Maritime Injury Law on the Gulf Coast
Maritime professions like deep-sea fishing and oil rig working are often found on lists of the most dangerous jobs a person can have. Because of this, it is particularly important for maritime workers to familiarize themselves with their rights. Workplace injuries can be quite common for these fearless professionals, but that doesn’t mean that those injuries shouldn’t be taken seriously, or that those injured do not deserve justice and compensation.
If you’re a seaman or dock worker who’s been injured in the course of your work, you may be entitled to compensation for any losses caused by your injury. Read on to learn more about who might be affected, their rights, and whether or not you may need the assistance of a Gulf Coast maritime injury lawyer.
Who Does Maritime Injury Law Effect
The primary meaning of the word ‘maritime’ involves seafaring specifically, but maritime laws apply to more than just those who actually work at sea. While oil rig workers and merchant seamen are certainly included, the laws also extend to other professions. Divers, tugboat crews, and workers who operate on canals or rivers all may be affected by maritime laws.
Maritime Injury Laws
If you’re a seaman or longshoreman, you probably already know that much of your work is governed by sea-specific laws. This is also true of any injuries that a seaman may suffer, including death. Major maritime injury laws include:
- Jones Act
The Jones Act is a law meant to protect seaman and other maritime workers. This law ensures that workers injured on the job are able to seek compensation. The Jones Act applies not just to workers at sea, but also those who operate in rivers and canals.
- Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Act is a law whose protections extend further than the Jones Act. This labor law applies to maritime worker injury cases involving any workers who load or unload cargo from ships or do any other work around navigable waters.
- Death on the High Seas Act
The Death on the High Seas Act allows families to seek compensation for the wrongful deaths of their loved ones. Before this law was put in place, families couldn’t seek damages covering the pain and suffering they endured due to the loss of a loved one at least 3 miles from the U.S. territory.
Damages Awarded in Maritime Injury Cases
The damages awarded in maritime injury cases generally fall into one of two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages cover losses that can be calculated exactly. These losses might include the wages you would have earned if you hadn’t been injured, as well as your medical bills and medication costs.
Non-economic damages awarded in maritime accidents included the losses that don’t have an exact price tag or calculable cost. This might include the “cost” of any disfigurement or disability, any pain or suffering, and any relationships you may have lost as a result of your injury. Understandably, these sorts of damages can sometimes be difficult for a court to figure, so making a strong defense is even more pivotal.
Do You Need a Maritime Injury Lawyer?
Maritime laws can sometimes be quite different from their traditional worker’s compensation equivalents. Because of this, it’s important to specifically seek out the assistance of a maritime injury lawyer if you’ve been injured on the job in a maritime profession. This includes seaman and dockworkers, but also anyone who works around navigable waters.
If you’ve been injured at work, your employer or another party may be liable for any losses you suffered. For instance, it could be that your employer wasn’t maintaining a safe working environment or perhaps a lack of safety protections led to the injury.
However, even if workplace guidelines are followed, accidents still happen. In these cases, workers are still owed proper compensation. If you feel that you haven’t received the compensation you are owed for a maritime workplace injury, it may be time to seek legal assistance.
In either situation, a dedicated maritime attorney can help you to make the best case to fight for the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured while working at sea, Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, would be proud to represent you. Our maritime lawyers are licensed in both Louisiana and Texas, and can help you decide if a maritime injury law claim is right for you.
If you’ve been injured in a maritime accident, the maritime injury lawyers of Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, would be proud to fight for your rights and compensation.
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