Working offshore, in coastal waters, or on a vessel is tough, dangerous work. Serious injuries and deaths can and do occur. When disaster strikes, you need attorneys on your side who aren’t afraid to take on the company. Alford & Clark is here for you during the most difficult times, and has the experience to help you get the justice you deserve.
It’s rare for a lawyer to have first-hand experience of real, hard work. With Alford & Clark, however, you can be represented by a lawyer who grew up turning wrenches, wearing FRCs in the Texas heat, and pulling 7/12s to earn overtime. As a result, our lawyers know the difference between what a company’s safety policy says on paper and what company safety looks like in the real-world. You can trust Alford & Clark to apply real-world experience to your case.
Alford & Clark also has the legal experience. Our attorneys have tried cases against some of the nation’s largest industrial companies, and have dealt with some of the most complex issues in the field. These companies have a lot to lose. As a result, they will use every trick in the book to try to dodge responsibility and minimize your recovery. If you’ve been injured offshore, in coastal waters, or on a vessel, know that the company has experienced lawyers in its corner, so put Alford & Clark in yours.
Alford & Clark is a full-service firm that prides itself on client satisfaction. When you hire us, we take on all of the headaches – both big and small. We help you get the medical care you need, help you receive fair compensation, and help you move on with your life.
Call us now for a free, confidential consultation. Our maritime accident attorneys are on call – 24/7 – and are happy to answer any questions absolutely free of charge. If you decide to hire us, you will never pay us out of your own pocket. Our attorney fee is only a percentage of case winnings, so there is zero risk to you. If we don’t win, no matter how much we spent fighting on your behalf, you will never owe us a dime. We only get paid when we win your case.
Admiralty law or maritime law refers to the body of law governing marine commerce and navigation, the transport of persons and property at sea, marine affairs in general, as well as the rules governing contracts, torts, workers’ compensation claims, and injuries at sea. There is a clause in the U.S. Constitution giving the federal courts jurisdiction over admiralty and maritime cases, but as with most areas of the law, the state of affairs has become significantly more complicated over time. Congress has passed several statutes expanding the scope of maritime law, and the maritime accident lawyers at Alford & Clark are available to help you navigate those laws and obtain the maximum recovery for your case.
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, formalized the rights of seamen and gave qualifying seamen the right to a trial by jury to sue when injured or killed during the course of their employment. As to qualifying seamen, the United States Supreme Court has established a rule of thumb that workers who spend less than about 30 percent of their time in the service of a vessel in navigable waters should not qualify.
The Jones Act provides qualifying seamen with special rights and protections when they are injured, such as the right to maintenance and cure. The injury or illness need not be work-related so long as it occurs while the seaman is in the service of the vessel. Maintenance is the reasonable cost of food, lodging and transportation to and from a medical facility. The rate of maintenance includes the cost of obtaining room and board on land. Cure is the cost of medical attention, including the services of physicians and nurses, as well as the cost of hospitalization, medicines and medical apparatus. If the shipowner fails to provide maintenance and cure, and that failure worsens the injuries, then the injured worker can recover resulting damages and expenses, including pain and suffering, and additional medical expenses.Neither maintenance nor cure may be reduced because of any negligence on the part of the seaman.
The 1948 Admiralty Extension Act extended admiralty-tort jurisdiction to include all cases in which the damage or injury is caused by a vessel on navigable water, regardless of where the damage or injury actually occurred. For example, the Act extended admiralty jurisdiction over damages and injuries that a vessel causes on land, such as to bridges and pier or to the people on them.
When the death of an individual is caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default occurring on the high seas in international waters, the Death on the High Seas Act allows the personal representative of the decedent to bring a civil action in admiralty against the person or vessel responsible to recover damages for the decedent’s spouse, parent, child, or dependent relative. However, this act does not apply to coastal and in-land navigable waters.
Maritime employees may also be covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, which provides that longshoremen, harbor-workers, ship repairmen, shipbuilders, and others, may be statutorily barred from suing their employers for employment-related injuries. However, under this law, an employee may bring a third-party suit against the owner of a vessel if he has a claim that his injury was caused by the negligence of the owner or of the ship’s crew.
The results of a boating accident, whether commercial or recreational, can be devastating. Alford & Clark can help with your boating accident claim, no matter where the accident occurred. Depending on the location of the accident, your injury claim may be controlled by state law, federal maritime law, or both. There may also be rules and regulations particular to the municipality or even the specific body of water at issue.
For example, the Texas Water Safety Act mandates that no person may operate any motorboat or vessel in a willfully or wantonly reckless or negligent manner that endangers the life, limb, or property of any person. However, the Texas Water Safety Act only applies to public water within the territorial limits of Texas. If your accident occurred on privately owned water, Alford & Clark will help you determine the duties that the boat operator and land owner had to keep you or your loved one from harm. And as you can see above, federal maritime law has its own set of complications that Alford & Clark can help you navigate.
Alford & Clark can help you hold the responsible parties accountable. Call today for your free case evaluation.