Offshore & Maritime Personal Injury
David McNeal has put boots on deck time and time again over his life, sailing around the world on U.S. Flag vessels, and as a mate licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard on New York City Department of Transportation ferry boats. And David has both Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) and Ultra Deepwater drilling rig work experience in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. While working offshore, David was one of the shipboard officers responsible for inspecting and maintaining specific safety aspects of the vessel as mandated by numerous regulatory agencies. That real, hands-on experience provided him with a solid, detailed understanding of the extreme dangers that exist in the offshore work environment, and how they occur.
David graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and Tulane University Law School in New Orleans—one of the few law school programs with a maritime law curriculum. David was acknowledged for his outstanding work, receiving Trial Advocacy Honors, along with his Juris Doctor degree and Certificate of Specialization in Maritime Law.
David’s profound respect for those who live and work in the offshore environment motivated him to become the kind of attorney that offshore and maritime clients can truly count on whenever they suffer a work-related injury or illness.
The McNeal Law Group recognizes the value of offshore and maritime workers and the incredible economic impact their important work has within the oilfield and offshore environments all across our great country and its waters. David and his team understand the stress the work can bring upon workers and their families, and he takes pride in helping them through whatever issues arise. David has the experience, the education, and legal knowledge to strategically navigate through the critical issues of any case. Call or contact us today.
- What Is Admiralty Or Maritime Law?
- If I Am An Offshore Worker, Does The Jones Act Apply To Me?
- What Is Maintenance & Cure?
- What Should I Do If I Am Injured At Work?
- What’s My Case Worth?
- What Does It Cost To Hire A Maritime Injury Lawyer?
- Jones Act FAQ
How Much Is A Typical Offshore Injury Case Worth?
Offshore and maritime work is no walk in the park; the work can be stressful and hard, but workers find it rewarding, and their contribution to our nation’s economy is immense. We owe them a debt of gratitude. Offshore and maritime workers are often strongly devoted family people who care deeply for, and are concerned about, their families’ security. When an accident happens, it’s common for workers to first think of their families. Injuries mean time off work, and time off work means dipping into savings, or worse if there are no savings. When you add medical bills and associated costs, the situation could quickly escalate into an economic emergency.
Thankfully, offshore workers can find protection through some existing laws such as the Jones Act, which allows workers to collect certain kinds of compensation in addition to their immediate medical needs when injured on the job.
Potential Damages That Could Be Claimed In Maritime Injury Cases Via The Jones Act:
- Lost Wages
- Living Expenses
- Lost or Diminished Earning Capacity
- Future Health Issues & Complications
- Long-Term Care
- Physical Pain
- Counseling Options
- Mental Anguish
- Vocational Rehabilitation
The ‘value’ of a maritime injury case will be determined by a wide assortment of factors, facts, legal determinations, and more; these cases can be involved. This is why you should protect yourself and hire an experienced offshore & maritime personal injury attorney in Houston, TX. You need an attorney on your side who understands offshore & maritime law, but who also understands you. As a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (U.S.M.M.A.) in Kings Point, New York, and a mate licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard, David has first-hand, and hands-on, experience working on the sea, and is perhaps better equipped than most other attorneys in offshore and maritime law because of that.
Because there are so many variables in these cases, it’s best to let your offshore & maritime personal injury attorney in Houston, TX calculate all the potential damages for which you need to be compensated. There is no ‘one value’ for any particular claim; values of claims vary greatly. If you hold the title of a seaman, then medical bills will be covered by the Jones Act. Essentially, when negligence occurs by your employer and leads to your injuries as a worker, you are probably eligible for significant compensation for any surgeries, pharmaceuticals, or other types of needed rehabilitation.
But beyond the Jones Act, there are other maritime laws that could cover you, and your offshore & maritime personal injury attorney in Houston, TX will help you to calculate the overall value of your claim and then work to ensure you get all the compensation you deserve.
The Longshore And Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
No one expects to get injured on the job, but the reality is that you never know when an accident might occur. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and when they do, it is understandable to have numerous questions and concerns in regard to an injury, employment, reparation, and status or eligibility of certain personal injury benefits and compensation. If you are a maritime employee who has been injured, it is expedient to contact a maritime personal injury attorney in Houston, TX to discuss your particular circumstance.
Maritime workers should be relieved to know that there are several maritime laws that provide protection and coverage in case of an accident. A knowledgeable offshore injury attorney in Houston, TX can assess your case to determine which laws, protection, and coverage best apply to you. You may even be eligible for a certain type of protection or coverage that you may not have been aware of, such as The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act is a type of workers’ compensation that provides benefits for some maritime employees. Not all types of maritime employees qualify to receive injury benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. The LHWCA is covered federally, and though some maritime employees may not be eligible, they still could be eligible for state-provided workers’ compensation. Maritime employees who are covered under the LHWCA include longshoremen, harbor workers, and others who work on docks, shipping terminals, and shipyards. To verify whether you qualify under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, it would be wise to talk to an attorney who specializes in maritime personal injury in Houston, TX.
The benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act are usually more generous than the compensation offered by the state. For instance, under the LHWCA, a maritime worker can receive 2/3s of his or her average weekly wage compared to only 60% from the state’s workers’ compensation. A qualifying maritime worker can also be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits under the LHWCA. Permanent partial disability benefits are not available by the state. If you are unsure about eligibility and the kinds of benefits you can obtain under the LHWCA, it is recommended to talk to an offshore injury attorney in Houston, TX about the options available to you.
Benefits Under The LHWCA
Maritime workers who qualify to receive reparation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act can be eligible for temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent total disability, or permanent partial disability. An injured worker can have all of his or her medical treatments paid for as long as the procedures are reasonable. You can also be compensated for transportation expenses, mileage, and other reasonable expenses such as tolls and parking for travel between medical treatments and appointments. If you are unable to return to your previous line of work due to your injury, you may be eligible to receive vocational rehabilitation benefits as well. It is important to consult with an experienced maritime personal injury attorney in Houston, TX to talk about your needs and the benefits you are entitled to receive.
The Status Test
In order to determine eligibility under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, maritime workers need to meet the status and situs test.
The status test determines whether an employee performs work that is considered to be maritime work in nature. In other words, the majority of an employee’s work has to involve water or marine transport as part of the LHWCA’s requirements for eligibility. Usually, longshoremen, ship repairers, shipbuilders, and shipbreakers are eligible for benefits under the LHWCA. Some other types of employees, such as truck drivers who take shipping away from ships and mechanics who repair those types of trucks can meet the status test if they meet the maritime condition through their employer.
The Situs Test
The situs test determines the location of a maritime employee. To meet the situs test requirement, maritime employees have to work on, near, or adjacent to navigable water. If a maritime worker does not work on, near, or adjacent to navigable water, he or she is not eligible for Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act benefits.
Figuring out whether you meet the status and situs test can be confusing. Not all areas or locations qualify under the situs test, and not every maritime employee automatically meets the status test. However, if you do not meet the requirements under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, you still may be covered under the Jones Act. It is vitally important to talk to a skilled attorney who handles maritime personal injury in Houston, TX to verify the type of coverage you are eligible to receive. A professional offshore injury attorney, such as David can help determine the best course of action for your case
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