Maritime work is one of the most dangerous vocations on the planet, and often those who work in this field become injured on the job. When this happens, they will want to pursue an appropriate level of compensation that reimburses them for their injuries, medical bills and rehabilitation, in addition to damages for their pain and suffering. Often, these workers will wonder how much their individual claim might be worth. The truth is that there is no set dollar amount that can be assigned to all maritime injury claims.
There are a variety of reasons for this. For one, no two injury cases are the same, either in the manner of the injury or the nature of the accident that led to the injury taking place. Further, the laws that cover seamen are different than those that cover onshore maritime workers. Each of these separate laws provide for different levels of compensation and damages that an injured maritime worker can receive.
There are many things that must be considered when dealing with any particular accident. It will be necessary to ask a series of questions in order to determine what avenues are open to an injured maritime worker when seeking compensation. Was the accident caused by negligence? Is the worker considered a seamen or an onshore worker? Is the vessel that the maritime worker was performing their duties on considered seaworthy? These are just some of the questions that must be asked and answered.
In some cases, a maritime worker may become injured due to a defective product. In these cases, in addition to pursuing other means of compensation, the injured maritime worker may be able to sue the product’s manufacturer or even a subcontractor of the manufacturer in order to pursue compensation. These kinds of cases, though, can be incredibly complex. If a maritime worker has suffered injury due to a defective product, then it’s vitally important that they retain the services of a qualified maritime attorney.
In other cases an accident may have occurred due to employer negligence. This has different ramifications for maritime workers who perform their duties onshore and those who perform their duties at sea. Those who work onshore will be able to pursue compensation for their injuries through the LHWCA (or through state worker’s compensation laws) regardless of whether they’re able to prove employer negligence or not. In the case of seamen though, the injured worker will need to prove employer negligence in order to pursue compensation through the Jones Act.
Beyond these broad concerns, there are other factors that will determine the value of any individual maritime injury claim. Obviously, the severity of the injury that’s suffered will play a role in determining the claim’s value. Also, a maritime worker may be eligible to receive compensation for lost wages if the injury is significant enough. Further, in some cases an injured maritime worker will be able to receive compensation for vocational rehabilitation, which will help him or her to return to work.
As you can see, maritime laws can be incredibly complex, especially when they come to accidents and injuries. That’s why it’s important that any maritime worker who becomes injured in the course of their work retain the services of a qualified maritime attorney. This attorney will be able to sort through all of the various laws that may apply to any individual case, and by doing so ensure that the injured worker gets all of the compensation and damages that are due to him and her.