Working at sea, you’re in a situation where it’s easy to get hurt. You could run into bad weather, be injured by malfunctions on an oil rig or other vessel or even face harm due to violent attacks by others.
When you’re seriously hurt, your first thought probably isn’t how much your case is going to be worth but instead how you’re going to recover from this. You may need ongoing medical attention and support so that you can start to heal, but that means that you may not be able to work or support yourself.
When you’re hurt at sea, your employer could be liable
Depending on your role at sea, you may be able to claim under the Jones Act, which will help you get compensation while you focus on healing. It’s important to note that seamen’s cases do have different liability standards than those used on shore, and you may need to have your case heard in state or federal court with or without a jury.
Not injured while at sea? Other options may help
If you are not hurt at sea but are instead on shore, you may be covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or LHWCA, instead. This provides two ways of getting compensation including:
- Giving you the right to bring a negligence claim against a responsible party that isn’t your employer
- Maritime workers’ compensation if you’re injured on the job
There’s no question that maritime law is different from traditional workers’ compensation, so it can be hard for victims to know exactly what to do to get compensation. Fortunately, most of these processes start the same way: You need to seek medical care and get treatment, and then you make your claim.
Whether you’re injured at sea, on a dock, while working on a cruise ship or under other circumstances, you may have a right to seek compensation to help support yourself as you recover. Other parties at fault for your injuries or insured against injuries may offer you the financial compensation that you need, making it easier for you to focus on your health.