If you were injured in an accident that took place while you were at sea, it’s important to find an attorney who specializes in maritime law. Despite the claims, not all attorneys are able to provide competent representation in this area of the law. Maritime injury law governs vessels/boats and the owners, seamen, passengers, and cargo. If you were injured and believe you need a maritime lawyer, Haug, Farrar & Franco, PLLC is here to help. Contact us today to set up a free and confidential consultation.
Why You Need an Experienced Maritime Lawyer
Maritime law is complex, and it’s crucial that you hire an attorney who has the necessary experience. Most injuries that take place on vessels will be governed by The Jones Act, but there is often confusion between The Jones Act and The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Without a skilled, experienced maritime lawyer, you could end up losing out on significant compensation if you file the wrong type of claim. It’s important that you understand the difference so you can advocate for yourself.
The Jones Act
The Jones act governs seamen who work on vessels that travel in navigable waters, providing them with recourse for injuries they suffer while at work due to their employer’s negligence. A seaman is defined as someone who performs at least 30 percent of their work on a vessel. To determine who is eligible to file a claim based on The Jones Act, it’s also necessary to define a vessel. According to The Jones Act, a vessel must be afloat, in operation, capable of moving, and on navigable waters. A vessel can be tied up at a dock, but if it is in a drydock or out of the water, The Jones Act will not provide an injured employee with compensation. Visit our Gulfport Jones Act Attorney page for a more in-depth look at this type of claim.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides benefits and compensation primarily for individuals who are considered non-seamen marine workers and aren’t governed by The Jones Act, such as those who work and are injured on docks, piers, harbors, drydock facilities, and terminals. These workers aren’t necessarily employed by a specific vessel, but they spend most of their time working on or near vessels.
The damages or benefits that can be recovered under each act vary as well. Under The Jones Act, an injured worker can seek damages that are similar to those of a typical personal injury claim, such as economic and non-economic damages. This typically includes medical expenses, lost wages, lost future wages, and pain and suffering. There is other compensation that a worker might be able to collect prior to the initiation of a lawsuit, which an experienced lawyer can always help with. Under The LHWCA, benefits typically consist of 2/3 of the injured worker’s average weekly wage for the duration of their injury. Additionally, injured workers can receive compensation for medical expenses and treatment for issues related to the injury.
There are many other complexities and differences between the acts, so it’s crucial that you hire a lawyer who has significant and specific experience with maritime law.
Contact Haug, Farrar & Franco, PLLC Today
If you were injured while at sea, working on a vessel, or in any other circumstance where you believe maritime law may apply, don’t hesitate to contact us. We have significant experience handling these types of cases, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us today to set up a free and confidential consultation.
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