Maritime industry work can be dangerous whether your job keeps you primarily on dry land or out on a vessel in navigable waters. To make matters more complicated, the means by which you can seek compensation for work-related injuries will vary depending on your exact job duties and the place where an accident occurs.
Fortunately, help is available from a seasoned Olive Branch maritime injury lawyer who has helped workers just like you achieve successful resolutions to their own cases in the past. Allow attorney Elissa M. Coombs to help you understand all your recovery options, help you collect evidence of fault for your injuries, and work on your behalf to maximize the compensation you receive.
Most maritime workers in the United States are explicitly exempt from state-level workers’ compensation laws and are instead covered under one of a few different federal regulations. First, workers who spend at least 30 percent of their employment aboard a vessel in navigable waters, and who get hurt while that vessel is “in navigation,” may file a claim under the Jones Act. This piece of federal legislation allows seamen to hold their employers liable for any workplace injury that stems in part or wholly from that employer’s negligence. Those who work on a barge or on a crew boat are covered under this law.
Land-based maritime workers like ship builders, ship breakers, dock workers, and crane or forklift operators must use the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act to pursue compensation after an injury on the job. As the title of the law suggests, these claims work similarly to traditional workers’ comp claims, so it is not necessary to prove negligence by an employer or a third party.
Finally, anyone who gets hurt at sea due to negligence by someone other than their employer (like from a passenger on a cruise ship) could seek compensation under the federal maritime law, or potentially through civil litigation under Mississippi law. An Olive Branch maritime injury attorney can offer further guidance about the options available to a particular injured worker.
The types of monetary compensation that an injured maritime worker can seek will vary depending on what kind of job they perform. The Jones Act allows recovery for the full value of economic and non-economic losses stemming from a maritime accident, including pain and suffering stemming from long-term injury. Jones Act seamen are also entitled to “maintenance and cure,” which include medical expenses and daily living expenses during the injured worker’s recovery period.
Conversely, longshore and harbor workers are limited to recovery for reasonable medical expenses and a portion of wages missed during their recovery period.
Different filing deadlines apply to each type of case, all of which a maritime accident lawyer in Olive Branch can help ensure compliance with. In general, it is best to take action as soon as possible to pursue recovery following any on-the-job accident. This is to make sure important evidence and documentation is not lost or destroyed.
Even if an injury sustained during maritime work will heal completely over time, the wages you miss out on and the medical bills you have to pay could seriously impact your future plans and prospects. After a more severe accident that results in permanent consequences, it is even more important to take advantage of any options you have for seeking compensation with help from the Law Office of David E. Gordon.
No matter what kind of losses you need to recover for, an Olive Branch maritime injury lawyer can provide the assistance you need to achieve a positive case result. Call Elissa M. Coombs today to schedule a free consultation.