North Carolina Admiralty / Maritime Attorneys
Legal Help After Suffering Injuries on the Water
Admiralty law, also called "maritime law" is a distinct body of laws that includes both U.S. and international statutes. The legal matters covered by this body of law include injuries to seamen, injuries occurring on cruise ships, and a range of recreational activities such as parasailing or others in the oceans, lakes and rivers in the U.S.A.
Injuries to Seamen on U.S. Waters
Those who work as seamen who have suffered injuries, or family members who have lost a loved one in an accident on U.S. waterways, can seek justice with help from a skilled North Carolina personal injury lawyer. These cases are most frequently covered under the Jones Act.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act (formerly called the Merchant Marine Act) gives any seamen or crewmember of a vessel the right to file a personal injury claim. Offshore employment is specifically defined as employment in which a person spends at least 30 percent of a work schedule on a U.S. vessel, and their duties clearly contribute to the functioning of the vessel. Under the Jones Act, injured seamen or their families must file a claim within three years of the date that the injury or harm occurred. As the Jones Act is exclusively for those who meet the legal criteria as an offshore worker, injury cases for onshore workers are covered under the LHWCA (Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act).Maintenance and Cure in North Carolina
The types of seamen or crewmember injury or death cases covered by the Jones Act include:
- Reckless or egregiously non-professional actions taken by other seamen or employees that resulted in physical injuries to a seaman or crewmember.
- Cases involving unseaworthy vessels that resulted in injuries and other damages suffered by a seaman or crewmember.
- Unsafe working conditions aboard the vessel that resulted in injuries or death.
- Actions that deviated from the usual course of conduct aboard, leading to injury or death.
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- Limitation of Liability Act of 1851
Maritime law holds the owners of ships responsible to "cure" an injured seaman or crewmember. The "cure" refers to providing care, treatment, and fair compensation for workers injured or suffering illnesses while performing their duties aboard. The obligation includes medical treatments, medications, necessary medical devices, and paying for the basic costs of living while the injured person recovers, as well as payment of attorney fees.
These financial obligations continue, free of charge, until the person has reached what is termed "maximum medical cure." Should a new medical procedure become generally available that could assist in alleviating the effects of an old injury, the injured person is also eligible to have that treatment covered under the Act. Any seaman or crewmember injured on U.S. waters should seek the assistance of a highly-skilled maritime attorney to assist in filing a claim and seeking the maximum financial compensation available under the law.
At The Rhine Law Firm, P.C. our Wilmington maritime lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights and interests of injured seamen and crewmembers. We work hard to get justice for the people we serve, and we are proud to have achieved an extensive track record of success. It is the direct result of our hard work and full personal dedication to our clients.
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Luxury cruise liners offer passengers an exciting, pleasure-filled holiday – until something goes terribly wrong. Cruise ship injury cases are more common than most people know; cruise lines work very hard to keep bad publicity to a minimum. An injured passenger has the right to seek full financial compensation for all damages.
Liability and Negligence: Who Is to Blame?
Liability and negligence that leads to an injury or death on a cruise ship can be exceedingly complex. It is in your best interests to immediately seek legal representation from a law firm with a history of achieving high value settlements and verdicts, and a great depth of knowledge of maritime law. Contact the Rhine Law Firm, P.C. for cruise ship cases, as well as cases that involve injuries sustained on a local waterway transport, such as on the ferry to Bald Head Island, while parasailing, or other recreational activities.
“Joel Rhine and his staff did everything possible to help us in a very dark period of our lives.”- John
“We were blessed to have them fighting for us and never giving up.”- Stewart
“Rhine Law Firm has a friendly, caring, professional staff and they worked hard for me.”- Becky
“I couldn't have asked for a better firm to handle my injury claim. If you do not have confidence with your attorney, you need to contact Rhine Law Firm immediately.”- Will
“Rhine Law Firm went out of their way to make sure that my mother-in-law obtains everything she is entitled to in an injury case.”- Lee