Working in the merchant marine industry exposes deckhands to various dangers and occupational hazards. When a deckhand is injured while on-the-job, they may not know what to do next. Many may not know how to speak to insurance companies or how to obtain compensation for damages. For those working on the sea, it could be difficult obtaining compensation for their work-based injuries can be difficult. Unlike most employees who enjoy protection under workers’ compensation insurance plans, deckhands must sue their employers directly for any negligent act that causes them to suffer an injury or workplace illness.
An Ocean Springs deckhand maritime injury lawyer could help injured employees pursue compensation for their damages and injuries. A knowledgeable maritime injury attorney could work with deckhands to help them understand their rights under the law and the deadline to file their claim. Reach out to an experienced attorney to discuss your legal options for compensation.
For one hundred years, the United States’ Congress has recognized the vital role that the merchant marine plays in the country’s economy. As a result, Congress passes a series of laws known as the Jones Act that regulates this industry. While the Jones Act contains provisions that limit access to American ports to American vessels and allows the government to take control of vessels at wartime, the most important portion of this Act concerns the rights of deckhands to collect compensation for workplace injuries.
46 United States Code §30104 extends the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) to include seamen. This means that seamen must sue their employers directly for any on-the-job injury that occurs during the course of employment. Traditionally, the term seamen referred to sailors, and deckhands fall within this definition. As a result, pursuing a lawsuit to demand compensation from a boat’s owner is the sole means for an Ocean Springs deckhand to collect payment after a workplace injury.
Unfortunately, injured deckhands do not have the option of seeking medical care or wage reimbursement through a workers’ compensation claim. This means that they must treat their workplace injuries in much the same way as individuals hurt in car accidents or slips and falls.
This includes building cases against boat owners that prove negligence. Unlike in workers’ compensation claims, the mere fact that an injury occurs while on the job is insufficient to collect payment for deckhands. Instead, the plaintiff’s deckhand maritime injury lawyer needs to prove that a lack of training, improper safety protocols, or a lapse in maintenance led to the incident.
One exception is when the boat itself was unseaworthy. If the boat was in such a poor condition so as to render it unsafe for any work, the owner may be strictly liable. A seasoned Ocean Springs deckhand maritime injury attorney could help hurt boat workers to pursue their claims for medical bills and lost wages.
The federal laws that control the United States’ merchant marine make it difficult for injured deckhands to collect the necessary compensation following a workplace injury. The Jones Act overrules local workers’ compensation laws that require employers to provide this protection to their employees. Instead, hurt deck workers must seek compensation through a lawsuit against their employers in a United States District Court.
An Ocean Springs deckhand maritime injury lawyer may be able to help you. They can take the necessary steps to explain your rights under the law and to investigate whether an employer’s negligence led to your losses. They can then represent your interests in settlement talks or trials to bring you the payments that you need and deserve. Call today to explore your options.