Maritime workers perform their job duties on ships, oil rigs, docks, barges, and other vessels to transport goods or perform offshore drilling. While rewarding, working in the maritime industry can be difficult and dangerous. Shipmates and dockhands frequently endure injuries due to navigating challenging physical and environmental conditions.
When these injuries occur while you are performing your job duties, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical care, lost wages, and other losses. Several types of compensation are available in Mississippi for maritime workers. Enlisting the services of an experienced maritime injury attorney such as Elissa M. Coombs from the Law Office of David E. Gordon is crucial to ensuring you understand your legal options and make the best possible choices to maximize your potential award amount.
Maintenance and Cure
Maritime laws determine the type and amount of compensation seamen and other workers can pursue after an accident according to who was injured, where the injury took place, and the circumstances surrounding the incident. When a seaman (water-based maritime worker) is injured while performing their job duties, they are typically entitled to maintenance and cure benefits regardless of how or why the accident took place.
Maintenance benefits are a flat daily rate intended to cover the employee’s essential daily living expenses during recovery, including rent payments, utilities, food, and taxes. This typically does not cover optional expenses such as cable tv or internet. Cure covers all medical expenses and treatments as well as the costs associated with traveling to appointments.
The Jones Act
When injuries are severe, maintenance and cure benefits are insufficient, or the accident was caused by negligence of the employer or co-workers, the Jones Act provides Mississippi seamen with the right to sue their employer for damages. Unlike maintenance and cure, crew members who seek benefits under the Jones Act must establish that their injuries are the direct result of negligence by their employer or their co-workers. Compensation available can include lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, disfigurement, permanent disability, emotional trauma, and more.
The LHWCA and Compensation
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a form of workers’ compensation specifically for land-based maritime workers who sustain injuries while working on or around navigable waters. However, there are certain requirements a maritime worker must meet to be eligible for benefits under The Act. These include not being eligible for state benefits or compensation, furnishing a report of the injury within ten days of the accident, and meeting a one-year statute of limitations.
Contact a Mississippi Attorney to Discuss Compensation for Maritime Injuries
Mississippi maritime workers are offered various forms of compensation when they suffer injuries while on the job. The Jones Act, maintenance and cure, and the LHWCA are just a few examples. At the Law Office of David E. Gordon, we can take the lead in handling the legal aspects after an injury so that you can focus on recovering. Contact us today to learn more and to begin reviewing the details of your accident.