Admiralty Attorney Serving Brownsville, Galveston, and All of South Texas – Frequently Asked Questions
Because maritime and admiralty law can be very complex, many of our clients initially have far more questions than answers about the best way to pursue their lawsuit. Admiralty attorney Scott Nelson provides Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Galveston, and other South Texas residents with the honest and straightforward answers they need to make informed decisions regarding pending or potential claims. He believes that an educated client who understands the concepts under consideration by the courts is in a better position to judge how best to proceed with his or her case. For that reason, Scott Nelson has provided answers to some of the questions most commonly asked by our clients in the hopes that you will gain a better insight into what maritime and admiralty law involves. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, contact admiralty attorney Scott Nelson today.
What is admiralty and maritime law?
Dating back hundreds of years, admiralty law comprises the laws and principles governing all questions and concerns arising from maritime incidents. This body of private international law governs the relationship between private and public entities that operate seagoing vessels. Maritime law differs greatly from the Law of the Sea, however; the Law of the Sea governs such topics as sovereignty, territorial rights, navigation routes, and mineral ownership. Though many people typically view maritime law as not being applicable to them, it does not exclusively deal with "blue water" incidents. Private boating accidents, property damage, and any number of other issues that occur at sea can be handled by an admiralty attorney.
What is the Jones Act?
The Jones Act is a federal maritime law that serves to provide benefits for employees who are injured on seagoing vessels while in navigable waters, as well as employees on oceangoing oil rigs that are mobile and not permanently fixed. In effect, the Jones Act is a type of workers' compensation insurance specifically for merchant mariners, harbor pilots, oil rig employees, and other employees who make their living at sea. Benefits of the Jones Act include what are known as "maintenance" and "cure." Maintenance is a daily pay stipend for workers who are unable to work, while cure entails medical care, including access to doctors, hospitals, and prescriptions drugs. Admiralty attorney Scott Nelson can help Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Galveston, and other South Texas residents who have been injured at sea file a Jones Act claim so they can receive the compensation they deserve.
What is unseaworthiness?
Owners of seagoing vessels engaged in commerce or transportation have the legal obligation to furnish their crew with a safe and seaworthy vessel. A vessel is considered seaworthy when it is equipped with the proper safety gear and equipment, offers safe recreation facilities, and is operated by a competent and capable crew. The warranty of seaworthiness extends to all of a vessel's parts, including the hull, machinery and equipment, necessary gear, and even its crew.
For example, a vessel is unseaworthy if an injury to a seaman is directly linked to any condition that compromises the safety of the vessel. Such conditions can include:
- Broken or inoperable equipment
- A crew that is too small, incomplete, or not adequately trained
- The presence of oil, grease, or rust in inappropriate areas
While negligence focuses on the actions of a seaman's employer, unseaworthiness applies directly to any condition, defect, or deficiency with regard to the vessel itself.
The statute of limitations on an unseaworthiness claim is three years from the date of the injury. An unseaworthiness claim is filed in conjunction with a Jones Act claim.
Why should I hire an admiralty attorney?
Vessel owners typically have vast resources at their disposal for defending their assets in court. In addition, owners and operators often do everything in their power to minimize or prevent paying any damages in the event of an injury or death. A qualified and experienced admiralty attorney with knowledge of maritime law can greatly improve your chances of obtaining a successful resolution to your case. If you have been injured at sea and are interested in filing a Jones Act claim or another type of lawsuit, the staff at the Law Office of Scott A. Nelson, P.C., can help.
Contact Admiralty Attorney Scott Nelson in Corpus Christi
If you have been injured in a maritime accident or a loved one has been killed as a result of a vessel operator's negligence or a vessel's unseaworthiness, contact the Law Office of Scott A. Nelson, P.C., today. Our admiralty attorney based in Corpus Christi and representing all of South Texas, including Galveston and Brownsville, can help determine your eligibility for financial compensation.