Maritime law is the body of laws that govern people who work at sea or in other navigable waters. It covers any injuries sustained by workers in the course of their duties. When filing a lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death caused by various water activities, you should understand the extent of the employer’s liability. This is where the importance of hiring maritime injury lawyers comes in. Working offshore or on the high seas is a risky job. You can be injured by the vessel as well as other machinery at the work site. Unfortunately, some employers are negligent and do not take safety measures seriously, leading to maritime accidents off the coast of Louisiana that cause injuries. If you are awarded compensation for your injuries, the vessel’s owner should pay for maintenance and cure (basic living expenses and medical attention). However, they may attempt to limit or avoid liability through the limitation of liability and proving that they were not negligent. You should fight the limitation of liability through an experienced lawyer to get full benefits.
What is the Jones Act?
The Jones Act is the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which protects maritime and offshore workers injured at the workplace. It also attempts to boost the industry by placing restrictions on some non-American vessels. Before the law, maritime workers had no rights beyond showing that their vessel was unseaworthy. To make a claim under the Jones Act, the injured worker must prove that they are seamen, suffered death or injury in the course of employment and that the employer was negligent, which caused the accident. Wrongful death lawsuits mostly use this law. The first two areas are easy to prove. However, it is hard to prove negligence or partial negligence on the employer’s part. You should hire experienced maritime injury lawyers to help you push for your claim under the Jones Act.
Common Types of Maritime Accidents
Several types of accidents can either happen offshore or on the high seas. Here are some common ones:
Some of the common accidents related to dredges include drowning and slip-and-falls.
Jack-up Rig Accidents
High-powered moving parts, fires, explosions, as well as collapsing structures, have injured people working at rigs.
Helicopter Transport Accidents
People being transported in helicopters have been involved in accidents. Sometimes the weather is to blame. However, most of the time, the problem is an equipment failure or poor maintenance.
Tugboats are a common sight at sea. These boats may capsize, stall due to breakdowns, start fires, or collide with other vessels, causing accidents.
Maintenance and Cure
The law under the Jones Act requires employers to pay injured maritime workers benefits to cover their medical bills and living expenses under Maintenance and Cure. These benefits are to be paid regardless of the cause of injury, even where the employer is not liable. Maritime workers have the right to these payments until they make a full recovery. Unfortunately, most employers are never willing to pay for Maintenance and Cure. Some pay small sums that may not be sufficient to sustain the injured worker. This is why it is good to seek the help of experienced maritime injury lawyers to help in making a reasonable claim. The lawyer may also assist you in pursuing additional avenues of compensation so that you have enough money to cover your basic living expenses and medical care until you recover.