Seamen and other maritime workers on ships are subjected to hazardous working environments. There is a constant risk of bad accidents that can cause serious injuries to the workers involved. Many of these brave workers live right here in Cecilia.
If you’re a seaman or other maritime worker, and you’ve been injured in a maritime accident, a Cecilia seaman injury lawyer can assist you in taking advantage of the federal laws and pursuing compensation for your injuries.
The Jones Act
Several federal laws protect workers in a maritime environment. The Jones Act allows injured seamen to sue negligent employers for compensation. To qualify under the Jones Act, you must be considered a seaman and meet several requirements:
- You must work on a vessel in navigation.
- You must spend at least 30 percent of your time aboard the vessel (or a fleet of vessels) and contribute in some way to the vessel’s operation.
- The vessel must be in use in navigable waters, which means it cannot be tied or dry-docked indefinitely.
- Seamen may operate aboard ships in inland waters such as lakes, rivers, or the sea.
- An oil rig or other offshore platform can be considered a Jones Act vessel as long as it has some form of onboard navigation.
If you or a loved one meets the description of a seaman, the Jones Act may help you recover after an injury or death that occurs while working. Your Cecilia seaman injury lawyer can determine whether you qualify.
Damages You Can Pursue Under the Jones Act
Under the Jones Act, you must show that your employer or the vessel owner was negligent in some way. For example, employers and vessel owners may fail to do sufficient risk assessments to prevent crewmember injuries.
Alternatively, they may emphasize profits and production speed over workers’ safety, resulting in any number of injuries. If you and your lawyer can prove that your employer or the shipowner is at fault and you qualify as a seaman, you can pursue compensation for:
- Lost wages and future earning potential
- Ongoing and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Maintenance and Cure
In addition to Jones Act damages, injured seamen can claim “maintenance and cure.” Employers of wounded sailors have a legal obligation to pay maintenance and cure for their injured employees if the incident happens when the employee is on the clock. Maintenance and cure should be paid regardless of who’s responsible for the injuries.
“Maintenance” refers to the day-to-day living expenses of their injured employees. It covers essential needs like food, rent, and basic utilities. Their employers normally cover these expenses while they’re on the vessel. “Cure” is the seaman’s reasonable medical expenses. It typically covers emergency care, medications, surgeries, hospitalization, therapy, and medical transportation.
The appropriate amount of maintenance and care should be based on the wounded seaman’s actual home expenses and medical records. For instance, If you live in a high-cost area, your maintenance budget should reflect that. Similarly, your care budget should cover your actual medical expenses even though they may be on the expensive side, as long as they’re directly related to the accident.
Your employer may deny your rights to maintenance and cure. If you were hurt at work and aren’t getting your maintenance and cure benefits (or the amount you’re receiving isn’t enough), a Cecilia seaman injury lawyer can help.
Laborde Earles injury was great for me they took care of me very fast and professional. If for any reason I need legal help they will be who I use.Client
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Seamen aren’t the only ones who work in the maritime industry. Shipyard workers, harbor workers, and other marine employers who don’t work onboard vessels (or who aren’t onboard as much) are examples of these employees. If you don’t meet the requirements of a Jones Act seaman, you are likely covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) when you’re injured on the job.
To be eligible for LHWCA protection, you must perform “maritime” tasks as part of at least a portion of your employer’s responsibilities. Even if you don’t work as a seaman who spends time at sea, a significant amount of your profession must take place on or near navigable waterways, including areas like wharves, piers, shipyards, docks, or shipping terminals.
A Cecilia seaman injury lawyer from our firm can tell you which federal law applies to you and answer any questions you may have about your case.
I thank God for Digger & David. I don’t know what we would have done if it hadn’t have been for them.Rick Smith | Client
You have three years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit under the Jones Act. You must also report the accident to your employer within seven days.
If you are a non-seaman maritime worker, you have one year from the date of the injury to file under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Under the LHWCA you have up to 30 days to notify your employer of the accident. Your Cecilia seaman injury lawyer can help make sure everything is filed on time.
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Rather than adding to your stress and compromising your healing, let Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers handle your complicated legal case while you rest. We have years of combined legal experience and are committed to protecting the rights of injured seamen and maritime workers. Call today to schedule your free consultation.