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Houston Jones Act Lawyers

Sutliff & Stout are experienced Jones Act lawyers. Our legal team has successfully resolved various injury cases covered under the Jones Act. This includes multiple incidents along the Gulf Coast and the United States. Our law firm takes enormous of pride in handling these cases, and our expert team of lawyers who specialize in the Jones Act devotes a significant amount of time and resources to helping individuals injured on the high seas.

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    What is the Jones Act?

    The Jones Act was a significant piece of American legislation that was passed in 1920. It supported the American Merchant Marine and also provided additional protections for sailors and ship crew members. The Jones Act and its benefits are extremely complex, and mariners eligible for claims under this Act should consult a lawyer familiar with the Act.

    The Jones Act allows certain offshore workers to make a claim or file a lawsuit directly against their employer. This means that, unlike a land-based worker who is covered by worker’s compensation, you may sue your employer and collect monetary damages for any of your employer’s negligence or the negligence of a co-worker that caused your injury.

    Understanding the Impact of The Jones Act
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    Experienced Jones Act Maritime Injury Lawyers

    Experienced Jones Act & Maritime Injury Lawyers

    Our Houston Jones Act death law firm handles maritime, admiralty, and Jones Act cases strictly on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay any fee or expenses until we help you recover.

    If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at sea, we invite you to contact our office now for a free, no-obligation case review.

    The History of The Jones Act

    Jones Act 1920

    The Jones Act was officially titled the Merchant Marine Act of 1920; however, it became known and recognized as the Jones Act after the man who sponsored it, Senator Wesley Jones. The act was passed in response to concerns about the health of the Merchant Marine, and to establish protections for sailors.

    Before the passage of the Jones Act, sailors injured on the job had few options for recovering damages. Recognizing the danger of working at sea, and the value of trained seamen, the Jones Act established a system of benefits for sailors.

    The Two Parts of the Jones Act

    There are two parts to the Jones Act that are of particular historical significance. The first part heavily promoted American-owned ships. This was accomplished by restricting shipping and passenger trade within the U.S. to American-owned ships and dictated that 75% of a ship’s crew members must consist of American citizens.

    In addition to this, the use of foreign parts and labor was also heavily restricted. This section of the Jones Act was intended to create a strong and fully staffed Merchant Marine that could appropriately serve the U.S. during peace and war.

    The second significant part of the Jones Act created benefits for sailors which are very far-reaching. Any sailor who is injured at sea is entitled to maintenance and cure. This means that the sailor’s employer is required to pay him or her a daily stipend and provide medical care to treat the injury. In addition, sailors also have the ability to sue for damages in the event that their injuries were caused by negligence on behalf of the ship’s owners or crew members. These damages include death benefits whenever there is a case where a sailor is killed on the job.

    Jones Act Seaman

    Any maritime worker who spends at least 30% of their time in active service on a vessel in navigation qualifies as a Jones Act seaman. This includes everyone from the Captain on down. The benefits and legal protections afforded by the Jones Act are significant. Hiring an experienced offshore injury attorney who understands this aspect of maritime law and how it applies to those working offshore is important.

    Assuming you, your loved one, or a friend qualifies as a Jones Act seaman, a special set of rules apply to the case. First, under the Jones Act, you can hold your employer responsible for your injury if you can prove that your employer or a co-worker’s carelessness caused or in any way contributed to your injury. This can be shown by presenting evidence that your employer did or failed to do something that it should have done. Some examples would be if your employer failed to provide you with safety equipment or failed to hire a competent crew.

    If you can show that your employer is at fault for your injury, you still must deal with what is known as “comparative fault.” This is where your employer tries to blame you for your injury by saying that you should not have done something or you should have done something differently. This doctrine is one of the primary reasons that employers try to blame injured workers.

    Your employer usually tries to lay the groundwork for this defense at the outset of the claim by getting you to give a recorded statement. If your employer tries to make you give a recorded statement, you should ask to give a written statement instead so you can think about what occurred and be as accurate and comprehensive as possible in terms of what happened, why it happened, who saw what happened and what could have been done to prevent the injury.

    Oftentimes employers will want you to give a recorded statement at the doctor’s office or hospital when you are still dealing with the effects of the injury or trauma, so you will not be as comprehensive and thoughtful as you need to be regarding what occurred. You should tell your employer that you are happy to assist with the investigation, but you need time to consider all that occurred, and you will give a written statement once you have had time to recuperate.

    Satisfied Client Stories

    Sutliff & Stout took an interest in me as a person, not just dollar sign..

    I was in a terrible car wreck, one that could have ruined me considering today’s economy. After searching far and wide, I finally found Sutliff & Stout. Their character and high morals were exemplified in my legal representation against huge power company. Through their expertise, I received proper medical care plus the money I needed to pay for future medical treatment and secure my financial future.

    - Judy J.
    Sutliff & Stout took an interest in me as a person, not just dollar sign..

    Most lawyers will take cases for the money. Sutliff & Stout took an interest in me as a person and not just dollar sign. If you want attorneys who will do their best, and go the extra mile, Sutliff & Stout are perfect for you. They took care of everything after my personnel basket transfer accident, and their efforts made sure that my family would be taken care of in the future.

    - Tony N.
    I felt like I was talking to old friends…

    When I met Hank and Graham of Sutliff & Stout, I felt like I was talking to old friends. We met, discussed my case and they were off and running. After promptly filing a lawsuit on my behalf, they even helped find a good doctor for me. Sutliff & Stout were very interested in getting the justice I deserved. They were also very attentive to any questions or theories I had.

    - Danny H.
    Sutliff & Stout fought to make my situation a bit more bearable…

    Sutliff & Stout immediately started working on my case and resolved it as soon as they could, because they understood I had been through enough after the death of my husband. Although a number of lawyers refused to help me because of the risk and cost involved in my case, Sutliff & Stout boldly took on my case and obtained a settlement that secured my economic future and, thereby, lessening the load on my shoulders after the accident. Where the other lawyers turned their backs, Sutliff & Stout fought to make my situation a bit more bearable.

    - Linda F.
    These guys are tireless and fierce advocates…

    Having never been in a car accident before, I assumed the insurance company for the 18-wheeler would take care of everything, and do so honestly. I was wrong. The insurance company refused to help me with my medical bills and wouldn’t treat me fairly. That’s when I contacted Sutliff & Stout. Thankfully, they stepped into the picture and made sure that I was treated fairly and with respect. These guys are tireless and fierce advocates for their clients. Sutliff & Stout provided clear explanations at every step, outlined my options, and carried out any decision I made. I was very fortunate to have found this firm.

    - Shannon H.
    Sutliff & Stout were there for me…

    I had an accident with an 18-wheeler. All I wanted was for my medical bills to be taken care of but the company would not help. Sutliff & Stout came to my house, sat down with me and discussed my options. I liked them immediately. I’d never been involved in an accident with a vehicle that massive before. It was scary, and I didn’t know what to do. Sutliff & Stout were there for me, and they helped me map a strategy to achieve all of my goals. I highly recommend Sutliff & Stout for any legal matters you may have.

    - Matt K.
    Sutliff & Stout made sure that I was always informed and up to speed…

    My daughter and I sustained a significant loss due to a defective tire. I didn’t know where to turn to, until I found Sutliff & Stout. Sutliff & Stout were very knowledgeable about the law as it pertained to my case. They were definitely client driven, understanding, and aggressive. Sutliff & Stout made sure that I was always informed and up to speed on any of my case developments and I was never out of the loop on any aspect of my case.

    - Kendall W.
    I would recommend their services to anyone…

    When I was rear-ended by a commercial truck, I needed an aggressive attorney to pursue the trucking company responsible for putting the driver on the road. Sutliff & Stout cared about me enough to help me find quality medical assistance for my neck injury. I would recommend their services to anyone in need of help.

    - Shavona W.
    Sutliff & Stout still got me the compensation necessary to treat all my injuries…

    Despite all of my prior medical problems, Sutliff & Stout still managed to win me the compensation necessary to treat all my injuries. After my accident, I was able to recover my lost wages and received a great amount of compensation for my losses. I have easily recommended Sutliff & Stout to my family and friends a number of times, and highly recommend them to you as well. Thanks again.

    - Doyle A.
    I will always go to Sutliff & Stout…

    I suffered a neck injury that kept me out of work for a long time. The good news was that I didn’t have any bills afterwards; even my hospital and my ambulance bills were paid for after my accident. The insurance company settled once Sutliff & Stout boldly showed them we were prepared to try the case. I will always go to Sutliff & Stout.

    - Susan C.
    They were patient, and always made sure I understood everything…

    I never thought I would be in a situation where I needed an attorney. I actually never thought I would be in a dredging accident. I found Sutliff & Stout through a friend and I turned everything over to them. They walked me through all the steps, and I asked loads of questions, but they were patient, and always made sure I understood everything. I am really happy that I chose such a good law firm to help me.

    - Anthony R.
    Without Sutliff & Stout, I would not have been treated fairly…

    When ten different attorneys gave me the cold shoulder, Sutliff & Stout warmly accepted me and my case. When I thought there was no hope for me, Hank and Graham worked extremely hard, for a very long time, in order to put me in a position to convince the city to settle. Without Sutliff & Stout, I would not have been treated fairly and would have significant debts as a result of the collision.

    - Chris F.
    They treated me more as a friend than as a client…

    I cannot thank Sutliff & Stout enough for the way they handled my case in a very professional yet caring manner. They treated me more as a friend than as a client. Their endearing ways in dealing with clients show how much they genuinely care. They resolved my case as soon as possible because they didn’t want me to go through any further hardship after already losing my daughter. In my time of need, Sutliff & Stout was there for me.

    - Daisie M.
    I wouldn’t even dare think of calling any other attorney…

    The Sutliff & Stout Law Firm helped me when I needed it the most with true professionalism and courtesy. After my child was injured at a daycare, Sutliff & Stout helped me make the best decisions possible. I would definitely recommend Sutliff & Stout to anyone that needs legal assistance. I wouldn’t even dare think of calling any other attorney.

    - Cassie F.
    Sutliff & Stout helped me fight back…

    I felt slighted and demoralized after a former associate of mine breached an agreement we made. Maybe the person thought I would just give in, but I didn’t. Sutliff & Stout helped me fight back. Their aggressiveness and hard work pushed the defendant to finally pay the rightful amount before we even went to trial. It’s nice to know there are attorneys out there like Sutliff & Stout that will fight for me.

    - Client prefers to remain anonymous
    We’ll never have to search around for lawyers again, we found our guys…

    Our company received the short end of a very bad business deal. Things were looking bleak financially. We’d never been part of a business deal that had gone so bad. When we met Sutliff & Stout, our worries were put to rest. Their commitment and prioritization produced a $850,000 settlement on our behalf. Things are back to normal, and we are financially secure again thanks to the hard work and know how of Sutliff & Stout. We’ll never have to search around for lawyers again, we found our guys.

    - Client prefers to remain anonymous

    Qualifications to be Considered a Jones Act Seaman

    To qualify as a Jones Act seaman, you must meet certain legal requirements, including being assigned to a vessel in navigation, and your work must substantially contribute to the vessel’s mission to which you were assigned. These preliminary requirements are sometimes relaxed depending on a person’s job title and duties (e.g., the test for a commercial diver to qualify as a Jones Act seaman is different than a tender on a vessel).

    Given the fact-specific inquiry, it is important that you consult with a top-rated Houston Jones Act injury lawyer that understands maritime law and the differences that exist for the different types of offshore workers.

    Qualifications to be Considered a Jones Act Seaman

    Recent Maritime Injury Case Results


    Work Injury Settlement

    Our firm was contacted by a non-maritime lawyer to assist with a case involving a diving supervisor. The diver was involved in a personnel transfer when the load line of the personnel basket snapped sending the diver to the deck of the lift boat. This fall resulted in the diver breaking both of his ankles. After filing suit and conducting a substantial amount of discovery, we were able to convince the at-fault companies that this was a case that needed to be resolved for a substantial amount of money. Net recovery to client was $1,764,587.37.


    Offshore Work Injury Settlement

    Sutliff & Stout was hired to represent an offshore worker when he injured his back while trying to board a crew boat back to shore. Despite repeated attempts to discount the value of the worker’s claim, through the use of various character and expert witnesses we were able to demonstrate that the case had a great deal of value and the only fair settlement would be one that was in the seven figures. After a lot work, we were able to obtain a $2,075,500.00 settlement for the offshore worker and his family. Net recovery to client was $1,202,397.01.

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