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Our maritime attorneys work with seamen and longshoremen from the fishing ports of Alaska to the oil rich Gulf Coast. Our goal as maritime lawyers is to put the full force of the Jones Act to work for injured maritime workers, and help you recover the compensation you and your family need.


Injured maritime workers have relied on the Jones Act since the 1930s, when the need for a uniform law to protect the rights of seamen and offshore workers injured at sea finally became so great that Congress was forced to act. Workers who are injured on a vessel in a navigable waterway within the scope and course of their job can rely on the Jones Act in order to hold an employer accountable for damages.

Maritime lawyers, Gordon Elias & Seely, LLP, newsroom and press includes published media from CNN, PBS, AP, National Geographic, MSNBC, videos and articles about the BP Transocean Deepwater Horizon disaster including the Chris Choy survival story.


The Jones Act is a federal statute that the legislature passed in the 1930s, which gives seamen injured during their employment the right to sue for personal injury. The law entitles almost every land-based worker to worker’s compensation benefits under federal and state law. In the maritime industry, these rules don’t apply. Since the law doesn’t permit seamen to file worker’s compensation claims, the Jones Act is an important piece of legislation that gives maritime workers financial recourse for their injuries.

To collect compensation under the Jones Act, injured maritime workers must prove their employer was negligent. In accordance with the terms of the Jones Act:

  • A maritime employer must provide a reasonably safe place to work.
  • An employer must use reasonable care to keep and maintain the vessel on which a seaman is working.

If maritime employers fail in their duty to provide and maintain a safe workplace, they may be liable for negligence to both the captain and coworkers. The courts consider the Jones Act employee-centric, as it puts the burden on the employer to ensure a safe workplace. The following are examples of unsafe conditions or negligence under the Jones Act:

  • Malfunctioning equipment
  • Oil or grease on deck
  • An improperly maintained vessel or equipment
  • Failure to provide proper safety equipment
  • Improper or incomplete training or the employee or coworkers
  • Unsafe work processes
  • Coworker assault
  • Any negligence of a seaman’s coworkers or captain


The second avenue of recourse for injured maritime workers is called the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act – LHWCA. This is a federal statute that provides injury benefits for certain maritime employees as well as civilian employees on military bases. The LHWCA protects harbor workers, longshoremen, and people who work on docks, shipping terminals, and shipyards.

The LHWCA offers monetary benefits to injured workers who are:

  • Temporarily but totally disabled
  • Temporarily but partially disabled
  • Permanently but partially disabled
  • Permanently and completely disabled

Under the LHWCA, an injured maritime worker may also receive compensation for all their necessary medical treatments as well as reimbursement for mileage and travel associated with medical treatment and rehabilitation.

 Your Maritime Law Attorneys

The Law Office of Gordon, Elias & Seely is a full-service maritime law firm, which means we serve clients under the Jones Act and the LHWCA. If you have been injured at sea, you have rights under federal law – let us help you take advantage of them. We help injured maritime workers who don’t qualify for these statutes, including third party longshoreman claims.

We offer our maritime law services on a contingency-fee basis. In simple terms, this means “no recovery, no fee.” We believe in helping our clients find recourse for their injuries and financial security in the future, so we won’t collect a fee unless you win a settlement. We offer these services to maritime workers throughout the United States, from Alaska to the Gulf Coast.


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