Maritime accidents can leave you hurt and stranded, both physically and financially. These accidents are tough, and it takes a lot of work to put the pieces back together. If you or someone you love gets injured in a maritime accident, it could be challenging to know your legal options and how much your claim is worth.
If a judge rules in your favor, it’s at least partly because you proved that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident. Jurisdiction is complex, the law subtle; each accident is unique. Click here now to get aggressive representation from a maritime accident lawyer. Read to learn your legal options after a maritime accident.
Maritime Injury Lawsuit
If you get injured in a maritime accident, it’s essential to understand your legal options. Maritime accidents can occur on land or at sea, but they often result from negligence or recklessness on the part of another party. You may seek damages after a maritime accident for your injuries by filing a lawsuit under Jones Act or The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) against those responsible for causing them.
The Jones Act: What’s It?
The Jones Act is a federal law that protects seamen and passengers who are injured or killed on the high seas. It requires that injured seamen receive damages for their injuries or they are paid to their families. It also requires the responsible party to pay for any medical care needed by those injured.
It also applies to passengers injured while aboard ships owned by U.S.-flagged companies and operated within U.S. territorial waters. This law ensures workers are protected regardless of where they work, live or travel livechatvalue.
The Jones Act can provide damages for:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA): What’s It?
It guarantees workers injured on U.S. waterways or locations for ship repair, construction, or unloading access to compensation, medical care, and rehabilitation services. If an employee’s death is directly or indirectly attributable to a work-related injury, their dependents may be eligible for survivor benefits under the LHWCA.
These benefits get covered by the employer’s self-insurance or by a private insurance company acting on the employer’s behalf. This definition of “injury” encompasses injuries caused during employment.
Workers in ship maintenance, ship construction, and harbor construction are all protected under the LHWCA. Piers, docks, terminals, wharves, and other facilities used for loading and unloading vessels are all considered part of the navigable waters of the United States. Therefore, the injuries must have happened there. If a non-marine worker is injured while on the job and the incident occurs on a body of navigable water, they may be eligible for benefits.
Steps Before You Seek Legal Options After a Maritime Accident
There are a few things to do before you seek legal options after a maritime accident.
Seek Medical Attention
It is essential to have your injuries adequately evaluated as soon as possible. An experienced doctor can help determine if you have suffered any severe injuries or are at risk for long-term health problems.
Notify your employer immediately after an accident on a ship or at sea. Your employer needs to know about it so they can take appropriate action about insurance coverage and workers’ compensation benefits for those involved in the accident.
The more information you can provide to your attorney, the better they will assist you with your case.
When documenting the accident:
- Take pictures of all injuries and damages to property.
- Take contacts of witnesses willing to testify on your behalf about what happened.
- Keep your receipts, emails, and other important documents related to your claim. It includes medical bills and invoices for lost wages.
Hire an Attorney
After a maritime accident, hiring an attorney with experience with maritime personal injury cases is essential. It’s also vital that the attorney you choose has experience in your specific jurisdiction. You may need to research before you begin interviewing attorneys and have some questions ready for them during your first meeting.
An attorney helps you understand your rights and responsibilities as a victim of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. They can also help determine the types of damages you can do under the law and whether or not it would be worthwhile to pursue legal action against the negligent party.
When a maritime accident occurs, you depend on your vessel’s insurance policy for lost income, property damage, medical expenses, and other types of damages. But a successful claim requires meticulous attention to detail. Navigating through the maze of statutes and regulations related to maritime accidents can be overwhelming; you need a lawyer experienced in maritime law.