Maritime Injury Attorney

On shore and off shore, occupational accidentals can happen no matter the location or the planning and expertise of the crews involved.  Maritime accidents require special legal attention because they often occur in waters floating on the boundaries between the accident victim’s home country and international jurisdiction.  In the majority of accident causes, it is the job of the hired maritime accident attorney to “reel in” the scope of an individual accident case and process it through the district jurisdiction which is most likely involved.  Most districts will try to dismiss sea-borne lawsuits and injury claims, but a maritime accident attorney will fight for any fisherman, oil rigger, contractor and seaman who earns his living on the water.

In every maritime lawyer’s mind is the case of the 1988 accident on the Norwegian oil rig known as Piper Alpha.  All systems and personnel protocols were in standard working order until the unforeseen happened.  Many lives were lost and international maritime safety standards for workers, contractors and international trades people came under immediate review.  Families were shortchanged because of the litigation surrounding this tragedy, but this type of maritime justice never has to happen again.

The conference organized in Norwegian waters at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center will be a spectacular multi-industry representative focus on the safety steps which can be taken on off shore oil rigs, fishing boats and commodities transports.  This UK-based conference is bound to address some of the most important issues facing nations with high seas trade and shipping interests.  The Piper Alpha accident will be of particular note and focus for all envoys attending the conference.  New safety and personnel protocols will be introduced and proposed which will certainly highlight some of the most pressing and under addressed issues in international maritime law.

Hijacked Ship Sinks

Life at sea can be tough. Rugged waters, arduous work schedules and long periods away from the family all make sea duty difficult. Most sailors enjoy the life, nevertheless, because of the adventure, travel, and pay. These people, full of wanderlust, often forget the possible dangers. One crew became sadly aware of the omnipresent threat of piracy on the high seas in late 2010. On November 26, 2010, the Albedo, a ship sailing under a Malaysian registry, came under attack while sailing 900 miles off the coast of Mogadishu, Somalia. Pirates overtook the crew of 23 sailors, with the expressed intent of holding the men for ransom. The ship remained seized and in possession of pirates, in waters near Somalia, until July 7, 2013, when it sank.


The men held captive suffered through over two-and-half years of anguish. Pirates raid vessels for profit. In this case, the monetary reward was ransom, payable by the company or family. Enrich Shipping owned and operated the Albedo but refused to pay the millions of dollars required to secure its release. Paying the ransom was beyond the means of the company, officials declared on various occasions. This reality meant the families of the captives had to locate a maritime attorney to help negotiate a feasible ransom. After paying $1.2 million to the pirates, families gained the release of seven crewmembers. This July 2012 release left an estimated 15 of the crew onboard, as one person died earlier.


The final scene of this saga occurred almost a year later on July 7, 2013, when the Albedo sank after months of taking in seawater. Sources confirm the remains of four of the captives. Meanwhile, the European Union Naval Force and Maritime Patrol continues searching for survivors. The families surely want a conclusion to this whole affair. More than likely, a skillful maritime attorney will now sift through the evidence and paperwork to ascertain the culpability in these deaths. It is not certain just whose negligence contributed to this situation. This type of incident is why speaking with a maritime attorney is important.

Natural Gas Blowout

Injuries at sea are not uncommon, and there are many different ways in which these injuries can take place. Maritime law covers different scenarios and situations, all of which are important to highlight and understand what context it plays if such an event unfolds. While most maritime injuries involve boats and moving vessels, there are other issues that can arise on solid platforms and constructions, such as golf rigs. Such an event did just take place on the Gulf of Mexico when a natural gas blowout caused a serious fire and caused serious damage to the facility

Recent Natural Gas Blowout

The natural gas blowout occurred about 55 miles off of the shore of Louisiana and, although generally a manned location, nobody was actually on the big when the gas blowout occurred. What exactly caused the explosion is still not yet known, although local authorities were contacted and sent out in order to try and reduce the size of the blaze and get it under control, although due to the nature of the fire, with gas sitting on top of the water to burn, it did prove more challenging than a traditional fire on land.

Nobody Injured at Sea Currently

Nobody was injured during the explosion, although there are some risk of contaminated water and other issues arising inside around the show as the water with burned gasoline stats to make its way to shore. This situation is capable of harming hundreds, if not thousands of individuals who live along the cost, and if such an injury occurs, it is important to utilize a team of lawyers that has experience dealing with this kind of a situation or legal matter. While some lawyers are going to suggest they are able to handle any kind of injury, it is always best to go with someone who specializes in the kind of law. Maritime law covers any and all kinds of issues that took place at sea, and while someone might have become sick by being exposed to the contaminated water on the land, the situation took place on the water in the Gulf of Mexico and is classified as a maritime issue and constitutes injured at sea.

Grounded Boat: Pirate Queen Grounding

If you are injured during a boating accident or while in the water, it is important for you to utilize the assistance of a lawyer who is knowledgeable and capable of helping you out with this very specific kind of injury. While there are injury lawyers who say they can help you out, no matter your injury, you are in better hands if you opt into the services of a maritime accident injury lawyer. A maritime accident injury is anything that happens at sea, and this usually takes place while at sea and something happens on a boat, such as a cruise line, and you are injured during the process. There are different laws and rules when it comes to water based injuries, especially if you are in international waters. Due to this, you need someone who is able to assist you and has all of the knowledge available to them. The maritime accident injury lawyer is there to assist you every step of the way.

One of the most recent maritime accidents took place with the Pirate Queen Grounding. Sometimes, the accident is more than just an incident on a cruise line. With this, the Pirate Queen ended up coming in contact with the pier due to the leading lights not functioning properly on the Roonagh Pier. This ended up costing millions of dollars worth of damage, not to mention injuries to the crew. It is up to the Pier owners to keep everything up and running on it, and because they did not keep the lighting functioning properly, and this ended up leading to the incident. They need to be held accountable for the actions, as they did not maintain their necessary duties. It is not the captain or other individuals on the boat who are at fault, but instead the owners of the Roonagh Pier.

There are many different issues that occur with maritime law. All of this needs to be dealt with by someone who has experienced and knowledge regarding the kind of law, and this is why utilizing a maritime accident lawyer is the best bet.

How the Jones Act Affects Workers at Sea

Maritime attorneys handle cases where people are injured at sea on their job including rig job injuries and shore side situations. They provide legal representation for injured merchant mariners, officers, deckhands, factory trawlers, crabbers, longshoremen, cruise ship workers, oilrig workers, ferry workers and even injuries from recreational boaters.

A competent skilled offshore injury lawyer has the contacts for dealing directly with naval experts, marine safety investigators, board-certified healthcare and medical personnel providers, injury experts, along with physical capacity experts. They can represent nearly anyone that has suffered injuries at sea or involved in any maritime injury situation. They can provide the legal expert required to receive compensation for both current and future losses.

In 1920, the Merchant Marine Act [i] was passed. It is more recognized as the Jones Act of 1920. It provides a whole list of remedies specifically designed for individuals that are injured at sea. Even though the laws do not specifically define coverage for seamen, the law on coverage has been clarified by the US Supreme Court.

Any ill or injured seaman is to be guaranteed all of their wages from the time of their injury or illness until the end of the entire voyage. During all of their recovery time, the individual while at sea is to receive care and maintenance until they reach access to care that provides maximum medical improvement. Maintenance includes mortgage or rent payments, food costs, and utility expenses. Cure involves medical supplies and equipment, necessary medical treatments, and any medication that is both in an original or secondary condition.

If an individual is injured or ill at sea, and is not properly compensated they need to hire the skills of a maritime attorney to receive just restitution. They should seek one that has a solid success track record in handling cases directly involved with the National Jones Act and other maritime laws.

Two Fall Overboard on Cruise Ship–Still Missing

Two Australians fell overboard on the last night of a cruise off the coast of Forster, a large coastal town in Australia.  The couple was discovered to be missing Thursday morning, and then surveillance tape was discovered showing the two falling overboard on Wednesday night.

The man and woman, Paul Rossington and Kristen Schroder, have not been found even after a long and thorough search of 4,670 square kilometers of the sea.  Rossington is a paramedic himself, and with calm and warm waters, the families are still holding out hope that the couple survived.  They were on-board the ship with seven family members and friends.

The safety railing that the couple fell over not only complied with industry regulations, but was 2 inches taller than required.

However, despite having 600 surveillance cameras on the cruise ship that were constantly monitored by employees, the fall went unnoticed.  Cruise officials say it was because on the last night of the cruise, there were too many public areas for the crew to monitor every single camera.

The cruise was operated by Costa, which is a division of Carnival Corporation.  Carnival cruises have been plagued with problems.  Earlier this year, the Carnival cruise ship Triumph lost power after an engine-room fire and was left bobbing in the Gulf of Mexico for 5 days without power, proper sanitation, or enough food.

Last year, 32 people were killed when the Costa Concordia ran aground in Italy.  Also last year, the Costa Allegra lost power in the Indian Ocean and left its passengers stranded for 3 days without air conditioning, running water, or toilets.

These are examples of how cruise ship vacations can go from being a dream to a nightmare in a flash, which seems to be happening more and more often.  Have you been injured in a cruise ship mishap?  We invite you to read the cruise ship information we have here on our website, and then to call the maritime attorneys at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP to discuss your particular case.