Working as a seaman, vessel worker, longshoreman or an offshore oil and gas worker is extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, many people working at sea or on inter-coastal waterways are severely injured every year. Fortunately for these victims, there are strong legal protections that allow them to recover financial compensation for their injuries.
Some injuries are immediate, while others appear years after working offshore, such as getting cancer from benzene exposure or from other toxic chemicals. These injuries and several others are covered by various maritime laws and this means you are entitled to compensation. Some of these laws are:
- The Jones Act – This law provides benefits to workers who are injured at sea while working on vessels on navigable waters and offshore oil rigs that are not permanently affixed to the ocean floor. This may apply to seamen, officers, harbor pilots, oil workers, technicians and helicopter pilots. If you have worked on a tugboat, barge, ship, supply boat, semi-submersible drilling rig, jack-up drilling rig or if you become injured on or near the water, you may be entitled to benefits.
- The Longshore Act – This law was put into place to cover most dock workers and maritime workers that are not already covered under The Jones Act. It benefits people involved in the operation, construction and loading or unloading of vessels.
- Death on the High Seas Act – This law provides benefits to survivors of those who died while at least three miles off the coastline. It generally will provide compensation for the income the deceased would have received while working.
If you or a loved one has been hurt or died in a maritime accident, it is imperative that you take the correct actions. An accident report needs to be filled out, medical treatment should be sought and you should contact an attorney to represent you for just compensation.
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