Maritime Injury Attorney in Virginia Beach
Maritime Lawyers in Virginia Beach
Maritime workers work hard for their paychecks. Their families rely on their income to survive. If they’re injured or killed in an accident, the consequences can be harsh.
Based in Virginia Beach, Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C. is committed to providing experienced legal counsel to injured maritime workers throughout the Tidewater and Hampton Roads region, including Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake and beyond.
Our maritime lawyers understand the challenges and risks of working on the water. We’ve handled all types of maritime injury cases and we’ve successfully helped our clients pursue the compensation they need.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers are ready to fight for you. They know how to navigate the complexity of maritime law, and they know what it takes to win. Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C. will fight for you and your family from start to finish. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What is Maritime Law in Virginia?
Seamen, harbor workers, and others in the maritime fields routinely put their health and their lives on the line. The seagoing professions can be extremely dangerous. We know the challenges that you face.
At Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C. our attorneys understand the unique dangers and legal issues that those in the maritime field must deal with. Injuries and accidents can happen at any time. Even the smallest lapse in safety can injure or kill those who work on the water. We have represented seamen, harbor workers, fishermen, dockworkers, longshoremen and many others employed in maritime professions. When a maritime worker is injured or killed in an accident we know how to stand up for them and their families.
Our law firm has represented maritime workers in the Tidewater area for decades. We’ve built a reputation as tough, hardworking lawyers who know how to deliver results in maritime injury claims. We are proud of our reputation and our experience. Let us put them to work for you.
Virginia Maritime Laws
Maritime work can take you all over the world, but no matter where you go, there are laws that protect you. It’s important to know which laws apply to your claim. Some apply to seamen while others may apply only to dockworkers. These laws help determine who was responsible and they will be central to your claim.
- The Jones Act. The Jones Act sets special rules for seamen, deckhands, and other ship workers. It sets strict standards for maintenance, equipment, licensing, and training. It also sets standards for maritime safety and has rules regarding the health and welfare of the crew. Under the Jones Act, seamen must have a reasonably safe workplace and vessels must appropriately maintained. The Jones Act sets special standards for negligence and allows seamen to collect for injuries, pain and suffering, loss of income, and many other damages.
- Maintenance and Cure. Seamen may also be entitled to damages under the doctrine of maintenance and cure. Maintenance may cover an injured seaman’s living expenses such as rent, food, and other essentials. Cure may cover medical costs and bills associated with the seaman’s injuries incurred while working on or for their vessel.
- Unseaworthiness. Under maritime law, a vessel used by seamen must be in safe and working order. If aspects of the vessel such as the deck, equipment, or fixtures are poorly maintained or damaged, a vessel may not be considered seaworthy. A vessel may also be considered unseaworthy if there is not a sufficient amount of training for the crew or appropriate safety procedures in place to protect their wellbeing.
- Death on the High Seas Act. Accidents and wrongful deaths can happen anywhere. If a worker is killed while working farther than 3 nautical miles from the coast of the U.S., this act may apply. The Death on the High Seas Act may allow recovery for expenses such as medical bills, loss of support, and funeral expenses. It also has special rules for seamen and how they may recover damages.
- Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. This act applies to workers involved with moving cargo and building or repairing vessels. This act can also apply to workers harmed while contracting to the U.S. government even if that work occurs overseas. If a worker is harmed on the water, or near it, this act may apply. This covers docks, cargo terminals, shipyards, and many other locations.
- Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. This act covers workers on the Outer Continental Shelf of the United States. This law can apply to workers involved in natural resource exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf. For example, oil rig workers, construction crews, and many others may be covered. The location and nature of the work will determine whether this act applies to your claim.
The facts of your case will determine the applicable law. In maritime injury claims, the nature of the work and the location of the work will determine what compensation is available. At Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C., we’ll work with you to make sure that all possible paths for compensation are open for you
Put Us to Work on Your Maritime Injury Claims
We’ve handled all types of personal injuries that can happen in maritime jobs. If you were injured, or a loved one was killed in a maritime accident, contact us today.
It’s easy for dangerous conditions to arise on the water when wind and waves are working against you. If you are injured in a maritime accident, you need to move fast and get the representation that you need. Our firm has over 30 years of experience working with those who make their livelihood on the water. A few examples of maritime injury cases include:
- Injuries Stemming from Maritime Collisions. Ship collisions happen far too frequently, and they can happen for many reasons. Perhaps a ship is pushed violently into a dock by a tug. Perhaps a ship is not handled correctly, goes off course, and runs aground. At night on the ocean visibility can be minimal, and ships can collide with other ships, docks, buoys, and many other hazards. When a vessel collides with another object, crew and equipment can be thrown and injured.
- Commercial Fishing Accidents. Commercial fishing accidents don’t put just injury victims in danger: the lives of rescuers can be at risk too. Nets, traps, and lines must be managed or their use can lead to serious injury or death. Tangled nets and lines can disable a ship and risk the lives of everyone on board. Appropriate safety procedures and safety equipment must be in place or the entire crew can be put in danger.
- Maritime Accidents Due to Drugs & Alcohol. Drugs and alcohol are dangerous anytime a user is operating equipment. They’re extraordinarily dangerous when the user is handling a vessel or its tools. The use of certain drugs and alcohol may violate U.S. and state laws. They may violate a company’s policies as well. When injury occurs as a result of drug or alcohol use, it’s important to understand what rules have been broken and who may be responsible.
- Maritime Accidents Due to Negligence. Safety should be a top priority in maritime work. Seamen, dock workers, divers, and other maritime workers understand that the water can be an overwhelming force and that the correct equipment and procedure can save lives. When a company or a shipowner ignores dangerous conditions they may be held liable for injuries that result. When they cut corners on equipment, training, and procedures, and food safety, the health and the safety of the crew can be at risk.
- Shipyard Accidents. Construction is often dangerous and shipyards are full of hazards. Heavy equipment, specialized tools, and half-finished projects can be deadly. Combine those with the wind and water of working near the sea and injuries can easily happen. Shipyards have duties to protect their workers and to comply with safety regulations on their premises.
- Dockside Accidents. Loading and unloading cargo requires care and attention. Dockworkers do their jobs with speed and precision even in the most challenging weather conditions. They have a lot of demands put on them and they demand a lot from their equipment. The equipment they use needs to be tested regularly for integrity and safety. Cargo-handling procedures must be in place and must be followed. If not, injury and even death can occur.
How We Can Help Injured Maritime Workers
We respect the work of those in the maritime profession. We know how to fight for you if you’ve been injured. Working on or near the water comes with special challenges – and unique laws – that some law firms just don’t understand. We do. We have worked with those in the maritime professions for over 30 years and we have handled many types of maritime personal injury and wrongful death cases. If you or a loved one have been injured, here’s how we can help:
- We will work for you and your family, not for an insurance company. Insurance companies and businesses aren’t looking out for the best interests of you and your family. They’re concerned with their bottom line. If you’ve been injured they may push back and refuse to pay. If they do offer payment, it may be far less than you deserve. Many families of maritime injury victims take the payout because they don’t know they can do better. Our lawyers understand how to evaluate your situation and how to build a strong and persuasive claim. If you have been injured, we’ll look out for you.
- The law is our craft and we know how to handle your claim. A successful maritime personal injury or wrongful death claim needs detailed documentation and deep knowledge of the law to have the greatest chance at success. To recover damages, your claim will need a detailed record of the incident. Logs, camera footage, witness reports, medical records, and many other types of documentation may come into play. Sometimes ship owners and insurance companies will fight you and try to stop you from getting what you need for your claim. We know how to work with the other side and pursue what you deserve. We’ll gather the documents, assemble your claim, and work to see that you get the compensation that you need.
- We’ll handle the paperwork while you focus on healing. A personal injury or wrongful death claim can create a lot of work. This detailed work is the foundation of your claim. You have to know exactly what documents you need, and even then, it can take a tremendous amount of time to gather them and handle them properly. Sometimes employers and insurance companies won’t cooperate. We know how to handle them. We’ll get the documents your claim needs, organize them, and take care of the legal filings. Maritime injury victims and their families can go through a lot, but they don’t need to do it alone. We can help lift the load.
Compensation for Maritime Injuries
Compensation will depend upon the type of work, the job of the worker, and where the accident happened. We’ll work with you to get the facts in your case and we will review the law to know what compensation may be available to you. A claim for a maritime injury may include:
- Reimbursement for medical bills
- Pain and suffering damages
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Punitive damages
- Other damages
Contact the Virginia Beach Maritime Injury Attorneys Today for Help!
Maritime injury claims can be complex and confusing. Our experienced lawyers know how to handle your claim. If you have been injured, you and your family should focus on healing. Let us handle your claim.
Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C. has represented clients just like you for over 30 years. We pride ourselves on our results and resources in maritime injury claims. Let us put our experience to work for you. Contact us today for a free claim review and advice about your best legal options.