Maritime work is a high-risk occupation, and injuries on the water aren’t uncommon. While accidents do happen and not all of them can be prevented, some accidents are caused by employer negligence. Know your rights. If you’re a maritime worker who’s been injured on the job because of your employer’s negligence, you need an experienced maritime attorney.
Working on a boat or rig is a dangerous gig; that’s established. Fishing and diving accidents, for example, are common. There are also several maritime conditions that frequently lead to maritime accidents:
- Slippery and/or obstructed walkways;
- Broken equipment (including cargo-handling equipment malfunctions);
- Dangerous chemicals;
- Poor ventilation in enclosed quarters;
- Falling or swinging objects;
- Winch failures;
- Lack of safety gear and equipment; and
- Lack of necessary safety training.
Employer negligence often plays a prominent role in maritime accidents and injuries. Employers are responsible for not only maintaining their boats but also for paying attention to and correcting potentially dangerous conditions. When workers on the sea are required to put in extended hours without appropriate breaks or rest (which isn’t uncommon), the risk of accidents and injuries increases.
There are several federal acts in place to help protect the men and women who work on the water:
- The Jones Act
The Jones Act protects maritime workers who’ve been injured (by employer negligence) on the job. Employers are obligated to protect their employees when they’re at work, and this includes maintaining a safe working environment, providing adequate safety training and safety gear, and ensuring that equipment is functioning properly.
- The Longshore Harbor and Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore Harbor and Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides protections that are like those of the Jones Act but that apply to maritime employees whose work is based onshore (and who are still classified as maritime workers).
- Death on the High Seas Act
The Death on the High Seas Act provides a maritime worker’s family with compensation if the worker dies (due to the negligence of another) while working on the high seas, which is defined as being at least three miles offshore and still in the United States.
Further, if you – as a maritime worker – are injured on the job, you have the legal right to receive maintenance and cure while you’re recovering. These maintenance and cure benefits are designed to cover your medical and daily living expenses while you recuperate.
If You’ve Suffered a Maritime Injury, Contact an Alabama Maritime Injury Attorney Today
If you or someone you care about is a maritime worker who’s been injured at sea, you need an experienced Mobile, Alabama, maritime injury lawyer. These cases are complicated, but your rights and your claim are important. At Clay, Massey & Associates, we have the experience and skill to navigate your case toward its best possible conclusion. Suffering an injury while working at sea is stressful, but our dedicated maritime injury lawyers are here to help. To schedule a free consultation with our office, contact or call us at 251-433-1000 today.