Serving the Gulf Coast Region
Principal office Galveston, TX
Shaun Hodge the lead attorney and founding member of the Hodge Law Firm has personally worked aboard vessels and barges. His background working aboard vessels and barges makes him personally aware of the unique hazards and difficult challenges you face every day working at sea.
“I have witnessed firsthand the numerous dangerous conditions commonly found on many of the vessels and offshore rigs and barges that are in service today. My unique experience having worked on vessels and barges sets me apart from other attorneys and ensures that you get an attorney that is extremely knowledgeable and uniquely qualified to fight for your rights. You deserve an attorney that knows firsthand what it is like to work a day in your shoes.”
- Shaun Hodge
When it comes to safety Shaun Hodge knows the proper equipment, safety devices, regulations and procedures that should be utilized offshore. In a previous position as the Assistant Director of Texas operations for a large international contractor who was certified as an Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO) by the United States Coast Guard Shaun assisted in overseeing safety procedures/protocol, safety inspections and coordinated vessel operations for hundreds of vessels responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
In his previous position as a Senior Congressional Aide Shaun Hodge lead the fight for seaman and crew member safety and was appointed to lead a Congressional investigation into vessel and barge safety and navigational hazards in the Galveston Bay and Houston Ship Channel complex working closely with the US Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and experts in the field of maritime safety.
Shaun has over a decade of experience in working on issues involving barge and vessel operation and safety. Shaun leads a team of dedicated experienced Jones Act attorney at the Hodge Law Firm.
The attorneys at the Hodge Law Firm are uniquely aware of the daily hazards you face working aboard a barge or vessel including:
Pitching and rolling deck or uneven working surfaces
Oil, lubricant, or other liquids spilled on stairs, decks, ladders or other working surfaces
Poorly maintained and/or outdated equipment or machinery, etc.
Loud equipment or machinery that can impact the safety of performing your job duties
Dangerous high pressure valves and lines
Defective electrical equipment Broken or missing hand rails, hand holds or safety railings
Unseaworthiness of the vessel
Poor visibility and lighting
Hot surfaces and equipment
Tight confined spaces
At our locally owned and operated firm, you're assured of great customer service. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
A series of laws originally passed by Congress in 1920, the Jones Act is a negligence statute designed to protect the rights of maritime workers who have fallen ill or gotten injured while working on the water. Shaun Hodge the founder of the Hodge Law Firm has been fighting to protect the rights of seaman and crew members nearly his entire professional careers.
Thousands of court decisions have interpreted the Jones Act over the years but the core of the Act has stayed true: any negligence on the part of the employer which causes or contributes to a crew member’s illness or injury, however slight, is sufficient enough to demand liability from the employer. To put it simply, anytime a worker is hurt through employer negligence, the case can be taken to court and the employer may be held responsible.
Due to the complex wording of the Jones Act, many workers are initially unsure if their rights are also protected by the Act. Any worker with a substantial connection to a vessel in navigation, from captains to busboys and every job in between, is covered by the Jones Act. And the vessel doesn’t have to be actively navigating, either – even if the vessel is docked, if it is currently staffed and in use, it’s considered “in navigation” and that means it’s protected by the Jones Act. Our experienced Jones Act attorneys will help you navigate the tricky waters of your Jones Act claim.
The first and most important thing is to get your injury tended to by a licensed medical practitioner, either on your vessel or on land. Once you’ve recovered enough, the next step is to file an official accident report with your employer. This is critical to determining if your case can be covered by the Jones Act, so make sure the report is as detailed as possible.
Describe any workplace factors that may have contributed to the accident, such as poor lighting or darkness, slippery floors and surfaces, co-worker negligence, insufficient or defective equipment, insufficient manpower, unsafe procedures, or anything else that may have contributed to your accident. The more information you can provide, the stronger your case will be.
And above all else, make sure that an incorrect, incomplete, doctored, forged, or non-existent accident report does not exist in your case. This is a sad reality of many Jones Act claims, and filling out an accurate accident report immediately after you receive medical attention is your best bet in making sure the information in your report is correct and truthful.
In many cases of injury, your employer’s insurance agency or claims agent may try to reach out to you to get a signed or taped statement. These agents are typically on the side of your employer and may try to ‘slant’ the facts to remove culpability on the employers’ part.
If you want to make sure the scales of justice are tipped if your favor as much as possible after a maritime accident, you need the help of an experienced Jones Act attorney like the Hodge Law Firm. Talking to an attorney before you sign any sort of paperwork or providing any kind of statement or testimony will help prevent your case from being lost in favor of your employer and their insurance policy.
If you’re an injured maritime worker you need to contact the Hodge Law Firm today. We will immediately begin the investigation into your claim and will aggressive begin fighting for your rights today. The Jones Act attorneys at the Hodge Law Firm have combined decades of maritime law experience and we’ll aggressive fight for your rights. Get your free case consultation today and let us defend your claim in court.
GULF COAST MARITIME ATTORNEYS
EXPERIENCED JONES ACT ATTORNEYS
OFFSHORE INJURY ATTORNEYS