Virginia Attorney Richard Serpe is currently accepting cases involving maritime workers who have been injured in the course of their employment. He has successfully prosecuted cases under the Jones Act and the general maritime law, and takes pride in helping those who were injured on our waterways due to no fault of their own. It isn’t just any attorney who can handle a maritime law case. If you or a loved one has been injured while working on a seagoing vessel, contact Richard Serpe for a free case assessment today.
Anyone who has spent time earning a living on the ocean can tell you that it’s a dangerous business. The sheer unpredictability of the ocean can put even the most experienced of sailors or the strongest of ships at risk.
These conditions demand competence and professionalism from all of the crew members of any seagoing vessel, whether it’s a tugboat, barge, cruise ship or fishing boat. Anything less places lives at risk.
While it is true that working on our oceans is inherently dangerous, that fact does not absolve the shipowner, captain or crew members from responsibility should one of their employees or fellow workers suffer an injury.
The Rights of Injured Sailors Under the Jones Act
The entitlements for which an injured sailor are automatically eligible are:
Cure: This is coverage for your medical bills, including rehabilitation and therapy, until the injured seaman reaches maximum medical improvement. You should realize that maximum medical improvement can be reached even if the injury victim will never fully recover from his injuries, or even if he or she will never be able to return to work.
Maintenance: This is a small daily allowance for living expenses during the time that you are injured. This should last for as long as the sailor would have been working had the injury not occurred.
Cure and Maintenance are automatic under the Jones Act, and are to be implemented even if the injury happened for reasons that were nobody’s fault.
The Jones Act also allows for workers to bring suit for the recovery of damages in the event that the accident occurred due to negligence or incompetence. If the shipowner, captain, or other member of the crew was negligent or incompetent, or if the vessel was poorly maintained, not seaworthy or unfit for its intended purpose, the injured worker has every right to bring those responsible to account for their actions. They are allowed to file suit to recover future economic loss, pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of capacity to enjoy life, loss of the ability to maintain a household, and other damages.
In other words, your rights as an American are not suspended because you do work that can be dangerous, or because you were not on U.S. soil when the injury occurred. However, while your rights are the same, there are some differences in laws and procedures that will require an attorney with complete knowledge of maritime law and experience in working maritime cases.
For maritime injury cases, that attorney is Richard Serpe.
Richard Serpe: Justice for All
Mr. Serpe has a Masters Degree (LLM) in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law, and has obtained the highest ranking (Proctor) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States. He has successfully prosecuted cases under the Jones Act, bringing fair and just compensation to sailors who were injured while performing their duties.
Richard Serpe has years of experience in protecting the rights of injured seamen, He knows how the insurers of commercial vessels will do everything they can to minimize their financial liability, even if it is at the expense of decent treatment for the injured.
If you have been injured while working on a commercial vessel, your main concern should be getting back on your feet. Worrying about medical bills, an inability to work, or an uncertain future should not add to your burden. Richard Serpe will handle your case with all the respect and dedication that it deserves.
Under the law, workers who are not seamen, but who work on or over water have rights under the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. This class of workers has a wide scope of rights for injuries they receive while working on and around vessels. Knowing which law applies, and how to protect the full rights of these workers is a specialty that Richard Serpe has worked hard to master.
Injuries at sea and in local waters are not restricted to seamen. Weekend sailors on sailboats and powerboats, and even jet ski operators, are covered under the general maritime law. Special regulations and rules, including Coast Guard regulations and the Limitation of Liability Act, can have an important impact on victims injured on pleasure boats. Richard Serpe has the qualifications and experience to help these victims recover.
If you of a loved one have suffered from an injury on a seagoing vessel, contact our offices for a free legal consultation today.