Few lines of work are as risky as maritime professions. Working on commercial vessels or oil rigs has the same potential hazards as any industrial workplace. When maritime injuries happen, the consequences are often severe. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reports that hundreds of severe injuries occur in maritime accidents each year. Unfortunately, some of those are fatal.
If you or a loved one sustained an injury in a maritime workplace injury, you have legal rights under federal law. A skilled personal injury attorney could help you seek monetary compensation from the owner or supervisor of your vessel. Under federal law, two statutes allow for the recovery of damages from injuries that occur at sea. These include the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. Contact a Jackson County maritime injury lawyer to learn more about your legal options.
Created in 1920, the Jones Act is designed to provide for sailors or other maritime workers injured on the job. The Jones Act holds shipowners and their supervisors accountable for work injuries that are caused by their negligence. It is up to the shipowners and supervisors to adequately maintain equipment and avoid other obvious hazards to their crew.
The Jones Act is available for claims involving serious injury or death. Some of the damages available in these claims include:
The Jones Act does not cover every injury at sea, however. A knowledgeable Jackson County maritime injury attorney must establish that the shipowner or their supervisors were negligent. If their negligence does not lead to a sailor’s injuries, there will not be grounds for a successful Jones Act claim. Examples of negligence can include a failure to repair an obvious leak or other hazards. It can also stem from a vessel or oil rig being understaffed or lacking the necessary personnel to operate safely.
In some cases, monetary compensation is also available through the Death on the High Seas Act. Also known as DOHSA, this Act allows for monetary recovery from a maritime accident. However, there are important differences between the DOHSA and the Jones Act.
While the Jones Act allows for recovery in injury and wrongful death claims, DOHSA is only available following a fatal accident. DOHSA is also available to passengers on vessels, while the Jones Act exclusively applies to employees. Navigating a DOHSA claim can be challenging without help from a seasoned Jackson County maritime injury attorney.
Pursuing compensation for maritime injuries sustained on the job can be a challenge. Before taking that challenge on by yourself, you might benefit from a discussion with a skilled Jackson County maritime injury lawyer.
With the guidance of experienced maritime legal counsel, you have the potential for maximizing your monetary recovery. To discuss how to get the most out of your injury claim, schedule your initial consultation today.