Advocates for Victims Injured on Illinois Waterways—Chicago Admiralty Injury Lawyers

Whether you are traveling on vacation aboard a cruise ship or a crew member on a commercial vessel navigating Illinois waterways, hazards aboard ship or during embarking and disembarking can cause serious injury or wrongful death. Injury cases brought by passengers and patrons on ships whether for pleasure or employment involve complex issues, such as the proper court to file the lawsuit, applicable maritime and/or admiralty law, duties owed to those injured on vessels, and the impact of a cruise ship ticket contract.

Our Chicago Maritime and Admiralty lawyers at Stein & Shulman, LLC have over 45 years of collective experience seeking compensation for injury victims, including those injured while navigating Illinois waterways, such as the high seas, rivers, lakes, and channels. This vast amount of experience can give our clients a distinct advantage when taking on commercial maritime companies and large commercial cruise lines. Our law firm has recovered over $40 million in settlements and judgments for victims who suffer serious injury or the loss of a loved one.

Maritime Worker Injury Lawyers (Jones Act)

If you were injured while working on the crew aboard a vessel when you were injured, you might be entitled to pursue an injury claim against your employer under the Jones Act, which is a federal statute. For purposes of the Jones Act, you also will be considered a covered employee if you are an offshore worker or inland river worker on any of the following:

  • Drill Ship
  • Barge
  • Offshore Drilling Rig
  • Moveable Motorized Structures (Jackups and Semis)
  • Semi-Submersible Ship
  • Towboat
  • Tanker
  • Research Vessel
  • Floating Crain
  • Cruise Ship
  • Diving Vessel
  • Crew Boat
  • Dredge
  • Chemical Ship
  • Lay Barge
  • Fishing Boat
  • Recreational Boat
  • Cargo Ship

If your injury occurs within the scope of your employment, your employer will be obligated to cover your medical expenses and pay a daily allowance during the period you are recovering. Additionally, you might have the right to pursue a lawsuit against your employer based on negligence or if the vessel had a problem that made it unfit for its intended purpose. In a lawsuit based on the Jones Act, you might be entitled to compensation for some or all of the following:

Lost earnings (past and future) Emotional distress Loss of capacity to perform household services or take care of one’s own needs Pain and suffering Diminished enjoyment of life Other damages authorized under the Jones Act

The Jones Act is a federal statute that governs the liability of marine employers and vessel operators for work-related injuries and fatalities suffered by crew members and other employees. Although the statute authorizes compensation to injured seaman hurt while engaged in job-related functions, the system of compensation differs from a workers’ compensation claim. While an injured employee in a non-maritime setting can recover workers’ compensation benefits on a “no fault basis”, a Jones Act claim requires proof of negligence.

Cruise Ship Passenger Injury Claims

If you are a passenger on a cruise ship, you can experience a debilitating injury onboard the cruise line, boarding or disembarking, or during a shore excursion. Depending on the specific circumstances of your situation, you might have a right to bring a lawsuit seeking damages. However, cruise ship injury claims are complicated because they can be governed by Illinois state law, federal law, and international marine law. Effective litigation of cruise ship accidents also involves an understanding of the way your cruise ship ticket contract impacts your rights and options, as well as the way applicable law interacts with the provisions of your ticket contract, which will include provisions that attempt to limit your legal rights.

Generally, cruise ship operators are considered “common carriers,” so they owe passengers a heightened duty that requires more than ordinary care. Because passengers aboard a cruise ship have very limited ability to safeguard their own well-being, cruise lines typically are required to exercise the highest degree of care to protect travelers. When this duty is not fulfilled, an injured passenger might have the right to pursue a legal claim against the business that chartered the vessel, the company that operates the ship, or the business that sold the ticket. If an individual aboard the ship engages in conduct that contributes to causing the injury, such as a rape or sexual assault by another passenger, the perpetrator also might be liable.

Because our Chicago admiralty and maritime attorneys have over 45 years of experience handling injury claims, we have the expertise and experience to represent injured passengers in the full range of cruise ship injury cases, such as:

Pool or water slide accidents Slip and falls Dock accidents Navigational mistakes causing injury Passengers falling overboard Sexual and physical assaults related to insufficient security Accidents involving falling objects Fire-related injuries Trip and fall accidents Injuries during shore excursions Viruses caused by unsanitary conditions or contaminated food Medical errors (medical malpractice claims) Accidents involving onboard recreational activities

Seeking Compensation for Workers and Passengers Injured on Vessels

Our Chicago maritime and admiralty lawyers diligently pursue compensation for individuals who suffer injury on vessels navigating waterways in and around Illinois. Our law firm can provide the perfect balance of experience, expertise, empathy, diligence, and tenacity to help you obtain the best possible outcome for you and your family. We invite you to contact us today at 312.422.0500 or email us to schedule your no obligation free consultation.

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