Maritime workers provide invaluable help to company and states across the nation, performing difficult jobs and intense labor week after week. However, they are also subject to seriously hazardous conditions and the potential for suffering devastating or possibly fatal injuries on the job.
In the wake of devastating accidents, workers and their families will need great help in order to recover both physically and financially. Thankfully, maritime law provides protection for their rights and provides compensation that supports them as they cope with and heal from their losses.
Dangers at Sea
Whether it is out on the high sea or at a harbor, maritime workers face numerous dangers every day. Rough waters and storms will consistently threaten harm for everyone in the vicinity. Additionally, the wear and tear of the sea and heavy labor may create dangers on shore or in ships that cause serious accidents. Possibly most dangerous of all, heavy and dangerous cargo work is present in a vast majority of maritime work, and simple mistakes can lead to devastating accidents.
The Jones Act
Since being passed in 1920, The Jones Act has worked to protect seamen who are injured or killed during work on a vessel in navigable waters. Of importance, this is centered on a fault-based system, so victims must prove that negligence caused the injuries. This includes an employer’s negligence for not providing a reasonably safe environment, and unseaworthy vessels, which are not properly built or maintained.
Jones Act benefits that are received when negligence is proven include maintenance for living expenses while being unable to work; “cures,” which include medical treatment, rehabilitation, and medication; and training for a new job if he or she cannot return to being a seaman due to the injuries.
The Longshore Act
Should those working on docks or offshore drilling platforms be injured during their duties, their claims for an injury can be covered by The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), also known as The Longshore Act. Longshoremen, ship repairmen, shipbuilders, harbor workers, and ship-breakers are all covered by this act and, like other forms of workers’ compensation, do not need to prove fault, only that they were harmed during the course of their duties.
Longshore Act compensation paid for injured workers includes medical expenses and cost of travel for treatment of injuries, as well as rehabilitation needed to restore physical capabilities. Additionally, payment will be given for temporary and permanent partial disabilities, as well as temporary and permanent total disabilities. Should a fatality result, eligible survivors of the employee will be compensated, including reasonable funeral expenses.
Preserving Your Maritime Rights with Legal Help
Those who have been injured may have many rights under federal and state law, but will still need skilled legal representation to find justice and recover properly. At the Jurewitz Law Group, our maritime injury lawyers are dedicated to helping victims find the best chance for a future free from injuries and long-lasting losses. To learn more about your legal options and how we can aid you, get in touch with a member of our legal team today.