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Important Maritime Accident Laws to Know

  • For individuals who have suffered injuries due to their work in or around the water, federal maritime laws apply. This includes those who are considered to be seamen, or workers who are employed on a ship or other vessel, and everyone else who works on the water.

    All of these employees should be entitled to some form of financial benefit while they are out of work and recovering from their injuries. However, these employees are not covered under workers compensation laws.

    Instead, injured maritime workers can seek compensation from their employers and/or the owners of the vessel and are entitled to what’s referred to as maintenance and cure. In cases involving injured workers not considered to be seamen, a claim for benefits under the Longshore Act may be warranted. Read on to learn more about maritime accident laws that may affect your case.


    What You Need to Know About the Jones Act

    Under federal law, the Jones Act allows injured seamen to seek compensation from negligent employers and/or the owners of the ships they work on. This can be done if an injury occurs and the ship is not properly maintained to ensure safe working conditions or care isn’t taken to ensure workers’ safety.

    In fact, even if the ship owner and employer did what they thought reasonable to ensure safety, if the vessel is deemed to be “unseaworthy,” meaning the vessel does not provide safe working conditions, the at-fault parties can be held accountable.


    Understanding Cure and Maintenance

    In addition to filing a claim under the Jones Act, seamen are entitled to what’s known as maintenance and cure no matter who is at fault for their injuries.

    Maintenance refers to a living space the employee can retain while recovering. That includes living expenses, such as coverage for utilities, property taxes, the rent or mortgage, and groceries. It does not include “luxury items,” such as Internet, phone bills, and car payments or insurance premiums.

    Cure refers to the injured seamen’s medical expenses. These will be taken care of in their entirety and can extend until the worker’s treating physician determines that he or she will no longer require medical care or treatment.


    Compensation Under the Longshore Act

    Neither the protections of the Jones Act nor maintenance and cure are extended to workers who aren’t considered to be seamen. The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act will provide coverage to these types of workers.

    The Longshore Act is a federally run program that provides part the injured worker’s average weekly income and coverage of medical expenses to the injured employee while he or she is out of work and recovering.


    Speak with a Baton Rouge Maritime Accident Lawyer

    If you are an injured maritime worker who isn’t sure how to go about securing the compensation you’re entitled to, reach out to a qualified Baton Rouge maritime accident lawyer at Spencer Calahan Injury Lawyers.

    Our firm will do what it takes to help you move forward with your life. You can schedule your free claim review today by calling our office at 225-387-2323 or by visiting our website and filling out the contact form.