For those hurt in a maritime accident or who have otherwise suffered an offshore injury, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. We have successfully recovered billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. We have also been involved in complex cases, such as helping crewmembers of the Deepwater Horizon.
Arnold & Itkin's legal team represented more members of the Deepwater Horizon than any other law firm in the country. With billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements, the maritime injury lawyers from our team are the right choice for you or your family's case.
Employees at sea may have similar job responsibilities when compared to workers who labor on land, but work performed at sea is inherently much more dangerous. The laws that apply to laborers in the states were not fit for their water-based counterparts. For this reason, maritime law was crafted, to give ocean-based personnel extra protection and to outline their specific rights as maritime workers. If you are a maritime worker who had to seek medical attention because of a work-related injury, contact our firm so that we might help you get the compensation you deserve under the Jones Act.
Maritime law, which is also referred to as admiralty law, is a body of law that governs activities the happen on the water. Maritime law covers a variety of categories such as parameters of legal job duties, marine shipping, cargo damage, stipulations of maritime injury claims, and more. For example, in the United States, there are five types of cases related to maritime property that can be brought to federal court under maritime law, including limitation of liability, vessel arrests, property arrests, salvage cases, and petitory / possession actions.
However, arguably, one of the most important aspects of maritime law is its provisions for workers in need of medical care. It provides seafarers options for the pursuit of legal action should they suffer while at sea.
Maritime injury cases can pertain to a wide variety of accidents that can happen at sea, such as those involving fires, explosions, incidents that occur on cruise ships, products liability cases, wrongful death claims, and more.
At Arnold & Itkin, our legal team is well-versed with all types of maritime law cases and has a proven track record of standing up for the rights of seriously injured offshore workers. If you have been hurt and are looking for someone who can protect your legal rights, you have come to the right place. Regardless of whether you have been injured while working in a harbor, out on a drilling rig, or even in the helicopter during transport, you can trust that our maritime law firm has the skill and experience that you need to pursue full and fair compensation.
For example, our lawyers can handle injuries and damages resulting from:
While many legal issues pertaining to maritime law are heard in federal court, the Judiciary Act of 1789 gave state courts jurisdiction over many maritime cases.
For injured workers, one of the most significant questions is how compensation will work. While every case is different and will be impacted by various laws, legal damages under maritime law will generally cover things such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. In the case of wrongful death, it will help cover funeral costs and loss of companionship. Regardless of whether you are pursuing a claim under the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, or any other form of maritime law, it is encouraged that you contact an attorney whom you can trust as soon as possible. These cases are complicated, and you need effective legal help.
Working offshore is important work, but it is also dangerous work.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for incidents to happen that put the lives of maritime workers at risk, causing serious injuries that range from broken bones to damaged backs to brain trauma. When situations like this occur, it is vastly important that no time is wasted in getting a knowledgeable lawyer to look into your case.
For most workers throughout the nation, compensation can be sought under state workers' compensation laws. These, however, do not extend to maritime employees. Instead, these types of claims would need to be pursued under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) or the Jones Act. Both of these help maritime accident attorneys in different capacities; if you have questions about the differences, click here.
To ensure you are properly protected, the one thing that remains the same is the fact that you need a maritime attorney. In most claims, litigation will be required to ensure that justice is seen. While some claims can be settled justly through negotiations, this is not always the case; in fact, it can be rare. The truth of the matter is that if you want the other party to take you seriously, they need to know you are willing to take your claim to the courtroom.
There are many benefits to having a maritime attorney on your side.
At the time you were hired, it is possible that your company requested that you sign an agreement or release in exchange for payment of unearned wages, maintenance, or medical benefits. You may have signed other releases and waivers that were intended to limit the compensation you could receive in the event of an injury or illness. If you are considering filing a maritime claim, it is imperative that you have any documents reviewed by a qualified maritime attorney to assess the impact these could have on your claim.
Only an experienced lawyer will be able to make sure all of the critical items are addressed:
While the issues may seem simple, getting to the contributory causes of the injury and proving negligence may require interviews, review of documents, and access to information a worker could not get without a lawyer. During the discovery process, you and your lawyer may find your employer, and his insurance company, are attempting to settle your claim as cheaply as possible. If you were making a claim, you may be tempted to accept the first offer, unaware that your injuries and the cause of the injuries could make you eligible for significantly more compensation. The only way to level the playing field is to hire an experienced attorney.
While it is clear that hiring a lawyer is important, it is not always simple to find one who suits your needs. You need the best maritime lawyers. There are many law firms out there who advertise that they handle maritime cases, but how many of them are actually experienced? How many have won these cases? You want an attorney who has successfully worked these cases before—not a lawyer who will be more confused than you about the industry.
Below are a few things you should consider when looking for an attorney:
Maritime law often centers on crucial precedents that are historically well-established. The Jones Act is particularly important, as it dictates that workers who are harmed at sea are entitled to sue the shipowner for the negligence of a fellow sailor. Working knowledge of the Jones Act, among other laws (such as the Death on the High Seas Act and the Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act), may indicate the quality of a maritime attorney. These laws are particularly strict regarding whom they apply to, so a knowledgeable attorney can explore your options specifically within the context of these laws, in addition to general maritime law.
Maritime cases can sometimes take a long time to conclude.
When it comes to maritime law, you want to find an attorney with the commitment and funding to stick with you and your case for years. If your maritime attorney candidates have no experience handling cases over the course of months and years, they may not have the ability to take your case all the way to a successful conclusion. That level of commitment requires the personal conviction and the bankroll to see your case through—regardless of the cost.
The most significant quality you should look for in a maritime lawyer is a successful record. If an attorney has yet to win cases in trial, you may be staking your livelihood on an untried attorney. You should also look for a history of success with the kind of case you are facing. If you are facing a large ship-owning company that refuses to provide compensation for your injuries, a history of success with boating accidents may not help you. As always, a maritime attorney with a broad history of trial and settlement success will be most likely to help.
Put simply: results matter. No matter whether you are looking for a car mechanic, a doctor, or a construction company, you need to know that who you are working with has the experience to handle your situation—and has done so before. This is never truer than when going through the process of hiring an offshore injury lawyer. There are thousands of attorneys out there who will claim they handle offshore injury cases, but how many have done so before? How many have lived by their promises and protected offshore accident victims?
At Arnold & Itkin, we have.
We do not just make promises—we back them up with results. We can say that we will demand justice for you because we have done it before. You do not have to take our word for it. Our results speak for themselves.
In the last few years, here is what Arnold & Itkin has accomplished:
These are results you can trust. In fact, these are results other attorneys trust as well. Our team has been brought in by hundreds of fellow lawyers to try their cases because we know the courtroom. We have spent more time in front of juries the last few years alone than many attorneys spend in their entire lives. Companies recognize our names and reputation because we are more than ready to fight for your rights in court.
In one of the greatest cases in our law firm’s history, we were proud to represent 27 members of the crew of the Deepwater Horizon. This case involved one of the largest oil spills ever, dealing life-threatening and even fatal injuries to the crew. When one-third of the Deepwater Horizon crew were facing off against one of the world’s largest oil companies, they turned to us to demand justice. And we didn’t let them down. We ensured that they were taken care of for the rest of their lives. From working to ensure that you receive the absolute best in medical care, to fighting to maximize your overall recovery, you can trust in our firm.
At Arnold & Itkin, we are leaders in maritime law. Our firm has handled some of the most challenging, high-profile maritime cases in history, including the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and the sinking of the El Faro. In all of these cases, we have proven that we are trustworthy advocates for our clients. We understand the law, and we are prepared to go into battle. Our firm is not afraid of the courtroom, and our opponents know it.
This fearless approach gives us the edge at the negotiating table. It means that we are prepared should it be necessary to fight for our clients in the courtroom. The results speak for themselves. Throughout the years, our maritime lawyers have won billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements, including more than $1 billion in the last year alone. Based in Houston, we have won cases for clients from all 50 states, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. We look forward to continuing our fight for seamen, harbor workers, and longshoremen.
"So I called Kurt and I talked to him. Just talking to him, I felt like he was a good person right off the bat. So he came over and we sat down. I decided that he would be the person to represent my family. After that first meeting, he took care of everything."- Terrie H.
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, provides specific legal rights to seaman that protect their health and livelihood. Under the Jones Act, a seaman who has been injured would have the ability to pursue a case against the shipowner, captain, or other members of their crew. The law, however, is strict on who qualifies as a Jones Act seaman and who is eligible to recover compensation. It is therefore crucial that you talk to lawyers about your case.
Commonly referred to as the Longshore Act or LHWCA, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act is a statutory workers' compensation scheme enacted in 1927 to protect maritime workers who are not protected by the Jones Act. Currently, the LHWCA provides benefits to more than 500,000 workers for work-related injuries and occupational diseases. This act also provides benefits to the widow, widower, or eligible survivors if an injury or illness leads to death.
In 1920, the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) was enacted by Congress to protect the families of seamen injured while working offshore. Under this law, spouses, children, and other dependents are given the ability to pursue legal action if the loss of their loved one could be linked to the negligence of another. For example, a family could pursue a claim if the accident was caused by the unseaworthiness of a vessel or careless actions of an employer or crewmember.
Maritime law is often categorized into two types. The first is the compilation of federal statutes passed over the years (such as the Jones Act); the second is vaguer and consists of "common law," which has developed naturally by major court decisions. One major component of general maritime law is the doctrine of "maintenance and cure," which is what provides living expenses, lost wages, and medical care to seamen if they become injured or ill while working offshore.
Maritime law is a highly-complex area of the law—and not every statute will apply to every case. For this reason, it is crucial that no time is wasted in contacting a maritime injury lawyer who will be able to provide you access to a wealth of knowledge. If you or someone you love has been injured in an offshore accident, we encourage you to contact our attorneys as soon as possible.
Arnold & Itkin represented nearly a third of the crewmembers injured in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Because maritime law is so complex and so complicated, it is crucial that you work with an attorney who has an in-depth understanding of how it works and who has proven themselves in similar cases before.