Similar to workers’ compensation laws, maritime law provides for assistance and compensation when an employee suffers an injury in the waters of the U.S. Injured workers may be entitled to medical care at no cost to them and compensation for lost wages, regardless of who was at fault for the injury. This is known as “maintenance and cure.”
These injuries can be catastrophic and may threaten the financial livelihood of an entire family. If your family is suffering due to an injury at sea, Avram Blair & Associates may be able to help. Contact us today.
Medical Care: An Injured Worker’s Right
The federal laws that protect offshore workers include:
Originally known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act allows seamen or their surviving dependents to sue an employer for damages and receive a trial by jury if the company’s negligence may have been to blame.
Under the Jones Act, your employer is required by federal law to provide a workplace free of recognizable hazards. Employers may be negligent in a number of ways, such as:
- Improperly maintaining equipment
- Poor employee training
- Understaffing a vessel
- Hiring unqualified workers
- Mandating employees work excessive hours
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provides compensation benefits for maritime workers who are injured or contract an occupation-related illness on the job. This law was enacted in 1927 to protect maritime workers who worked on docks and harbors, as well as others not covered by the Jones Act. It also includes specific provisions for family members after a death while on the job, including funeral expenses and future wages.
Some of the workers included under the LHWCA include:
- Longshoremen and anyone in longshore operations
- Ship repairers and shipbuilders
- Harbor construction workers
- Dock workers
Death on the High Seas Act
This law grants a spouse, child or other dependent family member the right to seek damages when a seaman is killed on the job.
Get an Attorney Working For You
Those who work at sea have inherently risky jobs. But knowing the risks of your profession does not prohibit you from seeking the compensation you are entitled to under the law. Your employer cannot legally retaliate against you for asserting your rights.
Maritime law can be complex and difficult to understand. It is imperative that you choose an attorney experienced with the legal nuances specific to your case. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how we may be able to help you.