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General Maritime Law

At Arnold & Itkin, we have handled many general maritime law claims for injured offshore workers across the Gulf of Mexico. We are committed to seeing that injured and ill maritime workers receive the maximum protections and benefits to which they're entitled under general maritime law and other applicable laws. We have helped many injured offshore workers obtain financial help to pay their medical bills, pay rent, and get back on their feet.

To ensure your rights are fully upheld in maritime injury cases, it is important to work with an experienced maritime accident lawyer. At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we are fully committed to holding ship owners and employers accountable for providing all the benefits injured seamen are owed under general maritime law. Our law firm is proud to represent injured seamen and is even prouder to have recovered billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements.

Our track record speaks for itself, and our experience can make all the difference in your case.
To find out more, we welcome you to contact our firm for a free consultation.

Understanding Maritime Injury Law

Maritime trade is one of the oldest forms of commerce. As maritime trade has evolved, so has the vast body of laws that apply to ship owners, seamen, and those who ship cargo by water. This body of law, developed over time based on court decisions and old common law, is known as general maritime law.

Jones Act Death on the High Seas Act Maintenance & Cure

What is General Maritime Law?

One of the first ways that the U.S. government sought to protect maritime workers was through general maritime law. Before the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Comp Act, and Death on the High Seas Act were created, general maritime law established the rights of seamen. Its basic provisions ensure that workers are given maintenance and cure and payments for lost earnings after an injury. It also stipulates the employer's responsibility for providing workers with a safe work environment, whether it be a vessel, oil drilling platform, or jack-up rig. If they fail to provide workers with safety equipment or have faulty equipment on board, they could be liable.

Even though the law has been around for decades, it is still used in court today. It does not only cover injury, but illnesses sustained on the job as well. Unlike the Jones Act which requires the injury be the result of negligence or unseaworthiness, general maritime law is based on the employer-employee relationship. The accident could have been the result of the worker or no one's fault at all, and they could still be given maintenance and cure.

Seaworthiness of a Vessel

A ship owner has a duty to provide a seaworthy vessel that is properly maintained and equipped and staffed by a trained crew. If a seaman or crew member is injured or becomes ill as a result of a vessel's unseaworthiness, the owner is liable to the seaman for his damages and loss. An injured seaman or maritime worker is entitled to paid medical treatment as well as room and board under the general maritime law principles of maintenance and cure.

Maintenance & Cure Benefits

Under general maritime law, maintenance and cure benefits are owed to a seaman until he is fit for duty again or reaches maximum recovery. Maintenance and cure is owed to an injured seaman regardless of who caused the accident or injury. Maintenance includes a seaman's reasonable room and board while ashore, including food, rent, electricity, phone, and transportation, as determined by the courts. Cure benefits include doctors and hospital bills, diagnostic tests, MRI and CT scans, x-rays, medical prescriptions, physical therapy, and in-home care. In precedent-setting court decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has found that the entitlements under maintenance and cure should be broad and inclusive, and any questions about obligations should be resolved in favor of the injured seaman.

Unfortunately, some employers are less than generous in giving maintenance to their employees. The standard cost of room and board aboard a vessel or rig is $15 to $35 a day. However, if the worker is trying to pay for rent, utilities, transportation, and food at home, this amount will not be enough. An offshore injury attorney could help you if this injustice is happening to you. They could help you determine which type of claim you should file as well as help you through the entire process. As there is a time limit regarding when you can claim, it is recommended that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Contact Arnold & Itkin today to discuss your case as soon as possible.

Contact Experienced Maritime Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been injured while working on a ship or vessel, please contact our knowledgeable maritime law attorneys. We represent offshore workers in general maritime law claims and Jones Act claims across the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the entire United States. We are aggressive, skilled, and experienced and we work hard to maximize our clients' recoveries. We understand how important it is to you as a hardworking seaman to provide for your family and pay your medical bills as you try to recover from a serious accident or injury. We can help.

Contact an offshore injury lawyer at Arnold & Itkin for a confidential review of your case: (888) 346-5024.

What is it Like To Work With Arnold & Itkin

Arnold & Itkin represented nearly a third of the crewmembers injured in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

I encountered professionalism, understanding, compassion… lot of compassion. They really felt for what me and my wife were going through.
~ Deepwater Horizon Crew Member

Work with a lawyer who truly understands Maritime Law.

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.

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