What Are Injured Workers’ Rights?

The rights of injured offshore or longshore workers are protected under maritime law. U.S. law includes several statutes created specifically to help workers injured in the maritime industry. These laws offer relief for medical expenses, lost wages, and potentially much more. However, the road to winning these benefits isn’t always straightforward.

In today’s blog, our offshore injury lawyers explain your rights after a maritime accident and why you need an attorney to affirm your rights.

Jones Act Protections

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, or the Jones Act, provides coverage for injured seamen. It gives vessel workers the right to file a lawsuit against the vessel’s owner, operator, or employer if the unseaworthiness of the vessel or negligence caused them harm. The relief provided by the Jones Act extends to any loss or damage resulting from the accident.

The Jones Act can also cover compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental distress
  • Disfigurement or dismemberment
  • Lost income and lost earning potential
  • Living expenses

Protections for Longshoremen & Harbor Workers

The Jones Act strictly applies to seamen who work on a single vessel or small fleet in navigation and contribute to the vital functions of the vessel. As such, the Jones Act does not cover longshore workers or harbor workers.

Instead, their rights are protected by the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA). This gives workers the right to receive coverage for their medical expenses and partial wage benefits. The advantage of the LHWCA is a worker will receive benefits faster because they’re not required to prove negligence; it’s similar to workers’ comp in that way. The tradeoff is they receive less relief than is offered by the Jones Act.

Protections for Families After Fatal Injuries at Sea

The Death on the High Seas Act protects the rights of the families of offshore workers. If a seaman dies from injury at sea or while working on a vessel, the family of that seaman can pursue the employer or vessel owner/operator for the lost income, burial costs, and emotional damages resulting from their loved one’s passing.

Over $15 Billion Recovered for Plaintiffs

We’ve secured verdicts and settlements totaling $15+ billion for our clients against the likes of BP, Shell, Exxon, and other titans of industry, changing the lives of thousands of people. Our commitment to aggressive and relentless advocacy is the only reason we’ve been able to do that. When workers were injured on the job in the biggest disasters of the last twenty years, they called us because they knew we’re not afraid of a fight, and we don’t quit.

No matter where you are, no matter who you’re up against, no matter how you were injured. We’ll be your advocate. No matter what.

Call (888) 346-5024 to learn your legal options in a free consultation, or contact us online.

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