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Maritime work is essential to our Gulf Coast economy, and dangerous by its very nature. From ships to tugboats, barges, pleasure boats and more – unique federal maritime laws offer these workers specific rights with roots in the US Constitution.

The framers ensured federal protection to “all cases of admiralty and marine maritime jurisdiction” within the Constitution’s Article III provision for the judiciary.  As a result, federal Admiralty law offers maritime worker injury claims even greater protection than traditional worker compensation.

If a worker qualifies as a seaman, he /she may seek traditional tort claims damages against his/her negligent employer through the Jones Act.  Additionally, a seaman may pursue a claim for maintenance and cure, which provides medical treatment, together with living expenses while undergoing treatment.

Employees who do not qualify as a seaman but as maritime workers may be entitled to benefits provided by the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWC).

Boat passengers still have legal rights, even if a waiver was signed before boarding.  Common injuries for workers and passengers may include falling overboard resulting in broken bones, head injuries or even death.  Other injuries may include exposure to toxic fumes, chemical burns, fishing injuries, lost limbs, shoulder injuries and repetitive use injuries.

Not all personal injury attorneys are qualified in the unique field of maritime law.  Boteler Richardson Wolfe is a certified proctor in admiralty with decades of experience handling complex maritime claims.  We offer a complimentary case review to help decide your next steps.


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