S.I.U. Seafarers / Union Seamen / Non-Union Seamen

We Represent Seafarers Every Day

For decades Clark & Zedella have represented Union and Non-Union Seafarers and seamen every day. Not a day goes by when we don’t talk with seamen about their case, their careers, their troubles and their families. We know and understand merchant seamen. We know vessels and their tackle and gear. We know the maritime industry, the companies, their counsel and how they operate. We know the similarities and differences between Union and Non-Union seamen.

We Know and Understand Seamen

We know seamen’s jobs, their wages and their benefits. We understand their challenges and fears when injured. We know their families and their kids and grandkids. We take their injuries seriously, and personally. Clark & Zedella handle each seaman’s case as a team, with unparalleled knowledge, loyalty and customer service.

We Represent Officers and Seamen From All Major Maritime Unions

We have represented crew and officers from every major maritime Union in the Country. The SIU, MEBA and MM&P are some of the largest American Unions and we have represented their members many times, over the years.

These Unions represent professional, United States merchant mariners sailing aboard U.S. flagged vessels, in the deep sea, Great Lakes and inland trades. Union members, officers and crew, typically sail in the three shipboard departments: deck, engine and steward. Clark & Zedella have represented hundreds of merchant mariners from all three departments over many decades.

Seamen Are Unique

Seafarers are unique and their cases are unique:  When a Seafarer is injured, they are entitled to bring a claim against their employer.  The claim can be in the form of a lawsuit directly against their employer.  They do not fall under the workers’ compensation laws.   

The Law Applicable to Seamen is Specialized

The injured seaman is entitled automatically to maintenance and cure under the maritime law. The seafarer does not have to prove fault to collect his/her maintenance and cure. If he/she falls ill or injured in the service of the ship the seaman is entitled to cure which includes medical doctors and care of his/her choice. Under the law he/she is also entitled to maintenance, which is a daily allowance or stipend to cover basic living expenses. Some Union seamen are capped by Union agreement to a certain amount for maintenance. If the employer wrongfully fails to pay his/her maintenance and cure the seaman can sue the employer and ask for attorneys’ fees and sometimes even punitive damages. In some cases, a seaman is entitled to wages until the end of the voyage.

If the vessel, its officers, or crew were negligent and said negligence caused her injury the seaman can sue her employer, under the Jones Act, in a Court of Law and obtain damages including lost wages, lost overtime, lost benefits, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

If the vessel was unseaworthy and the unseaworthiness caused or contributed to cause injury to the seaman, she may sue the vessel owner for unseaworthiness along with the Jones Act.

Clark & Zedella are Specialists in the Maritime Law and the Protection of Seamen's Rights

We have decades of specialized experience analyzing injuries and claims for Union and Non-Union seafarers. Put our expertise to work for you and let us tell you if you have a case based upon Jones Act Negligence and/or Unseaworthiness. Non-maritime lawyers will not be able to spot all of the issues and properly analyze your injury case.

Frequently, the officers on the vessel and the employing company are extremely hostile to seamen bringing a claim. At Clark & Zedella we help seamen navigate their way through claims for maintenance and cure and we pursue claims and lawsuits against the employer and vessel owner for Jones Act Negligence and Unseaworthiness. Shipping companies are large and powerful and skilled maritime attorneys like Clark & Zedella can be the difference in a seaman getting what he/she is owed or losing out.

A seaman cannot be fired for bringing a claim for injury and if fired the employer can be sued for retaliatory discharge.

We Have Represented Seafarers from Most of the Union Halls Across the Nation

Clark & Zedella have represented Seafarers working out of many of the Union Halls across the Country. 

These include but are not limited to:

Clark & Zedella are licensed to practice law in Florida, but we handle cases from Union Halls across the Country. When we have out-of-state cases, we associate with other qualified maritime lawyers in those states to act as our local counsel.

Clark & Zedella are Friends of the Seafarer and Know How to Protect Them

At Clark & Zedella we are friends of the Seafarer. We know how they work and how to protect their legal rights under the maritime law. We have had great success and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured seamen and their families. We regularly fight the largest of shipping companies on behalf of Union and Non-Union seamen and bring them the justice they deserve under the law.

If you are an injured Seafarer, Union or Non-Union, and are unsure of your legal rights call us today for a free consultation. It will be our honor and pleasure to represent you as a merchant mariner.

Clark & Zedella represent Seafarers and Longshoremen every day; but it should be understood, that our firm has no formal affiliation, connection or association with any Union and we have not been endorsed officially by any Union. With that said, we have deep personal connections with Union and Non-Union seamen and have represented them daily for decades. We are proud to say that most of our cases come by “word-of-mouth” from former client Seafarers and Longshoremen and other maritime lawyers who know our reputation for protecting the rights of Seafarers everywhere.

Admiralty, Maritime and Boating Accident Specialists

Schedule Your Mediation