Tag Archives: workers comp

What to Do If You Are Injured at Sea? 



Injuries that occur at sea are a bit different from those that happen on land. When a worker gets injured working in a factory, that worker is most likely able to get compensation through workers’ compensation laws. However, when injured at sea on a boat or other type of maritime vessel, the injured worker will most likely file a case through the Jones Act.


And though there are several instances where a seamen’s injuries could be covered through workers’ compensation, the Jones Act undoubtedly provides a greater amount of compensation. In exchange, however, filing a case through the act does require a lawyer who is an expert at the subject. The following therefore gives a brief guide as to who is eligible of such compensation and what one is to do if they do get injured at sea.


Who Is Eligible?


To be eligible to file a case under the Jones Act, you have to be considered a “seaman.” Workers who are considered to be seamen, such as fishermen, shipping workers and transporters, and cruise ship operators; must be in a vessel that is navigating while at sea. Injuries that take place while docked in most cases will not be covered under the Jones Act.


How to File a Case?


Normally you can be guaranteed compensation if you are considered a seaman, whose profession involves working at sea for a majority of their professional career. You also must have suffered injuries on a vessel that wasn’t seaworthy.


A vessel can be considered not seaworthy if parts of the vessel are damaged, overly outdated, or if the crew is not properly trained to do their tasks aboard the vessel.


Of course, you must prove that it was negligence on part of your employees that caused your injury, so getting a professional maritime lawyer is essential.



Types of Compensation


After an injury has taken place, your employees is required to fully pay for any of your injuries as well as providing reasonable accommodations that include, but not limited to: living arrangements, wheelchairs, and any medication needed to recuse pain.


If you are out at sea for a specific number of days, your employees is required to pay any wages you would have earned if it weren’t for your injury. In this way, you are entitled to any future earnings that the injury has deprived of you.


Also, know that damages done to you doesn’t just include physical harm, but also includes any emotional, social, and psychological harm that the injury has done to you.


So Now What?


Once an injury has occurred, it is imperative to report it at once and seek medical help. Also, gather names of witnesses and get in contact with a lawyer who is certified to practice maritime law to begin any claims.

What is Maritime Law And Why is it Important? 


We’re very much accustomed to normal everyday laws, like laws that govern who and when one can drive, or even laws regarding public safety and freedom of speech. However, things that occur at sea are not subject to these normal, everyday laws. Therefore, a special set of separate laws, called maritime laws, are required to govern occurrences at seas (and these laws are extremely important for governments, corporations, and individuals who hope to function properly). Therefore, the following is a brief run down of what maritime laws entail and why they are so important.


What do Maritime Laws Cover?


In short, maritime laws involve any matters in reference to shipping supplies from one area to another, workers who predominately operate at sea, commerce, navigation, and even just transportation of people.  The following gives a few specific clauses for each subgroup.


Taking Care of Workers


Under this subsection of maritime law, companies or employees who operate at sea are required to provide free medical care to any worker who has been injured while working aboard one of the company’s ships. This treatment must endure until the individual is fully taken care of. However, treatments don’t just refer to medicine, but also any type of equipment that can better help the individual function on their day to day work. This includes prosthetics or wheelchairs, as well as any medication that can help alleviate pain or psychological counseling.


Taking Care of Passengers


Passengers who have been injured aboard a ship must prove that the ship owners caused that injury through sheer negligence. Ship operators and owners are also to ensure that to the best of their knowledge that the vessel is fully operable and safe to board before allowing passengers on.


Finding and Awarding Property


Any type of property that has been lost at sea can be claimed and salvaged by a finder for an award. In a contract salvage agreement, both the salvager and the individual who has a lost their property can agree in a set amount to be paid to the salvager if the item in question is located.


In other salvage agreements, the amount to be paid is simply determined on the value of the property that was saved.


Needless to say, these rules do not apply to people or other life that is saved when in danger (such as, for example, saving someone’s life when they’re on a sinking ship).


Anything Else?


Maritime laws are essential in ensuring that people and organizations behave accordingly when at sea. This not only refers to how a shipment of items and people are to be carried out, but also encompass how workers get paid, how their protection is ensured, and even how companies are to employee workers.