Maritime Injury Lawyers


Maritime Injury Lawyers

Maritime Law

The foundation of maritime and admiralty law dates back to a time when seafarers plied their trade to expand the Greek empire across the Mediterranean Sea. The law evolved through the ages. Today’s maritime law is complex and covers a range of issues, from contract disputes to personal injuries. Modern times have seen the passage of the Jones Act and other U.S. statutes and regulations to help maritime workers recover compensation for serious injuries sustained while working at sea.


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Maritime workers have a fatality rate 6 times higher than land-based workers. 


58% of people injured on recreational boats are passengers.  


More than 50% of all boating accidents happen when the driver is inexperienced.


Maritime History

The Norfolk law firm of Rutter Mills has represented seamen and other maritime workers who have suffered severe injuries since the firm’s founding over 60 years ago. Our waterfront home in Southeastern Virginia offers convenient access to Hamptons Roads and the surrounding metro area.

Put Your Maritime Case On Solid Ground

We understand the perilous nature of the work undertaken by the people who work at sea better than most. They are part of our community, and so their well-being is a matter that lives very close to our hearts. We are leading experts in this very complex and unique practice area of maritime law and have an impeccable reputation and track record of success in recovering maximum compensation for maritime injuries.

Maritime Injury Questions

We have seen just about every example of the types of injuries sustained at sea. Among the most common causes of these injuries are accidents related to:

  • Malfunctioning or improperly maintained equipment
  • Transport of heavy cargo
  • Improper safety instructions or insufficient training
  • Failure to secure and store objects that shift on rough seas
  • Noxious fumes from leaking storage tanks or fuel systems
  • Poorly maintained decks and walkways
  • Assaults committed by crew members who were not adequately vetted

Accident and injury cases that do not have a maritime component are generally tried in the state court where the accident occurred. Unlike those lawsuits, admiralty law confers jurisdiction over maritime law cases in United States federal courts. A state court may still hear the suit, but it will be obligated to apply federal law to the facts of the case.

U.S. federal courts generally have jurisdiction over matters that occur within the range of the high seas that are under the territorial control of the United States. A knowledgeable and experienced maritime lawyer will also look for ways to bring matters that occur outside of those territorial waters within the jurisdiction of U.S. courts.

Jurisdictional questions are often a threshold matter in maritime law cases, so it’s always a good idea to contact an attorney as soon as is possible to allow sufficient time for him or her to analyze any open jurisdictional issues.

Both the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (LHWCA) Acts provide pathways for maritime employees to recover more comprehensive damages awards than are otherwise available under state workers’ compensation laws. The full scope of benefits and damages that an injured maritime worker might receive will always depend on the specific facts of the accident that caused the injuries. In your initial free consultation, Rutter Mills will begin to identify the types of damages that you may claim in your case.


Maritime Injury Lawyers

Not all injury lawyers are equal.

How Quickly Should a Maritime Accident Claim Be Filed?

Anyone who has suffered maritime injuries is wise to consult an attorney as soon as possible after the accident. Federal laws and regulations provide strict statutes of limitation in which you must file a lawsuit or else you risk forfeiting that right. At the same time, never assume you’ve waited too long and talk yourself out of legal assistance. Also, remember that witness memories and other evidence may fade if legal action is not swift. Let the maritime injury attorneys of Rutter Mills watch the calendar and meet all necessary deadlines for filing insurance claims, notices, and ultimately- your lawsuit.

Rutter Mills is Your Maritime Law Attorney

From Newport News to Norfolk, Hampton Roads, and all the waterways throughout Virginia and beyond- Rutter Mills is ready to help you recover compensation after sustaining a serious maritime injury. A free consultation is available, and there is never a fee for our legal services unless we win your case. We look forward to helping you.


You don’t have to worry about the bills, just get healthy.

Dave Put His Trust in Us

Don’t Fall For The Insurance Company’s Games

Dave suffered serious injuries in a car accident. The defendant’s insurance company tried to offer him a low amount so Dave called Rutter Mills. We took over dealing with the insurance and got Dave the money he needed to get back on his feet.

They enabled me to be happy in life again.

Get Back On Track

Protecting Your Future

Glenn’s car accident changed his life, but not permanently thanks to the help of his Rutter Mills attorney. When the insurance companies wouldn’t help him, our team fought back and won.

I knew I needed Rutter Mills.

Fighting For What's Right

Getting Justice

On his way home from work at the shipyard, Dan was involved in an accident. He tried to file a claim on his own, but the insurance company wouldn’t give him the money he needed to put his life back on track. Dan knew he needed to call Rutter Mills.

They actually won my case 3 times!

Larena's Win

After her car accident, Larena asked her father, a local stevedore, for his advice on who to call. He recommended Rutter Mills. Her team of car accident experts at Rutter Mills fought back when the insurance companies tried to deny her the money she needed to recuperate from her injuries. We took her case to trial – and won. When the insurance company filed their appeals, we beat them again – two more times! Larena got the money she needed and the justice she deserved.

We’re going to immediately call Rutter Mills. That’s the people I trust with my baby girl.

Who Do You Trust With Your Family?

After a car accident, Jamaree’s first call was to her mom. She was shaken up and scared. Mom told her “We’re calling Rutter Mills. Her next was to Rutter Mills. Her Rutter Mills car accident team helped her get compensation “above & beyond” what she was expecting.

They lifted allot of stress off my shoulders. I recommend them to anybody because they WILL fight for you.

Who Can You Turn To?

Referrals From Friends and Family

After John was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, he turned to the person he trusts most for a recommendation. His wife, a paralegal of 30 years, told him to call Rutter Mills on the advice of the lawyer she worked for.

They really care for you as a person. Words cannot describe what Rutter Mills did for me and for my case.

When You Need Someone In Your Corner

Don’t Go It Alone

When the insurance company tried to get Carol to sign paperwork after her car accident, she knew she needed a lawyer. Carol knew she needed Rutter Mills.

When I called Rutter Mills, I knew it was the right fit. They’re so interested in helping you get justice.

Getting The Justice You Deserve

When Mom Needs Strength

Taryn was in a car accident while she was pregnant. She knew she needed someone in her corner to protect her rights and her family’s future.

There’s attorneys, then there’s Rutter Mills.

We're Here When The Unexpected Happens


A devasting accident changed Levon’s life forever. The physical and emotional toll left him scared and in pain. When the insurance company for the defendant contacted the family, they made an offer that did not even cover the cost of the medication, much less doctors’ bills, and physical therapy. They knew they needed to talk to a serious lawyer. Rutter Mills took care of the negotiation so Levon could focus on healing.

When you’ve got a serious injury, you need a serious lawyer. That’s why we chose Rutter Mills.

Motorcycle Accidents Change Everything

When Ed was injured in a motorcycle crash, he knew he needed a serious lawyer to protect his rights. The insurance companies were fighting him every step of the way. Rutter Mills helped prove Ed’s case and get him the money he needed to get on the road to recovery.

With the seriousness of the accident, I knew that we needed a serious lawyer. I needed Rutter Mills.

Carol & Levon's Story

They knew they needed a serious lawyer when Carol and her son were seriously injured. After the other party’s insurance company tried to get her to settle for less than she needed, Carol called Rutter Mills for help. We took on the insurance company so she could focus on healing.

Watch his 30 second testimonial video
Watch Glenn's 30 second story
Watch Dan's 30 second video
Watch Larena's 30 second story
Watch Jamaree's 30 second video
Watch Levon's 30 second video
Watch Ed's 30 second story
Watch Carl's 30 second video

Years Winning Maritime Cases


Convenient Offices in Hampton Roads

Team Size

Team Members Ready to Help

Maritime workers face unique hazards from noise, vibration, slick surfaces, and heavy lifting. One wrong step by a crewmember can spell disaster. 

Risky Business

At Rutter Mills,
every case is a serious case-because it's your case.

Rutter Mills Law Firm

Personal Injury

We are here for you in your time of need, providing compassionate guidance and aggressive advocacy in a wide range of personal injury matters. Our top-rated attorneys will fight the insurance companies and get you back on your feet.

Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal Injury Lawyers

Car Accidents

We’re here to listen. A member of our team will meet with you, focusing on not only what happened, but also what you are going through and how it’s impacted your life. Then we’ll tell you what options are available to you to get on the road to recovery.

Car Accident Lawyers
Car Accident Lawyers

Maritime/Jones Act Law

Personal injuries that happen when you’re working – or playing – on the water aren’t governed by “the law of the land.” They are subject to maritime laws under the Jones Act– also known as admiralty law.

Maritime Lawyers

Motorcycle Accidents

We’re here to listen. A member of our team will meet with you, focusing on listening to not only what happened, but also what you are going through and how it’s impacted your life.

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are often serious. We are here to listen to your story so we can guide you to healing. Our team has represented some of the largest truck accident cases in Virginia. Call us and see how we can help you today.

Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck Accident Lawyers

Workers Compensation

If you’ve been injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance may entitle you to critical assistance like medical treatment, lost wages, and more. But insurance companies will put up an aggressive fight to resist paying you the compensation you need and deserve. Rutter Mills can help get you the money you deserve.

Workers Compensation Lawyers
Workers Comp Lawyer
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Real People. True Stories.

Contact a maritime injury attorney for expert legal guidance

A Rutter Mills case is a serious case. It may mean you have been badly injured. It certainly means you have a lot on the line, and the resolution of your case will make a big difference to you, your family, and your life moving forward.

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Don’t just take our word for it, see what our clients are saying about Rutter Mills.

Ira S

I got injured on the job, Rutter Mills accepted my case, and did an outstanding job representing me. I would highly recommend them to anyone.

Jacque K

I highly recommend the Rutter Mills team from start to finish. Every single person I interacted with from the very first phone call was amazing. Any questions I had were always answered quickly, professionally and seemed genuinely invested in my well being. They made all the difference with my case, I am truly grateful we chose them!

Quinton B.

Absolutely amazing! I recommend Georgina and Morgan for all legal needs. They are attentive, in depth, and have your best interest at hand and put you first!

Donald D.

Mr. Young and his team exceeded my expectations in the way they handled the case and kept me informed. They got involved with my medical billing issues from the accident and a workman's comp claim. They have resolved the issues with workman's comp. I would whole-heartedly recommend this firm.

Mary W.

I highly recommend this law firm. They treated not only me, but my husband like family. Heather Bell was very helpful and nice. Eric Porcaro is a great attorney. Together they were wonderful, professional, and caring people. They worked very hard for our case.


Stay Informed

Maritime Injury Lawyer Adam Lotkin: Thought Leader

Posted on March 22, 2023 by Adam