Working on or around open water can be challenging. Maritime employees working aboard vessels and offshore perform their duties in hazardous environments, placing their lives at hazardous risk every day. Catastrophic accidents can occur at any moment when doing their jobs on unseaworthy vessels or with an incompetent crew. Many maritime workers suffer serious injuries or death on slippery decks and platforms using heavy machinery in unpredictable waters.
Maritime employers are duty bound to provide a safe environment for the entire workforce and must follow numerous laws including:
- General Maritime Law
- The Jones Act
- Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act for dockworkers
- Death on the High Seas Act
The Jones Act provides seamen and sailors a financial solution for medical treatments associated with work-related diseases and injuries. Harbor workers and longshoremen who load and unload vessels, repair or build vessels, or are in maritime construction are provided maritime workers’ compensation under the federal Longshoremen and Harbor Worker’s Compensation act.
With these laws in place, maritime industry workers are provided legal protection and a solution for collecting compensation when injured or killed. However, maritime law is complicated, and often requires the expertise of skilled maritime lawyers to protect the victims’ rights.
The U.S. Department of Labor regulates claims for compensation when maritime employers, vessel owners or their agents, crewmembers, third-party contractors and others have violated OSHA standards. Victims can seek financial recovery through out-of-court settlements and jury awards including:
- Injury-associated hospitalization and medical expenses
- Disability payments
- Workplace hazard occupational disease compensation
- Compensation for travel expenses to receive medical treatment
- Wrongful death benefit as financial recompense when the mariner’s death is the result of a work-related admiral and maritime injury
When victims suffer a work-related injury, medical condition or disease caused by a third party’s negligence, they have a right to seek recompense far and above the cost of medical treatment.
Unseaworthy Vessel Accident
The vessel’s owner has a legal responsibility to ensure that the boat or ship remains seaworthy whenever in use. By law, seaworthiness means of the vessel has appropriate safety gear, is adequately equipped for its intended use, is managed by a competent crew and provides a safe environment to work and live.
Dangerous conditions occurring offshore can quickly make a seaworthy vessel unseaworthy, and create a hazardous situation for the entire crew. Incidents and accidents can happen on any water vessel including ships, boats, barges, yachts, tons and offshore oil rigs.
Filing a Claim For Injuries Related to Maritime Work
Worker’s compensation benefits are available to any injured mariner working aboard a vessel or offshore by filing a claim for compensation. The funds provided usually cover the cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation to allow the worker to return to their duties. However, when the injury or fatality is the result of negligence, the aggrieved has a legal right to seek compensation far more than the cost of medical treatment.
The injured victim, or surviving family members of the deceased mariner, can file a claim for recompense against the victim’s employer, insurance companies, or all third parties also at fault for the accident or incident. However, to receive compensation, the victim or their legal representative must present four components of proof of negligence including:
- Every party at fault was legally bound to protect the victim
- That protection was breached
- The parties at fault caused the accident through negligence or intention
- The victim suffered real injury or death
Hiring an Attorney With Experience Prosecuting Maritime Injury Claims & Lawsuits
Filing a claim or lawsuit for recompense can be a challenging legal process. Hiring a skilled attorney who specializes in maritime injuries is an easy solution to protect your rights to ensure you receive adequate compensation. A personal injury law firm can investigate the accident, speak to eyewitnesses and review medical records, reports and documents to substantiate a claim for compensation.
If you have suffered a maritime injury, or your loved one was killed by an admiralty or maritime injury, you are likely entitled to receive compensation. For additional information concerning compensation for your maritime injury, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers at (888) 424-5757. We offer a no obligation, no cost consultation to review your case. Our skilled trial attorneys handle maritime injury cases on contingency and provide you instant legal representation without paying any upfront payments.