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Gulf Coast, Mississippi Maritime Injury Attorneys

Maritime Law

Biloxi, MS Maritime Law Attorneys

Maritime law is based on laws and traditions that go back for centuries. It is a very complex and constantly evolving are of law. As new technology has developed and the types of activities that occur on the water have changed vastly in recent years, so have the types of injuries and claims. Maritime law protects workers and passengers of vessels, and can even apply to aircraft in some circumstances. If you have been injured on the water or a loved one has died at sea, the experienced Biloxi, Mississippi maritime law attorneys of Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC can help you determine what type of case you may have and help you obtain the compensation your deserve.

Maritime Law Basics

Maritime law covers ships and shipping and other types of business occurring at sea. This includes the duties of vessel owners, shipmaster, and maritime workers. Each country has its own set of maritime laws, and the country whose laws apply to a vessel are determined by the flag the vessel flies rather than where it is operating. A vessel flying the U.S. flag is governed by U.S. maritime law even if it is operating halfway across the world.

Maritime law covers injuries and death, as well as a broad range of other legal concerns such as contracts, salvage, and much more.


Unseaworthiness is often at the heart of maritime claims. An unseaworthiness claim is made against a vessel owner. Vessel owners have a duty to maintain a seaworthy vessel. An injured worker may have an unseaworthiness claim against his employer under the Jones Act, if the employer owned the vessel. If the vessel was not owned by the employer then a third party unseaworthiness claim may be appropriate.

Seaworthiness means much more than the vessel’s ability to stay afloat, and function. Unseaworthiness can refer to many conditions on the ship including:

Maintenance and Cure

Maintenance and Cure refer to the most basic remedies available to injured seamen. You do not have to prove fault to receive maintenance and cure, and you can still pursue a claim against your employer if you receive these benefits. Maintenance and cure are paid until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI).

When living on a vessel, your room and board are provided for. When you are recovering off the vessel, you will have living expenses that you would not have if you were not injured and could remain on the ship. Maintenance is a small payment that is meant to cover your basic living expenses while you recover from your injuries. Your employer may try to pay far less than what is truly needed for maintenance. Maintenance can include:

Cure covers your medical expenses. It does not necessarily cover all of the medical care you will need. You can receive cure until you have reach MMI. MMI is the point at which medical care will no longer improve your condition. You may need medical care for the rest of your life, just to stay alive or maintain a certain level of health after reaching MMI.

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.