Longshoremen work in hazardous conditions and regularly face suffering injuries while completing their duties. This often entails lifting heavy cargo, working in extremely cold or hot conditions, and handling toxic chemicals and dangerous machinery and equipment.
Because these individuals have the potential to sustain harm daily, there are federal laws that help protect them in the event of an accident. If you need help after an incident on navigable waters, a Southaven dock worker injury lawyer can help. Reach out to experienced maritime attorney Elissa M. Coombs from the Law Office of David E. Gordon to schedule a consultation.
The Right to a Safe Work Environment
Dockers have the same rights to a safe work environment as employees on land. Vessel and ship owners must abide by various guidelines and regulations at all times to try and avoid accidents.
Employers must also provide all dock workers with safety training and protective gear to prevent injuries. Failing to provide this training and gear can have many negative consequences on the employer, including lawsuits and steep fines from the federal government.
Vessel owners and employers must ensure they follow regulations at every loading dock, shipyard, all locations on the ship or vessel, and anywhere the dock workers must go to complete their duties. A Southaven longshoremen injury attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to determine if an accident resulted from negligence.
Benefits Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The benefits dock workers are eligible to collect after an injury on the job are similar to workers’ compensation but only available to maritime employees. Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, injured individuals have a right to pursue the following:
- The total cost of reasonable medical care
- Vocational rehabilitation services
- Disability benefits
- Survivor benefits to dependents if the dock worker sustains fatal injuries
This act protects dock workers who suffer injuries while completing their job duties, even if the employer’s negligence did not cause the accident. However, if the employee sustains injuries because of their willful intention or intoxication while working, this could automatically disqualify them from collecting benefits. A knowledgeable dock injury attorney in Southaven can help ensure the worker receives the total amount of compensation the act entitles them to cumulate.
If an accident occurs because of a third party’s negligence, the act also allows the injured dock worker to file a suit against that person. A successful claim could mean collecting payment for costs, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Future loss of earning capacity
- Permanent disability and disfigurement
- The loss of enjoyment of life
The benefits provided by the Longshore Act are often not enough to cover all the injured workers’ losses. Therefore, when a negligent third party is involved, it is vital to hold them financially accountable.
Call a Southaven Dock Worker Injury Attorney for Help Understanding Your Rights
Longshoremen have exceptionally physically demanding jobs and regularly work in hazardous conditions. For this reason, the federal government protects dock and other maritime workers in case of an accident and injuries. However, the act is complex and challenging to navigate without the help of a seasoned Southaven dock worker injury lawyer.
Reaching out to a legal professional can help you avoid unnecessary delays or denials in error. We can also help you determine the benefits the act entitles you to collect. For help with a claim, call Elissa M. Coombs from the Law Office of David E. Gordon today.