Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, is a complicated legal area that requires expertise and knowledge to navigate. An offshore injury attorney can provide the representation you need if you were injured while working on a seagoing vessel covered by the Jones Act.
The Jones Act
Once known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act is legislation that protects the rights of seamen who qualify under its standards. A maritime lawyer represents the interests of an injured seaman in legal actions taken against ship owners, captains and crew members after an accident. As a comparative negligence statute, the Jones Act reduces damages according to any negligence on the part of the injured person.
Examples of Maritime Employer Negligence
A successful maritime lawsuit is based on proof of negligence on the employer’s part. Your maritime attorney may choose to investigate one of many of the following types of negligence. The failure to provide employees with a seaworthy vessel is a common basis for maritime lawsuits. Negligent employers may also fail to provide proper safety training, vessel and parts repair, or regular maintenance and inspection. Vessel decks that do not feature non-skid surfaces can also lead to slip-and-fall accidents that result in significant damages. Other examples of employer negligence include unsafe work practices, a lack of proper safety equipment, and on-board assault.
The Benefits of Working with a Maritime Attorney
Working with a maritime injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve for an accident that occurred while working offshore. Offshore work comes with a variety of risks, including broken bones and other forms of physical trauma. Victims of a serious injury may be unable to return to work and suffer significant losses in long-term earnings as a result. In order to compensate for these losses, you may choose to file a lawsuit against your employer for any negligence that occurred on the vessel. Compensation may cover such damages as your medical expenses, a loss of income or earning potential, long-term care and recovery costs, rehabilitation, and even pain and suffering associated with the injury.
Contacting an offshore injury attorney is the best place to start when it comes to determining what compensation if any you can receive. Working with an attorney can also help when it comes to holding negligent employers responsible for their actions and negotiating a settlement. Without representation, it is common for employees to be intimidated into accepting a lower offer than they deserve.