U.S. Jones Act & Maritime Lawyer

Richard Serpe: Master of Laws in Maritime/Admiralty

maritime lawyer, jones act lawyerThe best personal injury attorney who devotes their practice to injuries occurring on land will be familiar with state law concepts.

Maritime matters, on the other hand, are governed by federal law. If you are injured in a maritime accident you need an attorney who understands these laws.

  • Master of Laws in Maritime: After law school, Richard Serpe obtained a Master of Laws in Admiralty law from Tulane University School of Law.
  • Proctor of Admiralty: He has obtained the highest ranking (Proctor) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.
  • Jones Act Case Success: He has successfully prosecuted cases under the Jones Act, bringing fair and just compensation to those who were injured while performing their duties.
  • Protecting Injured Seamen: 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.
  • Protecting Families: Richard Serpe has successfully settled cases for recreational boating victims that resulted in the death of a loved one by a maritime vessel.

Proven Results: Maritime Client Video


Do I Qualify Under the Jones Act?

The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is an important federal maritime law. This law protects workers who are injured or become ill at sea by allowing them to recover compensation from their employer.

  • To qualify for such protections, a maritime worker must fall under the Jones Act definition of a “seaman”. U.S. courts have generally interpreted “seamen” to mean anyone performing work related to a vessel’s purpose operating in navigable waters. Navigable waters meaning waters capable of being used for commerce.
  • The employee must also spend a “significant” amount of their time on the vessel. This is evaluated on a case-by-case basis by taking into account the circumstances of employment. However, this often means at least 30% of their time.

The Jones Act vs. Workers’ Compensation

Many are surprised to learn that maritime employees are not covered by normal workers’ compensation insurance. Instead, under The Jones Act, seamen can file personal injury claims. If maritime workers can prove that their employer did not provide a safe environment in which to work, they can recover the costs associated with their injury.

Maritime Injuries On The Job

It is true that working on our oceans is inherently dangerous. However, that fact does not absolve the shipowner, captain or crew members from responsibility.

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. This includes cruise shipsfishing boatstugboatsbarges, etc. Anything less places lives at risk.

Wrongful Death

When a death occurs on the high seas or the navigable waters of the United States, the legal issues that can be implicated are numerous.

The applicable laws, who can file a claim, and the remedies available can vary tremendously. This can depend on whether:

  • the person killed was a seaman
  • a longshoreman or a non-seafarer
  • what caused the accident
  • defendant(s) being sued
  • and precisely where the accident occurred

The general rules can be summarized, but this area of the maritime law is very complex.  At times volatile, the small factual differences can make a big legal difference.

Contact Richard Serpe: GET HELP

Attorney Richard Serpe is experienced with cases under the Jones Act and the general maritime law.

He takes pride in helping those who were injured on our waterways due to no fault of their own.


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