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Jones Act/Maritime Lawyer

Jones Act/Maritime Lawyer

Jones Act Attorney in Houston Texas

For over thirty-five years, when injured seamen and maritime workers, and the families of those who have been killed at sea, have looked for a Jones Act lawyer to prosecute their Jones Act maritime law claims, they have turned to Houston Jones Act attorney Richard Schechter.

Houston Jones Act Lawyer

Richard has handled virtually every type of Jones Act law claim, ranging from injuries and deaths that occur on oceangoing vessels, tugboats, barges and workboats, and jack-up and semi-submersible drilling rigs, to those that occur on the various structures and vessels used in the offshore oil and gas industry.

Tug boat in Houston

Richard Schechter is a Maritime Lawyer Houston Can Trust

Richard has been handling Jones Act and maritime law cases along the Gulf Coast since 1980. As a Houston maritime attorney, he has represented literally hundreds of seamen from around the world. Richard’s knowledge of Jones Act maritime law is widely respected. He taught maritime personal injury law at a Houston law school for a decade and has testified before committees of both the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives regarding proposed legislative changes to the Jones Act law. This is a very specialized area of law with a unique set of regulations, including special federal rules that apply in federal court. That’s why you’ll want an attorney with decades of experience in this area, like Houston Jones Act lawyer Richard Schechter.

How Can I Tell if I have a Jones Act Lawsuit?

The Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. Section 30104, was enacted in 1920 to give seamen and their families a legal remedy against their employers in the event a seaman is injured or killed in the course of his or her employment. The statute provides that if a seaman is injured or killed due in whole or in part to the negligence of their employer or fellow employees, the seaman or his family can bring a suit against the employer. The key requirements of the statute are:

  • must be a seaman
  • injured in the course and scope of their employment
  • in whole or in part due to the negligence of the employer

Working seamen in port of Houston

Under the Law Who is Considered a Seaman?

The question of what defines a seaman depends on whether the individual

  • worked on a vessel “in navigation”,
  • had an employment connection to the vessel that is both substantial in terms of duration and its nature, and
  • contributed to the work of the vessel.

While the term “vessel” is given a liberal interpretation to include oceangoing freighters and tankers, tugs and barges of all shapes and sizes, offshore crew boats and work boats, drill barges and lift boats and jack-up and semi-submersible drilling rigs, there are structures such as fixed platforms located on the outer continental shelf that are not considered vessels. An experienced Houston offshore injury attorney like Richard Schechter can help you navigate this very complex and nuanced area of law and make sure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled.

This is especially true for those who are injured on offshore drilling rigs or structures. Offshore drilling is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Individuals who work on the drill crews as tool pushers, drillers, derrick hands, roughnecks and roustabouts may have different remedies available to them under the law, depending on where and on what type of structure they are injured. That’s where Houston offshore injury lawyer Richard Schechter and his legal expertise can help.

Are There Other Remedies Available to Seamen?

In addition to claims under the Jones Act, a seaman may have common law remedies against the vessel owner for unseaworthiness and against his employer for maintenance and cure (a type of worker’s compensation that is available for all seamen injured in the course and scope of employment, regardless of fault).

Litigation under these different laws and Jones Act settlements involve a complex interaction between federal and state statutes and common law rules. The Law Office of Richard Schechter, P.C. has handled essentially all aspects of maritime personal injury and wrongful death cases. Contact Richard Schechter.

Ariel view of port and barges in Houston Texas

What if I am Injured on a Ship but Not Covered by the Jones Act?

Maritime law cases involve more than injuries to seamen. For example, longshoremen injured while loading and unloading cargo are covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act and the maritime common law, as are ship repairers. Oilfield workers injured or killed on fixed and floating structures may also be covered by one of a variety of laws, depending upon the facts of the case. Further, passengers on any type of vessel, including military and cruise ships, have claims that fall under the general maritime law. This complex interaction between federal and state laws is why you want the experienced maritime injury lawyer Houston has turned to since 1980, Richard Schechter.

Get Legal Representation from an Experienced and Trusted Maritime Lawyer in Houston

These cases demand an experienced maritime attorney with legal knowledge and expertise, like Richard Schechter. Not only has he handled Jones Act law and maritime law cases for over thirty-five years, but he has tried cases from Florida to Brownsville. The Law Office of Richard Schechter, P.C. is strategically located in one of the centers of maritime activity in the United States.

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