Maritime workers in the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding areas face some of the most dangerous working conditions in the country. Workers who spend their time onboard vessels – both in port and at sea – are particularly at risk due to the many inherent dangers that vessels present. Unfortunately, ship owners, oil companies and other employers often exacerbate these dangers by failing to take adequate steps to protect maritime employees.
If you or a loved one were injured or tragically killed while working on a vessel, the Jones Act lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP can help you seek compensation for your losses. We regularly represent seamen throughout the United States with a focus in Texas and Louisiana, and we are ready to help you navigate the complex laws that govern harbor and offshore injuries. If you want to make sure that you receive maximum compensation for your vessel injury, contact us for a free consultation today.
Possible Claims for Vessel Injuries
Depending on the cause of your injury and where your injury occurred, you could have several possible claims for compensation. The laws that cover vessel-related injuries include:
- The Jones Act – The Jones Act protects “seamen” who are injured onboard vessels in navigation. Under the Jones Act, injured seamen can seek no-fault “maintenance and cure benefits” and file separate negligence-based claims for full compensation against their employers.
- The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (the “Longshore Act”) – The Longshore Act covers many maritime workers who are not covered by the Jones Act. The Longshore Act also provides for no-fault benefits and additionally entitles injury victims to file negligence claims against third parties that are responsible for their losses.
- The Law of Unseaworthiness – Under maritime law, individuals can also file claims against vessel owners for injuries caused by a vessel’s unseaworthiness. Unlike Jones Act claims and third-party claims under the Longshore Act, unseaworthiness claims do not require proof of negligence. If you were injured on an unseaworthy vessel, with only limited exceptions, you are entitled to file a claim for compensation.
Types of Vessels Eligible for Compensation Claims
Seamen can file compensation claims for injuries sustained on any type of vessel that is in navigable waters or docked for maintenance or repair. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Attending vessels
- Jack-up rigs
- Cargo and container ships
- Crew boats
- Cruise ships
- Drill ships
- Fishing Boats
- Standby vessels
- Supply boats
In addition, offshore facilities such as liftboats, jack-up rigs, semisubmersible rigs, drillships, and floating production, storage and offloading units (FPSOs) can qualify as vessels as well. Regardless of what happened and where it happened, if you are entitled to compensation, our experienced Jones Act lawyers will fight to win the compensation you deserve.
Get Your Free, Confidential Consultation with Morrow & Sheppard LLP
If you would like to learn more about your legal rights after suffering a vessel injury, we invite you to schedule a free, confidential consultation with one of our experienced Jones Act attorneys. Call us at (800) 489-2216 or contact us online to start protecting your legal rights today.