Injuries sustained while working at sea can be serious and you may be entitled to compensation for the suffering you are experiencing. Unfortunately, due to the complicated nature of compensation claims, it can be difficult to determine which kind of claim to pursue after suffering an offshore injury.
Each one will lead to different amounts of compensation and involves certain eligibility requirements. Our offshore injury lawyers can evaluate your case and advise you on what legal avenue to pursue. With our seasoned advocates on your side, you can be confident your case is in qualified hands.
Established in 1920, the Jones Act protects seamen who were injured while at work. "Seamen" can include anyone who worked on the vessel and contributed to the operation and maintenance of the ship. Most often, at least 30% of an individual's time must have been spent working on the ship in order for them to be considered a seaman.
An employee who wants to file a Jones Act claim must prove that the negligence of their employer or another coworker caused their injuries. Negligence and unseaworthiness are both necessary components of such a claim and refer to an employer's inability to maintain the safety of the ship at all times.
If you are able to prove a similar issue caused your injury, your employer could be held liable for any injuries you sustained while on-board. This means they may owe damages for medical bills, lost wages, and much more.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Comp Act (LHWCA) is another act that protects those injured or killed at sea. Whether through an accident or due to an illness, victims have rights regarding compensation. Their employer is responsible for providing them with reimbursement for medical costs and any future care. If forced to take time off of work to recover, the victim could also be given a percentage of their average weekly wage during this time. Typically, the amount usually comes out to 66.66% of a total income.
The biggest difference between Jones Act claims and workers' compensation claims is the amount of damages recovered. Jones Act claims usually recover a much higher compensation award and can be more complex to file successfully. Workers' compensation claims, on the other hand, can be much more black and white.
An injured seaman who files a workers' compensation claim does not have to prove that someone else was responsible for their injuries. Fault is not a necessary component of such a claim, only actual injury. If the victim is unable to go to work for a time, they may recover compensation for and disability benefits by filing a claim.
If you believe you have grounds to file a claim under any of the three areas of offshore law mentioned, we encourage you to call on our skilled maritime lawyers. With billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements under our belts, we know how to navigate the legal obstacles you are facing.
Arnold & Itkin represented nearly a third of the crewmembers injured in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Because maritime law is so complex and so complicated, it is crucial that you work with an attorney who has an in-depth understanding of how it works and who has proven themselves in similar cases before.