Working aboard a cruise ship, barge, platform, jack-up rig, floating barge, motorized vessel or any other type of commercial maritime vessel can be grueling work. Long hours and little pay are often the only rewards a seaman can expect. When injury or death occurs due to the mishandling of a maritime vessel or the failure to practice and enforce basic safety measures aboard a ship, there are laws in place to provide the injured seaman with legal recourse to obtain adequate compensation for the injury. However, the processes of defining the liable party that caused the injury can vary widely, depending on the type of vessel involved in the injury, the victim’s role aboard the vessel, and the circumstances surrounding the injury. The two major laws that govern seaman injury claims are the Jones Act and the Long Shoremen and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. The guidance of experienced counsel is essential in order for injured seamen and maritime employees to navigate their way to full compensation for a ship-related injury.
The Brain Injury Law Center not only offers proximity to the Norfolk area, one of the largest commercial sea port areas on the eastern seaboard. We also offer many years of experienced representation helping seamen and other maritime employees initiate and win personal injury cases. It is important to understand that a seaman is never responsible for the safety measures aboard a ship. A seaman is only responsible for completing the work he or she is assigned. If an injury occurs to the seaman during the course of his duties, then it is the responsibility of the ship owner or employer to provide full cure and maintenance to the seaman.
U.S. law has separate criteria for workmen’s compensation cases for maritime employees. In Virginia, as in all other states, companies and businesses that employ maritime workers are required to carry Federal Longshoremen’s Coverage. This type of coverage is on average three to four times more expensive for employers than regular workmen’s compensation packages. It is so expensive, in fact, that nearly 10 per cent of maritime employers decline to enroll their employees under Federal Longshoremen’s Coverage. When an employer fails to provide adequate coverage for any person engaged in maritime employment, including any longshoreman or other person engaged in long shoring operations, and any harbor worker including a ship repairman, shipbuilder, or ship breaker, that person should acquire legal counsel to investigate and pursue his employer’s liability.
Even when a maritime employer does offer workmen’s compensation under the Federal Longshoreman’s Coverage to an injured maritime employee, there are many circumstances under which a maritime employee (particularly seamen) may refuse to accept the compensation and seek more adequate compensation under other laws, such as the Jones Act. As with all worker’s compensation cases, maritime personal injury cases are defined by the details of the injury, such as the extent of the injury, when it occurred, where it occurred and who was responsible for the negligence that resulted in the maritime employee’s or seaman’s injury. Working with knowledgeable attorneys at the Brain Injury Law Center to determine the most advantageous path toward your seaman’s injury claim is a critical step in your physical and financial recovery.
Recreational Vessel Liability
The Brain Injury Law Center extends its legal counsel to victims of recreational boating accidents and injuries. Anyone injured as a result of jet skiing, water skiing, and boating accidents caused by intoxicated drivers, slips on decks and other injuries that can occur on cruise ships and recreational vessels should contact a law firm that specializes in maritime personal injury claims. Whether you are a seaman or maritime employee who works on the water everyday, or are simply taking a vacation aboard a ship or vessel when an accident occurs, the Brain Injury Law Center encourages you to acquire legal counsel to investigate and pursue your maritime personal injury claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.