High sea and offshore employees, as well as dockworkers, understand the danger of their jobs. Working on or near water presents a list of hazards that these workers encounter daily and that no other industry must address. Maritime employment is so specific that special laws are in place to protect workers.
If you have been injured in the maritime industry, it is vital that you seek legal advice from an attorney that understands the complexities of maritime law. SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION NOW to speak with one of our knowledgeable New Jersey maritime injury attorneys.
Laws Covering Maritime Injuries
Maritime workers are covered under very specific federal laws. These laws include:
Each of these federal laws covers different aspects of injuries or wrongful death at sea. Your attorney must be knowledgeable about federal laws and regulations specific to the maritime industry to represent your case to its fullest extent.
The Jones Act aka The Merchant Marine Act
The Jones Act covers employees that spend a minimum of 30 percent of their working hours on a sea bearing vessel. This Act allows workers to make a claim if they are injured by the negligent act of another employee or the owner of the vessel. Jones Act claims are much easier to process than regular personal injury cases because the burden of proof is not as strict. Under the Jones Act, you only need to show that the other person’s action contributed to the accident or injury to make a claim.
The Jones Act covers workers for the following types of vessels:
• Fishing Ships
• Oil Rigs
• Floating Cranes
• Cruise Ships
The types of compensation that can be claimed under the Jones Act include:
• Medical expenses both current and future
• Lost wages
• Loss of earning potential if you cannot return to work or must change positions
• Pain and Suffering
• Loss of enjoyment of life
• Death benefits
More than one federal law may apply to your case. SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY about your maritime injury to see what types of benefits you are entitled to under maritime law.
Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers employees that participate in marine transport to the water, or you work on, near or adjacent to the water. Dry dock workers, pier works and truck drivers bringing shipping containers to the ships are just a few of the workers who qualify under the LHWCA.
Employees who are not covered under LHWCA include:
• Anyone covered under the Jones Act
• Employees of the State or Federal government
• Employees of foreign governments
• Workers who were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident
• Willful or intentional injuries done to themselves
The LHWCA is very similar to worker’s compensation in the way that it provides compensation. Under the LHWCA, workers can claim one or more of the following forms of compensation:
• Medical Expense
• Temporary Disability – This covers 2/3 of your wages the entire time that you are unable to work due to your injury.
• Partial Disability – This will cover 2/3 of your lost earning capacity if you can return to another position that makes less money during your recovery period.
• Permanent Total Disability – You will receive 2/3 of your pay for as long as you are considered disabled.
• Permanent Partial Disability – If you remain partially disabled for an extended period of time, you will receive 2/3 of your lost earning capacity based on the pay you earn at your new position.
• Vocational Training. If your injury prevents you from returning to your position, you may be eligible to receive training for a new position.
Death on the High Seas
Under the Death on the High Seas Act, any spouse or child of someone who has died from a negligent action located three or more miles from the shoreline can make a claim for compensation under this Act.
The Death at High Seas Act does not prevent someone from seeking compensation if there is a potential that the deceased was partially responsible for the wrongful death.
Under the Death at High Seas Act, qualified family members can claim the following forms of compensation:
• Cost of Funeral and Burial
• Lost Income
• Counseling Services
• Other financial losses that may have occurred because of the death at sea.
Other Federal Acts may apply to your case. It is very important that you work with a New Jersey Injury Attorney that understands the intricate nature of maritime law.
Common Causes Of Negligence And Injuries In The Maritime Industry
There is already risk involved when you work on or near the water. Added to this fact is that there are some very industry-specific injuries that can occur that no other industry may experience. The most common forms of negligence or cause of injury in the maritime industry include:
• Failure to properly train employees to work on the open water or near large vessels.
• Failure to avoid dangerous weather
• Failure to operate vessel correctly causing it to sink, collide, or otherwise malfunction in a way that places everyone onboard at risk
• Failing to enforce the use of safety equipment
• Unsafe equipment or working conditions
• Using a vessel that is not seaworthy
• Exposure to toxins in older warehouses (asbestos)
• Improper handling, storing or movement of cargo containers
Of course, there can be other issues that lead to an employee being injured while working at one of these positions. If you have been injured while working in the maritime industry, speak with an attorney about your rights to seek compensation.
Schedule A Free Consultation Today
Work-related injuries can devastate your life. Not only do you physically suffer from the injury, but you also endure a lot of emotional stress as well. Then, of course, there is the financial issue. If you are not working due to your injury, you may face many financial hardships.
It is essential to contact a New Jersey maritime injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury has happened. Your attorney can start the compensation process for you right away. Having your attorney manage the legal aspects of the compensation should eliminate some of the stress you are feeling and allow you to concentrate on your recovery.
THERE IS NEVER A FEE UNLESS WE WIN. We are a contingency based law firm which means we never charge for our services until we win your case. We want to make sure that everyone has access to legal representation in their time of need, so we work Fee-Free until your case has settled.
OUR ATTORNEYS ARE AGGRESSIVE. We know that the insurance companies covering these accidents are always looking for a way not to pay the injured party. We will negotiate on your behalf until we secure a compensation package that is fair and complete. If we cannot come to a fair deal, we will take the case to trial.
All maritime injuries fall under the Statute of Limitations. You may have only one year to make a claim in some instances. Do not delay – schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with a New Jersey maritime injury lawyer today.