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Gulf Coast, Mississippi Maritime Injury Attorneys

Maritime Accidents - Who is Covered

Biloxi, Mississippi, Jones Act - Maritime Law Attorneys

If you have been the victim of a maritime accident, either by injury to yourself or through the death of a loved one, you may be confused about which laws apply to you and whether or not you are covered at all. Maritime law can be confusing to the point of being very discouraging for victims. Sadly, the parties responsible for your injuries are banking on that. The experienced Mississippi maritime attorneys of Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC, understand what you are facing and are ready to level the playing field for you.

General Maritime Law

General maritime law covers most maritime accident victims in some way. It covers those who are not seamen or maritime workers in accidents such as cruise ship accidents. It may cover you if you have been the victim of an oil spill. Seamen who have a claim against their employer under the Jones Act may also have a third party claim under general maritime law. U.S. maritime law applies to some rivers and inland waterways as well as the sea.

Jones Act

The Jones Act covers maritime workers who are classified as seamen. In order to be considered a seaman you must be the master or crewmember of what is considered to be a vessel. A vessel provides transportation on navigable waters. It does not have to be what you think of as a ship. The definitions of seamen and vessels have evolved over time and are found in case law rather than being strictly defined in the statutes. Your employer may try to dispute your status as a seaman to avoid being held liable under the Jones Act. If you are a seaman, an experienced maritime attorney can help you prove that you have a valid case.

Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LWHCA) covers maritime workers who are not seamen. It does not allow you to bring a lawsuit against your employer. It works much like state Workers' Compensation. You do not have to prove fault to be eligible for benefits, but those benefits are very limited as compared to a negligence suit. LWHCA covers shipbuilders, ship repairmen, those who load and unload ships, and many others engaged in maritime work.

Death on the High Seas Act

The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) applies in cases where death occurred at least three nautical miles from any U.S. shore. Dependents of seamen, other maritime workers, and non-workers who die at sea can claim compensation under DOHSA. This includes:

If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance in Biloxi, Mississippi or anywhere on the Gulf Coast, please call Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC at (228) 374-5151 or toll free (877) 377-5152 or submit an online questionnaire. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.