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Houston Jones Act Lawyers

Consult with an experienced and reputable Jones Act lawyer in Houston if you or a loved one has suffered an injury at sea. We handle maritime, admiralty, and Jones Act cases, including multiple incidents along the Gulf Coast and the United States.

The Sutliff & Stout, Injury & Accident Law Firm has fifty years of combined experience, with aggressive but compassionate lawyers, Graham Sutliff and Hank Stout, securing $1 BILLION in accident-related verdicts for Texas residents. Feel free to browse through the verified reviews of our satisfied clientele or read through our five-star rating on Google.

We strictly operate on a contingency-fee basis. You don’t have to pay us anything if we don’t win your case. Contact our law office now at (713) 405-1263 for a free consultation, or send us a message through our secure online form.

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    Why Choose The Sutliff & Stout, Injury & Accident Law Firm?

    Choosing the right Jones Act attorney in Houston is critical for your lawsuit. You deserve a legal advocate who will tirelessly fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve.

    Sutliff & Stout’s personal injury law firm has strategic locations across Texas, ensuring that we can effectively serve accident victims throughout the state.

    Our team’s expertise is also underscored by its board certification in Personal Injury Trial Law by The Texas Board of Legal Specialization — an accomplishment achieved by less than 2% of all trial lawyers in their careers.

    This distinction exemplifies our unwavering dedication to mastering the intricacies of personal injury cases and premises liability laws to best serve our clients’ needs.

    One of our notable maritime cases includes an over $2.6 million settlement involving a diving supervisor. Another case secured more than $2 million for an offshore worker who was injured while trying to board a crew boat back to shore.

    If you are prepared to pursue justice following a maritime injury, Sutliff & Stout stands as the best choice for your lawsuit.

    How Can We Help In A Jones Act Claim

    As a maritime worker, you face unique risks and challenges in your daily job. When an injury occurs in the workplace, the path to securing the compensation you deserve can be complicated and overwhelming.

    This is where the Jones Act comes into play, offering crucial protections for sailors and ship crew members. However, understanding how this federal law applies to your case often requires the expertise of experienced legal professionals.

    At our law firm, we specialize in representing offshore workers who have been injured due to the negligence of their employers or co-workers. We recognize that the Jones Act sets maritime workers apart from their land-based counterparts, providing them with the ability to file a lawsuit directly against their employer for damages.

    Our team of skilled attorneys is dedicated to leveraging this powerful legislation to advocate for your rights and secure the compensation you are entitled to.

    • When you choose to work with our firm, you can expect personalized attention and unwavering commitment to your case.
    • We begin by conducting a thorough assessment of your situation, evaluating the merits of your claim, and developing a tailored legal strategy.
    • Our attorneys will meticulously investigate the incident, gather crucial evidence, and consult with experts in the field to build a compelling case on your behalf.
    • In many cases, we are able to negotiate a fair settlement with your employer’s insurance company, ensuring that you receive the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
    • However, if a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached, we are fully prepared to take your case to trial.

    At Sutliff & Stout, we believe that every maritime worker deserves access to exceptional legal representation, regardless of their financial situation.

    That’s why we offer free initial consultations and operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that you won’t owe us any legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.

    About 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 who caused your injury.

    The American Maritime Partnership reported that 40,000 Jones Act vessels operate in the domestic trades, supporting nearly 650,000 American jobs and $150 billion in annual economic impact. It also said that “five indirect jobs are created for every one direct maritime job,” which results in more than $41 billion in labor compensation.

    Understanding the Impact of The Jones Act
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    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 Senator Wesley Jones, who sponsored it. 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: The Jones Act has two parts 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 dictating 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 very far-reaching benefits for sailors. 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.

    Employers often 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.

    What Is A Jones Act Seaman?

    Under the Jones Act, the plaintiff may bring an action in federal district court or in state court. The defendant is not entitled to remove the case from a state court to a federal court. Although maritime law generally does not afford the plaintiffs the right to a jury trial, the Jones Act grants plaintiffs that right in personal injury actions.

    Under 46 U.S.C. § 30104, “a seaman injured in the course of employment or, if the seaman dies from the injury, the personal representative of the seaman may elect to bring a civil action at law, with the right of trial by jury, against the employer. Laws of the United States regulating recovery for personal injury to, or death of, a railway employee apply to an action under this section.”

    Qualifications to be Considered a Jones Act Seaman

    Eligibility Under The Jones Act

    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 who understands maritime law and the differences between the various types of offshore workers.

    Common Injuries of Maritime Workers

    The NIOSH Center for Maritime Safety and Health Studies reported that there are approximately 400,000 workers employed in U.S. maritime industries. These workers face a higher risk of fatality, injury, and illness than other American workers.

    In fact, commercial fishing is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Likewise, the water transportation industry has a fatality rate 4.7 times higher than the rate for all U.S. workers.

    From the unpredictable nature of the sea to the heavy machinery and equipment used on ships and offshore platforms, the risk of injury is ever-present. The common ones include:

    • Equipment-related injuries
    • Falling overboard and drowning
    • Fires and explosions
    • Inadequate safety measures
    • Occupational diseases
    • Overexertion and fatigue
    • Slips, trips, and falls
    • Struck-by incidents

    Common Claims Under The Houston Jones Act

    Generally, an injured seaman is entitled to recover compensation for the following:

    • Lost wages (past and future)
    • Lost employment-related benefits
    • Past and future medical expenses, and
    • Mental, and physical pain and suffering related to the injuries.

    Some courts also allow the seaman to be awarded interest on their damages. Recently, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Alaska, two companies in Alaska’s seafood shipping industry settled to pay $9.5 million for Jones Act violations.

    Types of Damages and Compensation From The Jones Act

    When you’ve been injured as a maritime worker, the road to recovery can be long and challenging. Not only do you have to deal with the physical and emotional toll of your injuries, but you also face financial uncertainties.

    A study published in the National Library of Medicine revealed that “workers at sea have high mortality, injuries and illnesses and work in a hazardous environment compared to ashore workers.”

    If you’ve been injured on the job, you are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits. Maintenance refers to a daily stipend that covers your basic living expenses while you recover, such as food and housing.

    Cure, on the other hand, encompasses the medical treatment you need to reach maximum medical improvement. Your employer is obligated to provide these benefits regardless of who was at fault for your injury.

    Beyond maintenance and cure, the Jones Act allows you to pursue additional damages if your injury was caused by your employer’s negligence or the unseaworthiness of the vessel.

    These damages can include:

    If your injury prevents you from working, you can seek compensation for the income you would have earned had you not been injured. This includes not only your base salary but also overtime, bonuses, and other benefits.

    While cure covers your immediate medical needs, you may also be entitled to compensation for ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, and any necessary medical equipment or modifications to your home.

    The physical pain and emotional distress you experience as a result of your injury are compensable under the Jones Act. This can include not only immediate suffering but also any long-term effects on your quality of life.

    If your injury results in a permanent disability that impacts your ability to work in the future, you can seek compensation for the reduction in your earning potential.

    If your injury leaves you with scars or other disfigurements, you may be entitled to additional compensation for the emotional and psychological impact of these changes.

    It’s important to note that the damages available under the Jones Act are not capped in the same way that workers’ compensation benefits are for land-based workers. This means that you have the potential to recover significantly more compensation than you would under a traditional workers’ compensation claim.

    Role of a Specialized Attorney

    A dedicated and specialized Jones Act attorney plays a crucial role in protecting your rights and advocating for your best interests.

    Your attorney will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury, gather evidence, and consult with experts to establish the negligence or unseaworthiness that led to your harm.

    When it comes to Jones Act claims, expertise and personal experience matter. The Jones Act is a niche area of law that requires a deep understanding of maritime law, as well as the unique challenges faced by offshore workers. An attorney who specializes in Jones Act claims brings that essential expertise to your case. Through their years of experience handling Jones Act cases, a specialized attorney has gained invaluable insights into the tactics used by employers and insurance companies. They know how to counter these tactics and build a compelling case that demonstrates the full extent of your damages. Furthermore, many Jones Act attorneys have personal experience with the maritime industry. They may have worked on ships themselves or have close connections to the industry. This personal experience gives them a unique perspective and a deeper understanding of the challenges you face as an injured maritime worker. They can relate to your situation on a personal level, providing not only legal guidance but also empathy and support.
    Experienced Jones Act Maritime Injury Lawyers

    Working with a Local Houston Jones Act Lawyer

    If you’re a maritime worker in Houston who has been injured on the job, partnering with a local Jones Act lawyer can significantly boost your chances of a successful claim. Here’s why:

    Local Expertise: Houston Jones Act attorneys deeply understand the region’s unique maritime industry, including the specific hazards faced by workers on ships, oil rigs, and other vessels. This knowledge allows them to build strong cases tailored to your situation.

    Legal Community Connections: Local lawyers have established relationships with judges, court staff, and other legal professionals in Houston. These connections can streamline your case and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

    Convenience and Accessibility: Working with a nearby attorney means face-to-face meetings, easy document drop-offs, and efficient communication throughout your case.

    Community Investment: Houston Jones Act lawyers are deeply invested in the local community and passionate about fighting for the rights and safety of all maritime workers in the area.

    When choosing a Houston Jones Act attorney, look for experience, expertise, and a proven track record of success in handling similar cases.

    At our firm, our team of seasoned lawyers combines legal prowess with a personal commitment to each client, providing the support and guidance you need.

    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

    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.

    Contact A Houston Jones Act Lawyer Now

    Seeking assistance from an award-winning Houston Jones Act attorney could significantly impact your ability to secure the maximum compensation for your losses and ensure accountability for the suffering you endured.

    At Sutliff & Stout, our dedicated legal team is committed to helping you fight for justice. You can trust us to safeguard your rights and prevent any exploitation by your employer’s insurance company.

    We understand the urgency of your situation as an injured maritime worker, which is why we promptly file your claim to expedite the process of obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.

    Take the first step towards recovery by reaching out to us today. Call us at (713) 405-1263 for a free consultation, or send us a message through our secure online form.

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