Many maritime workers wonder, "If I apply for disability insurance am I going to lose my rights to bring a claim against my employer?" Simply, the answer is no. You should apply for disability benefits because it will not affect your ability to file a claim. What is most important to remember is that you do not sign any paperwork from your employer or even your insurance provider until you consult with an experienced maritime attorney from our firm.
Jones Act and other maritime claims that you can file as a seaman are different from disability you can get, such as: long or short-term disability, workers' compensation, and social security disability, among others. If disability is provided by your employer, you should absolutely take it. This is because these types of disability benefits provide immediate coverage and care for your medical and other costs. You likely do not have time to wait for a settlement immediately following your injury, which is why employers provide some sort of disability.
One major provision for worker injury in the maritime field is in the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA). Yes, many injuries are caused by the negligence of an employer, ship owner, co-worker, etc. but many are not. Sometimes workers simply become injured due to normal wear and tear of job duties.
However, if you believe that your injuries were caused by negligence and you would like to file a claim, you are still entitled to disability payments without first having to prove negligence. For an exhaustive list of the disability compensation you may be entitled to, please defer to the LHWCA reference guide.
Depending on your particular type of injury, you may need continued medical treatment and care, rehabilitation services, partial or permanent disability, or death benefits in the event that your loved one is killed while performing their job duties. These can be covered by offshore injury benefits, but in order to seek a claim, you must speak with a maritime attorney. At Arnold & Itkin, we will sit down with you to evaluate your case.
Once we determine that you are entitled to a claim, we will develop a comprehensive strategy to see to it that you get the compensation that you deserve. Our maritime attorneys always fight aggressively on behalf of our clients, with a successful track record in obtaining settlements for our clients. We can do the same for you, so if you or a loved one were injured while working a maritime occupation, then call our firm.
Contact a maritime attorney from Arnold & Itkin today to see how we can help you.
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.