texas Jones Act law firm you retained files a claim against your employer, some of your posts and tweets could work against you.

For example, say you are injured from a fall on deck. You are seeking maintenance and cure and lost wages. Then, you post on Facebook about your day at the ball field playing catch. If one of your co-workers or management leaders is a friend, they will see your post. One screen shot and your claim can be dramatically reduced. After all, how hurt can you be if you are playing catch? It will not matter that you only watched from the sidelines. The opposing counsel could convince a court otherwise.

Any Texas Jones Act law firm will tell you to either disable your social accounts or thoroughly review your friends and followers. Courts have been known to request information from your social networking accounts. By disabling the accounts, you will eliminate the need to monitor your posts and tweets. If you feel that you must keep them active, reviewing your friends and followers can help you eliminate possible threats to your claim.

No Texas Jones Act law firm is going to tell you to lie about your condition. If you are hurt, you are hurt, regardless of what your social accounts say. However, some innocent posts and tweets could be misconstrued and used against you in court. If you have a possible Jones Act claim, reconsider your social networking accounts. Discuss them with your attorney and make an informed decision.

 

When dealing with maritime injuries of any sort, hiring the experience of an offshore law firm is vital. While most maritime workers seek professional help with injury claims, there are those that insist on dealing with the offending party on their own. It is a mistake to represent yourself in a maritime injury claim. Maritime law is a complex and intricate law. Representing yourself could lead to a reduced claim. There are several reasons why hiring an experienced offshore law firm is essential to your claim.

  • Without an experienced offshore law firm on your side, you will not have the knowledge needed to handle the claim. For instance, after you were injured, a complete investigation took place. An offshore law firm will be able to gain access to all of the investigative materials. If you deal with the company alone, you could overlook some critical documents and information.
  • An experienced offshore law firm will see to it that you are given top-notch medical care and testing. If you handle your claim on your own, the offending company is likely to provide only minimal medical care.
  • By hiring the services of an offshore law firm, you will have legal advice at every turn of your claim. You will be less likely to make a choice that could be harmful to your case. For instance, many people that choose to represent themselves return to work too soon. They obtain a full-release from a physician because they need a steady income. Returning to work with a full, medical release only succeeds in showing the courts that your injuries were not that serious, leading to a potentially lower award.

An offshore law firm will make sure that you have the best legal representation in your claim. Unless you have a full understanding of the justice system and maritime law, hire an attorney to handle your case. Your future financial security just might depend on it.

 

Even the most prestigious Jones Act law firm will have a difficult time winning a claim for a client that was dishonest. No matter what field you work in, being honest on your job application is necessary. This is especially true when working in the maritime field, a potentially dangerous and life-threatening sector. Any Jones Act law firm will tell you, if you fail to disclose prior injuries on a maritime job application, you run the risk of losing any future claims.

Take the case of Timothy Petrey, a former employee of the Atlantic Sounding Company. Petrey had a prosthetic hip, something that he failed to mention on his application. When a tow cable struck him, he suffered a dislocated hip and resulting pain and injuries. Petrey sought the services of a Jones Act law firm and filed a claim for maintenance and cure. Atlantic, of course, moved that his claim be denied. Why? They stated that the injuries were due to the prosthetic hip, a fact that was never disclosed to them as his employer.

Petrey argued that the injuries were because of the tow cable, not because of his pre-existing condition. A physician for Atlantic testified that had the condition been known, Petrey would not have been cleared for hiring. The Jones Act law firm representing Petrey tried to win his case, but their efforts were futile. The court ruled in favor of the Atlantic Sounding Company.

Had Petrey disclosed his condition, he could have sought his own medical release from another physician. Atlantic may have still hired him and then, his claim would have been successful. This is one more reason why honesty is always the best policy. Jones Act claims are complex and expensive. If a client has lied on his or her job application, the chances of a win are quite low. If you or anyone you know plans on working in the maritime field, be honest about all prior injuries. Should you be injured, there is only so much a Jones Act law firm can do for you if you lied.

 

Three potentially dangerous accidents took place off the coast of Texas earlier this year. While none of these accidents resulted in injuries, they could have easily taken a turn for the worse. The first incident happened in January, near Corpus Christi. A fishing vessel radioed in a distress call. The vessel was taking on water in the engine room, a highly dangerous condition. The Coast Guard responded and the right equipment was provided, averting what could have been a deadly situation.

Had the boat continued to take on water, the crewmembers would have been in danger of sinking. Due to their sufficient training and plan of action, they avoided this crisis. They also avoided any injuries that could have resulted in Texas Jones Act legal filings. Not long after this incident, another occurred, this time, near South Padre Island. A dredging vessel hit bad weather and ended up running aground. The vessel was quite damaged and had to be towed to a nearby port. The crewmembers, again, were educated in a plan of action and were able to avoid serious problems by transferring fuel to other tanks.

Still again, in January, a ruptured pipeline caused vegetable oil to be released into a shipping channel. The spill was eventually contained and contractor was hired to clean up the spill. About 150 barrels of vegetable oil had to be cleaned out of the water. Again, both of these incidents could have resulted in injuries and Texas Jones Act legal claims. Because crewmembers were prepared for emergencies, injuries were avoided and no claims were filed. These three incidents are one more reason why being trained and being prepared is essential in the maritime industry.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the open seas, you may have grounds for compensation. Contact a Texas Jones Act legal firm and seek advice. Depending on the circumstances, you could be filing a claim very soon. Experienced Texas Jones Act legal advice will help you determine what your next course of action should be.

 

Being a crewmember of a cruise ship may have you imagining luxury work conditions.  After all, sailing the oceans and visiting exotic lands sounds appealing.  However, crewmembers of cruise ships are faced with dangerous situations, just like other maritime workers.  One of the most talked about accidents on a cruise ship occurred in 2005.  A Royal Caribbean cruise ship experienced problems with hydrogen sulfide leaking into the cabins and other living areas of the ship.  Hydrogen sulfide is a deadly gas that carries a noxious scent before causing health problems and, sometimes, death.

This particular ship sent crewmembers to address the source of a smell that passengers were reporting.  When the crewmembers reached the ballast tank, a large cloud of hydrogen sulfide escaped.  It killed three crewmembers instantly.  Nineteen other crewmembers suffered various forms of injury.  It comes as no surprise that maritime claims were filed after this horrific accident.

If you are a crewmember of a cruise line and suffered an injury, you may have a claim against your employer under Federal Jones Act law.  Your first line of defense is to contact an experienced law firm and discuss your rights.  The Jones Act law is in place to provide you with monetary compensation for your injuries.  This compensation can include maintenance, cure, lost wages, and medical expenses.  While your cruise line employer may try to discourage you from filing a claim under the Jones Act law, your attorney will help you make that decision.

Being employed on a cruise line is not always fun and games, it can have deadly consequences.  Fortunately, Federal Jones Act law gives maritime workers a certain level of protection.  It cannot prevent injuries from occurring but it can help you seek financial justice. Contact a Jones Act attorney for more information on your particular case and potential claim.

 

 

The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) is an effective and complex act. Claims under this act should always be handled by an experience maritime law firm. There are specific guidelines under this act, including the waters to which the DOHSA applies. A maritime law firm will know all the relevant rulings to argue your claim. For example, it was not that long ago that a United States appellate court made a ruling about DOHSA that continues to have an effect.

In 2007, three Navy crewmembers died after a helicopter accident during a training exercise. The families of the crewmembers filed a claim under California and maritime law. They blamed the defective helicopter for the deaths. The defendants in this case moved for the dismissal of their claims under those laws. They argued that the DOHSA applied to this case. The DOHSA clearly states that when a death occurs on the high seas beyond three nautical miles from the US shore, a civil action may be brought against the person or vessel responsible.

The court agreed with the defendant’s argument and the case was appealed. The ruling was affirmed and the families’ claims against the state were dismissed. The DOHSA applies to all waters beyond those three miles. The families could still seek compensation, but it had to be filed under the act. Clearly, the DOHSA is a confusing act. That is why it is necessary to retain a maritime law firm that is experienced and educated about maritime laws. This particular case should have never been filed against the state because the DOHSA states specific regulations pertaining to the location of incidents.

It can be difficult to determine claims falling under general maritime law and the DOHSA. An experienced maritime law firm will know what to do without hesitation. If you have lost a loved one on the high seas, consult with a maritime law firm about the DOHSA and general maritime laws. The maritime law firm will help you determine which claim you need to file for monetary compensation.