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St. Mary Parish Maritime Injury Lawyer

Injuries that occur during maritime activities are ruled by a specialized area of law known as admiralty or maritime law. Under maritime law, injured seamen may be eligible for “maintenance and care” benefits if the seaman was harmed in the course of their service to the vessel. Moreover, general maritime law determines that an employee may also be entitled to recover damages if their employer failed to provide them with a safe work environment.

If you suffered a maritime injury that was caused by negligent violation of safety regulations or a faulty piece of equipment, a maritime injury lawyer in St. Mary Parish who understands the intricacies of maritime law can explore your legal options and help you understand your legal rights. A compassionate workers’ compensation lawyer can help you pursue the compensation to which you may be entitled.

Legal Elements of Maritime Injury Claims Under The Jones Act

The Jones Act is a federal law that governs the liability of marine employers for their employees’ work-related injuries and provides legal remedies to mariners injured while on a vessel. The Jones Act is similar to personal injury claims but in a specialized context. Under 46 U.S. Code § 30104, a seaman may recover as long as they can prove that their employer was negligent in any way.  In addition under the General Maritime Law, a shipowner may be responsible for injury without negligence for not maintaining seaworthy conditions of the vessel, also known as “unseaworthiness.”

Recoverable damages under the Jones Act is more comprehensive than what is available under a workers’ compensation claim. Instead of only special damages such as medical expenses and partial recovery for lost wages, a claim under the Jones Act may also cover general damages such as mental anguish or emotional distress, pain and suffering, full lost wages, future medical expenses, future lost wages, and impairment of earning capacity.

A seaman may also recover benefits known as “maintenance” and “cure” with the help of a St. Mary Parish maritime injury lawyer. Maintenance benefits cover things such as food, housing, and utilities to account for the fact that the mariner can no longer generate income due to injury. These may continue until the seaman is completely healthy or reaches maximum cure. Cure benefits cover medical expenses.

Legal Elements of Maritime Injury Claims Under the Longshore Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that may provide a number of benefits for injured maritime workers who do not work on a vessel but in areas “on, near, or adjacent to navigable water.” This includes workers in areas such as docks, piers, terminals, and any other facility that adjoins navigable waters but does not constitute a vessel. This law, as provided by 33 U.S. Code § 903, fills the legal gap between state workers’ compensation and the Jones Act.

A Longshore Act claim differs from a claim filed under the Jones Act. The worker does not have to prove the liability of the employer, but disputes may arise over the calculation of the average weekly wage and the severity of the disability.

Under the Longshore Act, an injured victim must report any work-related injury to the federal Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs and their employer within 30 days of the accident.

However, if the victim’s injury does not immediately result in a disability, the victim must report the injury within 30 days after the employee is aware that the injury caused a disability. If the employee suffers from an occupational disease, the employee must report the injury within one year after becoming aware that the occupational disease caused a disability.

Contact a St. Mary Parish Maritime Injury Attorney

Maritime accidents and injuries can leave an injured worker with many questions and fears about their financial security. Fortunately, numerous laws and regulations offer protection to victims of maritime injuries.

A reliable St. Mary Parish maritime injury lawyer who understands the laws relevant to your situation can answer any questions and help you take the first step toward recovery. Call now to pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.