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Maritime Law

Maritime work is not only physically demanding, it’s one of the most hazardous industries with high accident and fatality rates. At Rutter Mills, our Norfolk-based maritime law attorneys provide tenacious representation to offshore and maritime workers who have been injured on the job in addition to those hurt in recreational water activities. For more than 50 years, our dedicated legal team has been the pre-eminent authority in maritime law in Hampton Roads and coastal Virginia. Over the years, our firm has litigated a number of nationally significant maritime law cases – tragedies that have made headlines.

Maritime law attorney Norfolk residents trust

Founding partner Arthur Rutter served as President of the Admiralty and Maritime Law Association, and managing partner Brother Rutter held this same position. Brother also taught maritime law at the University of Richmond: TC Williams School of Law, and is much in demand as a guest lecturer on the topic for attorneys across the country. 

Leveraging our in-depth knowledge of the Jones Act and admiralty law, we take great pride in helping clients who have been injured on the water through no fault of their own. Take advantage of client-focused representation on a wide range of maritime-related accidents and disputes by partnering with Rutter Mills. As accomplished lawyers in the field of maritime law, we excel in complex claims involving longshoremen, seamen, offshore workers and individuals who were harmed during recreational water pursuits.

Ranked one of the “Best Law Firms” by US News two years in a row, we offer strategic, effective representation and bring our diverse perspectives to every single case. Speak with a veteran maritime law attorney Newport News and Norfolk residents have come to rely upon; reach out for a free case evaluation today.

Free Consultation No fee unless we win!

Cases filed under maritime law

Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, applies to all accidental injuries that take place on the water. This includes injuries sustained while working as a crew member on a sea-going vessel as well as those sustained while boating, jet skiing, vacationing on a cruise ship, or other recreational activities.

Admiralty law covers a range of parameters pertaining to legal job duties, vessel collisions, explosions, cargo damage, oil spills, maritime injury claims, and much more. Jurisdiction over maritime law matters was originally overseen by federal courts. Today, many of these claims are subject to state personal injury laws.

Boating accidents – and other injuries on the water – fall under federal maritime laws that are different from Jones Act laws. The process and factors involved in getting the compensation you deserve can be much different. Because of this, you are more likely to receive the full amount of compensation you deserve if you have the help of an attorney with extensive experience in maritime law – one who knows the intricate differences between maritime law and state personal injury law.

Our legal team protects the rights of injured seaman and advocates for victims of recreational maritime accidents.  Among other complaints, our maritime law attorneys handle cases arising from:

  • Recreational boating accidents
  • Offshore injuries
  • Barge accidents
  • Tugboat accidents
  • Vessel collisions
  • Accidents on commercial fishing vessels
  • Jones Act cases
  • Oil platform accidents and explosions
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers Act cases
  • Death on the High Seas – wrongful death claims

Pursuing compensation under the Jones Act

When your health and livelihood are on the line, you need an attorney who has a comprehensive understanding of the legal tenants that govern maritime law. This includes The Jones Act, the primary piece of protective maritime legislation in the United States. You can rest assured that Rutter Mills has successfully litigated cases under the Jones Act, procuring fair monetary reparations for clients harmed while performing their duties.

The Jones Act is designed to provide financial relief to workers who sustain illness or bodily injury resulting from negligence or the unseaworthiness of an operating vessel.  Under this important piece of legislation, maritime workers can seek compensation for injury that was caused by the negligent actions of a vessel’s owner, operator or personnel.

Settlements recovered in Jones Act claims can include monies for lost wages, medical care, mental and emotional anguish, pain and suffering and future loss of earnings. Unfortunately, insurance companies can – and will – use the complexity of the law and the specialized nature of the industry to delay or avoid paying benefits, underscoring the need for a competent maritime law attorney.

Maritime injuries: protect your legal rights

Your choice of legal counsel matters. Virginia has dozens of maritime law attorneys advertising their services, but few with the dedication, prowess and reputation of Rutter Mills. Our legal team has intricate knowledge of the Jones Act, the Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, the Death on the High Seas Act and the Limitation of Liability Act. Don’t compromise your rights by foregoing legal representation.

We know the tactics employed by insurance companies, who give little regard to the health and well-being of injured employees. Remember that the employer and insurance company have a vested interest in paying as few damages as possible, regardless of your expenses and the extent of your injuries.

  • You have the right to seek treatment from any doctor you choose
  • You are entitled to medical benefits, even if you do not sign paperwork filed by insurance adjustors
  • You are not required to provide insurance adjustors a recorded statement regarding the accident
  • You are not obligated to accept a settlement offer

Maritime law attorney Virginia

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The easiest way to level the playing field after a maritime injury is to have a qualified lawyer representing your interests. If you were harmed in a maritime-related incident, put your trust in Rutter Mills. Our talented attorneys remain wholly committed to helping clients in Norfolk, Newport News and Virginia Beach recover just compensation.

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“My partner Adam Lotkin and I recently helped a Jones Act seaman who was badly injured while working in a foreign port. Both legs were crushed, and he lost his right foot. We were able to get a $3.75 million settlement for him, but he’ll never work as a seaman or engineer again, and nothing in his life will ever be the same. This is hard, risky work – and it takes a special kind of person to do it. Our job is to see that the law protects these men and women as best it can.”

– Brother Rutter

What Our Clients Say

"I am so happy with Rutter Mills and their staff. I highly recommend them. I am so happy I chose them to represent me! One of the best decisions I ever made." ★★★★★ -Joshua, Rutter Mills Client