top of page
Emblem For Sneed|Mitchell - The Injury Team







Black Maritime Accident Lawyer Niles Sneed

Injured Jones Act Seaman searching for an African American maritime lawyer contact Niles Sneed. Niles Sneed has seen firsthand the devastating effects of offshore accidents of victims and their families, and is wholly committed to championing for each of his clients. compensation.

After an accident, offshore workers has pressing concerns about their job status, maintenance and cure, finances, and what actions they should consider to protect their chance of recovering physically, emotionally, and mentally from their injuries. Niles and his team are dedicated to helping people and families nationwide who have suffered from life-changing injuries. With years of experience under our belts and millions recovered each year for victims, we bring a unique perspective to each case we take on, and we're relentless in our pursuit of justice for our clients. Whether you're in Texas, Louisiana, or Oklahoma, or nationwide, we want to help you get your life back on track after a maritime accident. Call us today and ask to speak with attorney Niles Sneed in a free, no-obligation case consultation.

Attorney Niles Sneed

What is a maritime lawyer?

Maritime lawyers are personal injury lawyers who deal with accidents and injuries that happen on boats, ships, and other maritime vessels. They also handle cases involving maritime workers, such as fishermen and oil rig workers. Maritime law is a complex area of law that covers a wide range of topics, including navigation, pollution, and vessel registration. As a result, maritime lawyers must have a deep understanding of the various laws and regulations that apply to the maritime industry. They also need to be familiar with the unique features of maritime vessels, such as the deck layout and the use of lifeboats. In addition, maritime lawyers must be able to effectively communicate with their clients, who may come from all over the world.

Maritime industry is the collective term for all the commercial activities that take place at sea. Therefore, the maritime attorney must be familiar with the many vessels helping further offshore commerce and trade. From fishing and shipping to boatbuilding and offshore oil and gas exploration, life-altering injuries and accidents happen everywhere.

Attorney Niles Sneed is an African American offshore injury attorney that has handles many types of maritime cases involving every type of merchant vessel and fishing boats. Merchant vessels include cargo ships, tankers, duck boats passenger ferries and cruise ships. Cargo ships are used to transport everything from food and manufactured goods to raw materials like coal and iron ore. Tankers carry liquid cargo, such as crude oil, while passenger ferries transport people between ports. Cruise ships are a type of passenger vessel that also provides onboard entertainment and facilities for holidaymakers. The types of fishing boats is an equally extensive list.

If you have been hurt in an accident offshore, it is important to contact a maritime injury attorney who has experience handling these types of cases. Maritime law can be complex, and there are many different rules and regulations that apply to accidents and injuries that occur on the high seas. A knowledgeable maritime injury attorney will be able to navigate the legal process and help you get the compensation you deserve.

When Should I Contact a Maritime Lawyer After An Offshore Accident?

If you're involved in an offshore accident, it's important to contact a maritime lawyer immediately. Your employer may try to downplay the accident or avoid liability, but a lawyer can help you investigate and gather evidence to support your claim. Offshore accidents can be extremely dangerous, and it's important to have experienced legal representation on your side. A maritime lawyer can help you navigate the complex laws and regulations governing offshore accidents and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Don't wait to contact a maritime lawyer after an offshore accident - the sooner you get started, the better your chances of success.

What Should I Do After A Maritime Accident?

Maritime accidents can be terrifying and traumatizing experiences. If you’ve been involved in one, it’s important to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Here are some steps to take after a maritime accident:

1. Seek medical attentiom

Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor. Sometimes injuries can take days or even weeks to appear.

2. Cooperate with the investigations

Maritime accidents are often complex, and they will likely be investigated by multiple agencies. It’s important to cooperate with these investigations so that the cause of the accident can be determined and prevented in the future.

3. Take care of your emotional health

Maritime accidents can be very traumatic. Make sure to talk to somebody about what happened and seek professional help if needed.

4. Get legal help

If you’ve been injured in a maritime accident, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced maritime lawyer can help you understand your rights and options.

What is the Jones Act?

The Jones Act of 1920 is a federal law that provides protections for seaman who are injured while working on navigable waters. The act is named after Senator Wesley Jones, who authored the bill. The law requires that vessel owners provide a safe working environment for seaman and pay for their medical expenses if they are injured in the course of their work. It also gives seaman the right to sue their employers if they are injured due to negligence. The Jones Act has been credited with improving working conditions for seaman and ensuring that they receive proper compensation when they are injured.

What Are Navigable Waters?

The term "navigable waters" refers to any body of water that is large enough and deep enough to be used for transportation by boat. This includes oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, and canals. In the United States, navigable waters are protected by a variety of laws, including the Clean Water Act and the Coastal Zone Management Act. These laws help to ensure that navigable waters are safe for human use and are not polluted by pollutants such as oil, chemicals, or sewage. Navigable waters are an important part of the global economy, and their protection is essential for the health and wellbeing of both people and wildlife.

Who Qualifies As A Seamen Under The Jones Act?

To qualify as a seaman under the jones act, an employee must spend 30% or more of their time working on a vessel. This can include tasks such as navigation, operation, maintenance, and repairs. In addition, the employee must have a connection to the vessel that is more than just transitory. For example, someone who regularly commutes to work on a ferry would not be considered a seaman under the act. Instead, the act is designed to protect workers who are central to the operation of a vessel and who are routinely exposed to the dangers of the sea. As a result, those who qualify as seamen under the act are entitled to special protections and benefits in the event of an injury.

What is considered maritime work?

Maritime work is any type of work that is related to the sea or to shipping. This can include work on boats, docks, and in ports. It can also include work in shipyards, repairing and maintaining vessels. In addition, maritime work can involve shipping goods by sea, either as part of the crew or as part of the management team. Some maritime workers are also involved in fisheries, either working on fishing boats or in fish processing plants. In general, maritime work is essential for the economy and for the transportation of goods around the world. Without maritime workers, the world would be a very different place.

There are a variety of employees who work aboard an offshore vessel engaged in maritime work, performing a range of tasks and responsibilities. The most common positions include deckhands, who maintain the vessel and perform general labor tasks; engineers, who operate and maintain the vessel's engines; cooks, who prepare meals for the crew; and stewards, who handle the cleaning and upkeep of the vessel. In addition, there are typically a few officers on board who oversee the other crew members and coordinate the vessel's operations. While the duties of each position vary, all employees play an important role in keeping the vessel running smoothly.

Common Types of Offshore Injuries

There are a variety of offshore injuries that can occur, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to more serious injuries such as broken bones and concussions. Injuries generally stem trips and falls, employees being struck by falling objects, tooling injuries, and electrical shocks.

Our attorneys have handled accidents involving:

A study done by the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Washington found that out of 1,201 patients who were seen for maritime-related eye injuries, over 70% were work-related. The most common causes of eye injuries were blunt trauma (such as being hit by a flying object), cuts, and chemical burns. While many of these injuries could have been prevented with proper safety gear, only 39% of the patients were wearing eye protection at the time of their injury.

brain injuries can by anoxic or hypoxic depending on the form of oxygen loss a victim experiences, though both form of reduced blood flow have life-threatening effects to maritime employees.

Maritime workers are at risk of suffering spinal cord injuries, brain stem trauma, or herniated disks, due to falls from heights while being required to climb the rigging or work on the decks or due to due to heavy lifting. Those who work in the engine room or cargo hold often have to lift heavy objects, which can put strain on their back and neck. If they are not careful, they can end up injuring their spine. Maritime workers can also suffer spinal cord injuries in accidents, such as collisions or explosions.

Maritime workers are at risk for developing shoulder and rotator cuff injuries due repetitive motions, such as lifting heavy objects or pulling on ropes, which strain the muscles and tendons in the shoulder and lead to inflammation. Additionally, maritime workers are often required to work in awkward positions, such as reaching overhead or leaning to one side, which can put additional stress on the shoulder and lead to further injury. In some cases, these workers may also develop bursitis, a condition in which the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the shoulder joint become inflamed. Treatment for shoulder and rotator cuff injuries typically includes rest, ice, and physical therapy. However, in severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged muscles and tendons. prevent future injuries.


Offshore workers often suffer from stress fractures caused by the long hours lifting heavy cargo or repetitive motion tasks such as operating hand-held machinery such as jackhammers can also suffer from stress fractures in their wrists or hands. Other times, bone breaks are acute and due to blunt force impact of a falling tool, pressurized valve, or unsafe tasks being carried our aboard the ship.

Oil platforms, semi-submersibles, container ships, and tub boats are hotbeds for crush injuries due to the dangerous conditions workers carry our tasks in every day. A crush injury occurs when a body part is pinched or compressed between two hard surfaces, causing debilitating damage to bones, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. Crush injuries can even cause paralysis, organ failure, or death.


Maritime workers are at high risk for suffering amputations while working. One of the most common problems is tooling, where a worker's hand or finger gets caught in machinery or wedged between pinch points. Handling ropes or a person's hand being entangled in wiring is another common cause of these devastating injuries. In addition to the physical pain of an amputation, limb loss of any kind can also mean the loss of a job and a way to support oneself and one's family. Amputees also often face psychological difficulties, such as depression and anxiety. As a result, Maritime workers who suffer amputations often face a long and difficult road to recovery.

Seaman that lose their lives must asset claims under The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). DOHSA is a federal law obligates a vessel owner to provide financial compensation to a decedent’s spouse, parent, child, or dependent relative, upon proving the seafarer’s death happened beyond three nautical miles from the shore of the United States and was caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default. The Act does allow defendants to assert contributory negligence, but this does not bar a families recovery, rather it reduces the recovery proportionately.

African American Maritime Lawyer

How To Prove Negligence

The Supreme Court decided in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker that a seaman who suffers injuries while working on a vessel can sue his or her employer for negligence. The Court held that an employer has a "duty to provide a seaworthy vessel" and that this duty includes taking reasonable steps to protect workers from foreseeable risks of injury. In order to prevail in such a lawsuit, the seaman must prove that the employer knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused the injury and failed to take reasonable steps to fix it. In practice, this can be a difficult burden to meet. Maritime attorneys often rely on expert witnesses to establish both that the employer was aware of the hazard and that the steps taken to address it were unreasonable. By carefully gathering and presenting this evidence, maritime attorneys can help injured sailors obtain the compensation they deserve.

Types of Maritime Injury Cases

There are a variety of ways that maritime employees can be injured while working. One of the most common is falls. Whether it's from slipping on a wet deck or falling overboard, falls are one of the leading causes of maritime injuries. Other common injuries include fire and explosions, which can occur when flammable materials are present on ships. Fires and explosions can occur when flammable chemicals are ignited by sparks from welding or grinding equipment. Boat crashes are also a risk, as maritime vessels often operate in close proximity to each other and either do not properly detect one another, or fail to properly warn others by radio of their presence and intentions while navigating. And finally, maritime employees can be injured by crane accidents. These typically occur when workers are loading or unloading cargo, and can result in serious injuries or even death.

Am I Eligible For Maintenance & Cure Benefits?

Maintenance and cure benefits are available to all seamen who become ill or injured while in service, regardless of fault. These benefits are paid for by the employer and are intended to cover a seaman's basic living expenses while they recover. Maintenance is a daily allowance to cover food and lodging, and cure is the cost of any necessary medical treatment. In some cases, maintenance and cure benefits may also be used to pay for travel expenses related to medical treatment. Although maintenance and cure benefits are typically provided by the employer, they may also be available through a maritime insurance policy.

Maritime Law Versus Admiralty Law

The terms "maritime law" and "admiralty law" are often used interchangeably, but there are actually some important distinctions between the two. Maritime law is a broad area of law that covers all legal issues relating to the sea, including shipping, fishing, and navigation. Admiralty law, on the other hand, is a specific branch of maritime law that deals with the rules and regulations governing ships and seafaring. In general, admiralty law is concerned with issues of safety at sea, while maritime law covers a wider range of topics. Because of the unique nature of admiralty law, it is typically handled by specialized courts known as admiralty courts. These courts have their own set of rules and procedures, which can be different from the rules that apply in other court systems. If you were hurt offshore while a seaman or visitor on an offshore vessel, your claim falls under general maritime law.

Experienced African American Maritime Lawyer Niles Sneed

Your best choice after being victim to an offshore injury event is Sneed & Mitchell Law. Niles Sneed is a highly experienced maritime lawyer who fights for plaintiffs with an understanding of the many tricks that negligent and selfish defendants use to try to escape liability, and he knows how to counter them. Niles also has a proven track record of success in maritime injury cases. When you hire Sneed & Mitchell Law, you can be confident that you're hiring a law firm with the experience, knowledge and skill to get the best possible outcome in your case.

He has spent his career representing people who work in the maritime industry, including offshore oil rigs, jack-up rigs, drilling rigs, anchor handling vessels, towboats, crew boats and more. He has a deep understanding of the challenges and issues faced by those who work in this demanding environment, and he has a proven track record of getting results for his clients. Whether it's in the courtroom or the negotiating table, Niles is a master craftsman who always puts his client's best interests first.

Niles Sneed is one of the nation's only black maritime lawyers and has a practice that extends far beyond the Gulf Coast. Niles has represented clients from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and many other states in cases involving admiralty accidents. His experience with maritime law is not limited to the Gulf Coast, but extends to other parts of the country as well.

If you've been injured in a maritime accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. You may be facing mounting medical bills, lost wages, and the prospect of a long and uncertain recovery or ability to return to work. Fortunately, you don't have to go through this process alone. The experienced maritime injury lawyers at Sneed & Mitchell LLP are here to help. We have a proven track record of success in maritime injury cases, and we're dedicated to fighting for the compensation our clients deserve. We offer free consultations, so there's no risk in finding out if we can help with your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.


Get A Free Case Consultation

Ask To Speak Directly With An Attorney!

Thanks for submitting!

Jordan Still033-Edit- WEB VERSION Chris
Personal Injury Case Manager
Personal Injury Receptionist
Attorney Niles Sneed - Personal Injury Lawyer
Attorney Brit Mitchell - Personal Injury Lawye




Premises Liability Settlement

August 2023


bottom of page