Jones Act Lawyers Fighting for Maritime Workers

Jones Act Attorneys: We Protect the Rights of Maritime Injury Victims Nationwide

If you have been injured in a maritime accident, the Willis Law Firm is here to help. We have over 40 years of experience protecting the rights of workers and other individuals who have suffered serious maritime injuries. Our firm understands that the legal system can be intimidating and confusing for injury victims. Each Jones Act attorney is here to answer your questions in the strictest confidence and guide you through every step of the legal process.

Maritime injuries and accidents can have catastrophic, life-changing consequences for victims and their families. In addition to your initial pain and suffering, you may experience serious ongoing medical problems that prevent you from reaching a full recovery and returning to work. While your employer may promise to take care of you and find you a new position that accommodates your injuries, these types of promises are often not fulfilled. Far too often employers and their insurance companies deny responsibility and look for ways to limit the amount of compensation they are required to pay injured workers.

Whether you have been injured on a ship, jack-up oil rig, offshore platform, barge, tugboat , fishing boat, or other type of vessel, you need a strong team of experienced maritime and Jones Act lawyers on your side. It is important to remember that your interests and the interests of your employer are not always aligned. At the end of the day your employer will be looking out for its own interests. David Willis, a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer and Jones Act attorney, can protect your rights and fight for the compensation you need to recover from your injuries and move forward with your life.

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How The Jones Act Helps Injures Maritime Workers

The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a federal statute designed to support and promote the American Merchant Marine while also providing important protections to sailors and crew members who are injured in the course of their employment. Prior to the passage of the Act, seamen who were injured, became sick, or died at sea had little if any recourse because they were not able to hold their employers accountable for work-related accidents and injuries. With the passage of the Jones Act, injured seamen gained important legal rights. They are now able to file a negligence lawsuit against their maritime employers for work-related injuries.

Unlike the traditional worker’s compensation system, under the Jones Act seamen are permitted to sue their employers for damages when they are injured by their employer’s negligence or the negligence of a co-worker. Recognizing the dangers of working on the water, the Jones Act provides extra protection to vulnerable crew members and other maritime employees. Under the Act, an employer can be held liable for virtually any dangerous or unsafe condition on a vessel. Any amount of negligence on the part of the employer, no matter how minor it may be, can support an injured seaman’s claim for damages in a Jones Act negligence suit. This means that if you are injured and file a Jones Act claim, your burden of proof will be far lower than what is required in an ordinary negligence lawsuit. You only need to prove that your employer’s negligence played a role in your accident in order to recover damages, rather than proving that your employer’s actions were the primary cause of your injuries.

Our Jones Act Lawyer Outlines Your Jones Act Claim and Other Legal Options

If you have been hurt while working on or near the water, it is important to know that many other laws in addition to the Jones Act provide employees with the legal rights and protections they need to recover from their injuries. For example, in some cases an injured employee may not be classified as a “seaman” under the Jones Act but may fall under the protections of other maritime acts, such as the Longshore Harbor and Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA) or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).

When you are injured it can be difficult to figure out which laws and legislation apply to your situation, so it is important to discuss the specifics of your Jones Act claim with an attorney who is familiar with maritime legislation. The Willis Law Firm has over three decades of experience helping injured maritime workers. When you schedule a free consultation with our firm we will thoroughly review your case so that a Jones Act lawyer can identify all laws that are applicable to your situation.

For 40 years we have recovered millions for our clients. See what they say:

When my dad was diagnosed with cancer due to toxic chemicals in some holding tanks, our family talked to many law firms, but chose Mr. Willis as our attorney. He worked tirelessly throughout the legal process and saw to it that our family and our needs were well taken care of. He remains a friend of our family and we highly recommend him to anyone who needs someone to fight for them.- Lindsey C.

"Mr. Willis came highly recommended by a senior partner in a major corporate law firm. Willis battled the chemical companies and won our case. Even 15 years later, he is still a close friend of the entire family."- Melissa C.

"When my husband got seriously injured we interviewed lots of trial lawyers until we met Mr. Willis. Instantly we knew he was the one. He didn’t let us down. His tenacity and fight changed our lives."- Sherry Lynn B.

"As a trial lawyer & former Texas Judge, when my own daughter got seriously injured, I thought of no other lawyer to call to handle my daughter’s injury case except David Willis."- Ben C.

"When my husband was diagnosed with AML Leukemia from benzene exposure, we interviewed numerous attorneys, but choose Mr. Willis. He fought for us every step of the way and his office was always there for us. In fact, Mr. Willis even took my husband on his last deer hunting trip 10 months before he died. We trusted Mr. Willis and he didn't let us down." - Isabel H.

"After I got seriously injured I felt lost and helpless. My father suggested I call Attorney Willis to help. His legal staff was amazing. Extremely patient and always called back when they promised. They were always available for me and helped push my case along fairly quickly. I highly recommend them to anyone I know."- Melvin D.

"After our son was killed in an explosion we needed help. A neighbor had used Willis when his mom died and recommended we do too. Willis was the right choice. Though his law office was 100's of miles away, he was always there for us. Willis always kept his word and fought tirelessly throughout the entire case. Years after the settlement, we still consider Willis a friend we can call upon and have recommended to others too." - Maxine G

"Mr. Willis did an incredible job for us on a lawsuit involving my mom’s death. Over the last 20 years I have proudly recommended him to many close friends when they needed a lawyer. I know for a fact he did agreat job on each of their cases and they all thanked me again for giving them his name. Willis is a one of a kind lawyer. His doors are always open. I can still call him up and “shoot the breeze” with him. Don’t hesitate to call him if you too need help."- J.L.N

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Over 40 Years we've recovered Millions, Millions & Millions for our Clients

When my dad was diagnosed with cancer due to toxic chemicals in some holding tanks, our family talked to many law firms, but chose Mr. Willis as our attorney. He worked tirelessly throughout the legal process and saw to it that our family and our needs were well taken care of. He remains a friend of our family and we highly recommend him to anyone who needs someone to fight for them.- Lindsey C.

"Mr. Willis came highly recommended by a senior partner in a major corporate law firm. Willis battled the chemical companies and won our case. Even 15 years later, he is still a close friend of the entire family."- Melissa C.

"When my husband got seriously injured we interviewed lots of trial lawyers until we met Mr. Willis. Instantly we knew he was the one. He didn’t let us down. His tenacity and fight changed our lives."- Sherry Lynn B.

"As a trial lawyer & former Texas Judge, when my own daughter got seriously injured, I thought of no other lawyer to call to handle my daughter’s injury case except David Willis."- Ben C.

"When my husband was diagnosed with AML Leukemia from benzene exposure, we interviewed numerous attorneys, but choose Mr. Willis. He fought for us every step of the way and his office was always there for us. In fact, Mr. Willis even took my husband on his last deer hunting trip 10 months before he died. We trusted Mr. Willis and he didn't let us down." - Isabel H.

"After I got seriously injured I felt lost and helpless. My father suggested I call Attorney Willis to help. His legal staff was amazing. Extremely patient and always called back when they promised. They were always available for me and helped push my case along fairly quickly. I highly recommend them to anyone I know."- Melvin D.

"After our son was killed in an explosion we needed help. A neighbor had used Willis when his mom died and recommended we do too. Willis was the right choice. Though his law office was 100's of miles away, he was always there for us. Willis always kept his word and fought tirelessly throughout the entire case. Years after the settlement, we still consider Willis a friend we can call upon and have recommended to others too." - Maxine G

"Mr. Willis did an incredible job for us on a lawsuit involving my mom’s death. Over the last 20 years I have proudly recommended him to many close friends when they needed a lawyer. I know for a fact he did agreat job on each of their cases and they all thanked me again for giving them his name. Willis is a one of a kind lawyer. His doors are always open. I can still call him up and “shoot the breeze” with him. Don’t hesitate to call him if you too need help."- J.L.N

Why Choose The Willis Law Firm?

Confidential Free Consultations

Confidential Free Consultations

If you have questions we are here to help. We offer free initial consultations and everything you tell us will be kept strictly confidential even if you decide not to hire a Jones Act lawyer from our firm.

Same Day Return Phone Calls/Emails

Same Day Return
Phone Calls/Emails

We know that the legal system can be confusing. Our firm is here to answer your questions and a lawyer will return your calls and emails the same day.

No Fee Unless We Win

No Fee Unless We Win

Our firm takes cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not have to pay any legal fees or expenses unless we secure compensation for you.

Multi-Lingual Staff

Multi-Lingual Staff

We want to make sure that all of our clients understand their legal rights and options. We offer a multi-lingual staff fluent in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Available 24/7/365

Available 24/7/365

Injuries and accidents don’t just happen from 8-5, they can occur at any time of the day. Our Jones Act attorneys are here when you need us most – 24/7/365.

30+ Years Experience

40+ Years Experience

If you have a maritime injury or Jones Act claim, you have come to the right place. With over 40 years of experience protecting injured workers, David Willis knows the ins and outs of these complex laws.

Companies We've Had Cases Against:

Meet David Willis, a Leading Jones Act Lawyer

David Willis is an experienced maritime injury and Jones Act attorney who represents injured seamen and injured workers in negligence and product liability cases nationwide. Mr. Willis has over 40 years of legal experience and is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a graduate of Baylor University and received his law degree at the South Texas College of Law. Mr. Willis is admitted to practice law in both Texas and New York and served as a former attorney on the Supreme Court of Texas. Currently, he is a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Texas Bar Foundation and the American Association for Justice. In 2015 he was elected as a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA). Mr. Willis is committed to representing victims of serious injuries and accidents. In every case, he builds a strong team of lawyers focused on achieving a fair and just recovery for injured victims and their families.

You Have Questions, We Have Answers

Q

Do I need a Jones Act lawyer to receive compensation?

A

While you may be thinking there is an easy formula you can use to calculate your damages, the reality is that maritime injuries can be are complex. Even if you have a dollar figure in mind, you should consult with a Jones Act attorney first to see what's reasonable.

Q

How am I going to live without a steady paycheck?

A

Under the Jones Act, an injured seaman is entitled to receive daily compensation (maintenance) and medical (cure) payments from his or her employer. Your employer is legally required to make these payments to you regardless of who is at fault for your injuries.

Q

Should I continue to speak with my employer about my Jones Act claim?

A

When you have been involved in a workplace accident, you should try to talk as little as possible about your case to anyone. While it is fine to maintain a friendly and amicable relationship with your employer and co-workers, you should avoid discussing the details of your accident or injuries.

Q

Should I give a recorded statement to an investigator?

A

Absolutely not. If your employer or an investigator asks you to provide any type of sworn or recorded statement you should never do so until after you have talked with your Jones Act lawyer.

Go To the Jones Act Information Center

News Feed

Evidence Considered in Maritime Injury Claims

Have You Suffered a Maritime Injury? You Will Need Evidence to Collect the Financial Compensation You Deserve You may be entitled to financial compensation if you suffered a maritime injury on the job. The Jones Act and other federal laws provide maritime workers with clear legal rights—including the right to “no-fault” compensation in many cases. But, regardless of what rights you have, you will need evidence to collect the financial compensation you deserve. Even if you have a “no-fault” claim under the Jones Act, you will need to prove that you suffered your maritime injury on the job. If you have a fault-based claim against your employer, a vessel owner or another company, you will need additional evidence of negligence or unseaworthiness. Maritime Injury Claims vs. “Ordinary” Personal Injury Claims Collecting evidence for a maritime injury claim and collecting evidence for an “ordinary” personal injury claim on land are very different. Many of the types of evidence used to prove maritime injury claims are unique, and there are unique considerations for collecting evidence in maritime injury cases as well. For example, timing is often a critical factor in maritime injury cases. When an accident happens on a vessel at sea, evidence of the accident can disappear before the vessel gets back to land. Proving liability for an accident that involved hazardous water or weather conditions presents unique challenges as well; and, in many cases, employers and vessel owners will attempt to fix issues before injured workers can gather the evidence […] •••

May 24, 2022

Understanding Dry Dock Accidents and Your Right to Financial Compensation

Working at a dry dock can be dangerous. While many people assume that working on the land is safer than working on the water, this isn’t necessarily the case. Dry dock accidents are common, and many dry dock workers find themselves in need of financial compensation to cover their medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. Common Dry Dock Accidents Part of the reason why dry dock accidents are so common is that there are so many different types of accidents that can occur. For example, some of the most common accidents that leave dry dock workers suffering from serious injuries include: Exposure to Toxic Fumes or Vapors – Working in confined areas or in close proximity to boats, equipment, supplies, or materials that release toxic fumes or vapors presents several risks for dry dock workers. In addition to the risk of inhalation injuries, burns and hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) are very real risks as well. Flooding – Flooding is a risk for drydock workers who work in graving docks. If water enters a graving dock unexpectedly, workers in the dock can find themselves facing life-or-death scenarios. Forklift and Crane Accidents – Transporting materials and equipment into drydocks or onto vessels with forklifts and cranes can be a dangerous operation. This is especially true if the operator’s vision is obstructed, if the operator gets distracted, or if dry dock workers are unable to get out of the way to avoid being hit or crushed. Shifting Vessels – Dry docked vessels can […] •••

May 5, 2022

Marine Pilot Injured on the Job? These Are Your Legal Rights

The job of a marine pilot is extremely important. It can also be extremely dangerous. From negligent boat captains to high seas, there are many issues that can put a marine pilot’s life on the line. Even if an accident isn’t life-threatening, it can still cause life-altering injuries. From chronic pain and physical disabilities to mounting medical bills and the inability to earn a living, accidents on the water often leave marine pilots facing substantial losses. 5 Important Facts About Injured Marine Pilots’ Legal Rights If you are a marine pilot and you have been injured on the job, here is what you need to know about your legal rights: 1. Marine Pilots Can Seek Compensation for All Types of Accidents The marine pilot’s job is unique in that it entails a broad range of risks. While marine pilots are tasked with ensuring that large ships make it safely to port, marine pilots’ own safety often goes ignored. As a result, marine pilots frequently suffer injuries in accidents involving: Negligent pilot boat operation Negligent operation of large ships and other vessels Being forced to pilot vessels in dangerous weather or sea conditions Pilot ladder (or Jacob’s ladder) failures Slips, trips, and falls on deck Falls overboard Collisions between pilot boats and other vessels 2. Marine Pilots Can Seek Compensation for All Types of Injuries If you were injured on the job as a marine pilot, there is a good chance that you are entitled to financial compensation regardless of the […] •••

April 28, 2022

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