Offshore accidents from the Mississippi to the Gulf and worldwide

Prior to opening my own law firm in Houston, I was an attorney with Fulbright & Jaworski. I worked in the admiralty department, handling all types of maritime personal injury and wrongful death cases.

Personal injury under the Jones Act

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, better known as the Jones Act, provides remedies for seamen who are injured on the job. The law itself does not define a seaman, but the U.S. Supreme Court has clarified that—

  • the worker must be assigned to a vessel in operation on a navigable waterway
  • the duties of the worker must contribute to the vessel’s function or mission
  • the connection to the vessel must be substantial in both time and nature

An injured or ill seaman is guaranteed all wages through the end of the voyage. During the voyage and the period of recovery, the seaman receives maintenance and cure until reaching maximum medical improvement.


  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Utility expenses
  • Food costs


  • Necessary medical treatment
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Medications for the original condition or a secondary condition

Maximum Medical Improvement

  • The condition is no longer changing or improving
  • All treatment is to offer comfort

Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA)

This federal law provides financial recovery for the families of seamen and aviators who are killed in international waters. DOHSA applies to—

  • Wrongful deaths on vessels more than three nautical miles offshore
  • Wrongful deaths on aircraft more than 12 nautical miles offshore

Surviving spouses and children are entitled to the continuation of expected future earnings.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

This workers’ compensation law provides for employees who are injured while working, or have illnesses that are caused or worsened by their work conditions. The law covers many types of workers:

  • Longshoremen
  • Harbor workers
  • Outer continental shelf drillers
  • Employees on American defense bases
  • U.S. government contractors outside of the continental United States

Relief provided under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act includes—

  • Medical benefits
  • Compensation for lost wages
  • Rehabilitation services

You need an experienced maritime law attorney

I have been working as a maritime lawyer since the earliest days of my career. If you have been injured while working on a vessel or under another maritime circumstance, contact Scott R. Brann of The Brann Law Firm.