Are you a seaman? Do you have your loved one working in a crew on the sea-going vessels or at the port? Sea accidents are common, and individuals working in or around the sea should be aware of the protections established under the law. While sea accidents fall under the general accident law, they differ from the typical workers’ compensation. This is because the injuries sustained by in the sea are not under specific state laws.
The US has designed federal laws that address maritime injuries. Classic examples of laws that apply to these special injuries are the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Each of these laws provides different remedies to maritime workers after sustaining injuries while on duty. That said, employees working at sea should be swift in prosecuting their cases and claiming compensation whenever they are injured. However, claiming compensation due to maritime injuries can be a difficult task, considering that maritime laws are extremely complex.
Therefore, the ability of the claimant to obtain compensation depends upon many factors, including the job title. However, it also depends on the experience of the lawyer handling the case. If you sustain injuries as a fisherman, sailor, oil worker or any other staff, you need to contact skilled maritime lawyers to educate you about your rights and possible ways of getting your rightful compensation.
You need a lawyer who has firsthand experience handling cases similar to yours, because such an attorney knows how oil firms, shipping companies, and dock companies cut corners to make profits, meanwhile exposing their employees to dangers. By retaining an attorney who is knowledgeable in maritime law and accident law, you can fight for your rights. This way, you will have higher chances of succeeding in your case.
What Benefits Can You Get?
- Payments for medical costs
- Payment for utilities
- Payments for the cost of daily living
- Airfare to take you back to your port of hire
- Lost or unearned wages for the term of the contract
What Laws Can You Invoke after a Sea Injury?
The Jones Act is established to protect those who spend a lot of time on sea-going vessels. This law may also cover offshore rig workers and other such people. On the other hand, the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act covers employees other than the seamen, including repairmen, shipbuilders, and any such staff whose work or station is near water.
The Death on High Seas Act (DOSHA) provides compensation to close family of offshore employees who die due to negligence at the sea. Depending on the situation and the experience of your lawyer, you may file for compensation under two or more laws, including the conventional workers’ compensation benefits.
What to Do after a Maritime Injury
After you sustain an injury at your place of work, you should take immediate steps to see the doctor, as well as seek legal help to recover compensation. Do not ignore any injuries, however small they may seem, because you may have sustained injuries that take a few more days to show up. Some of these seemingly mild injuries may have far-reaching negative implications on your future health if you do not seek immediate treatment.
Fill Out an Accident Report
It is essential to document your injuries and the circumstances that led to the injuries. You need to complete at least two reports: one for yourself, and a copy for your employer.
Contact a Competent Maritime Lawyer
Do not commit to any other document other than the report. You should never sign any other paperwork from your employer or insurance carrier without the input of your lawyer. You should never divulge any information in form of statements regarding your injuries without consulting your maritime attorney.
Seek an Independent Medical Facility
Do not rely on the medical report of a medical facility operated by your employer, since it is likely that they may influence or downplay the gravity of your injuries. Therefore, you should seek the services of an independent medical practitioner to ascertain the level of the injuries. Remember this is a crucial report as it counts when determining compensation. Injured at Sea? Call an attorney today to be guaranteed of a reasonable compensation.