Maritime transport is a high-risk industry where accidents and injuries are a common occurrence. Some accidents are not preventable, but many others happen due to employers’ negligence. In such cases, maritime workers are left with injuries and disabilities that might need lifelong medical care.
As a seaman, you’re entitled to compensation and benefits arising out of these accidents. Why is this so? It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the employees have the most secure working environment. Failure to do their part means that they are liable for any accident that occurs. If you or a person close to you has suffered a loss in maritime accidents, it is prudent to seek the services of maritime personal injury lawyers. Such professionals will help you to determine whether the employer was negligent and if yes, help you to get the compensation you deserve.
Common maritime accidents and injuries
As a seaman, some of the accidents you’re likely to be involved in include pollution, slips and falls, chemical burns, diving and fishing accidents, and falling/swinging objects. An approximate 70 percent of these accidents occur due to human error. Even in cases where the accident was as a result of mechanical problems, you’ll find the input of the employer. Mostly through failure to repair and maintain the vessel. Also, there are cases of overworking employees. Such employees can easily cause accidents or even be involved in accidents.
Other accidents are caused by failed cargo handling equipment, broken winches, lack of safety gear and safety training, power issues, poor ventilation, and use of inexperienced workers. In fact, operator inexperience was cited as the cause of 391 boat accidents in 2014.
Legal rights of Maritime workers
Due to the nature of maritime jobs, the law has recognized that workers deserve protection in the event of injuries or deaths. There are acts in place to hold accountable whoever is responsible for such accidents. They include The Jones Act, The Longshore Harbor and Workers’ Compensation Act, Maintenance and Cure and Death on High Seas Act.
Maritime workers who suffer injuries at their places of work deserve financial compensation. The amount to be given will depend on factors such as the cause of the accidents and the extent of injuries sustained.
However, since most seamen are not familiar with the laws that guide their work, maritime litigation attorneys become reliable partners. Their help will see you get compensation and benefits in a short time.
The role of a maritime injury litigation attorneys
Although compensation for maritime accidents is outlined in the law, some employers and insurance companies will not honor the agreements fully. In some cases, they will not pay even a cent.
Some rogue employers will try to intimidate employees who demand respect for their rights. For instance, they may make attempts to blacklist such employees so that they can never land an employment opportunity with another employer.
It is common for employers to twist cases by showing how they were not liable for the accidents. They take advantage of the fact that such accidents take places in high seas, far away from where proper investigations can be carried. Maritime injury litigation attorneys have experience in handling cases where the employer and insurance companies might want to tilt the evidence.
No matter your level of classification as a maritime worker, you deserve compensation. Any experienced maritime injury lawyer should, therefore, be able to explore all the compensation options you entitled to.
Can I afford a maritime injury lawyer Maryland?
There is a reasonable probability that by the time you need the services of an injury attorney, you will not have the financial capacity to pay for the services. Maybe you’ve not been working for some time due to the injuries you sustained. Luckily, the injury lawyers have such matters catered for in advance. They can simply offer you a contingency plan, which means you get served without any upfront payments. The lawyer receives payment after you’ve won the case and received the compensation.
To maritime workers: Always find help from maritime injury litigation attorneys. They will review and negotiate on your behalf so that you can get maximum benefits.