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Compensation Benefits Under Maritime Laws

When a worker is injured on the job, typically there are specialized benefits available to assist them: employer-provided worker’s compensation, disability, etc. Naturally, these benefits fall under the jurisdiction of the usual state and federal laws.

local maritime attorney

What happens, however, when an individual is injured while working on open water? In this article, we’ll discuss the concept of maritime law; the types of compensation benefits it can provide to seamen, longshoremen, and other maritime employees; and the benefits of retaining a local maritime attorney.

What Is Maritime Law?

In general, maritime law is the body of legal rules and regulations governing the activities that occur at sea. Activities that may be covered under maritime law include shipping of cargo, transport of passengers, fishing, and more. In the United States, federal maritime law allows maritime workers/seamen to file suits and claims for compensation should they be injured on the job while performing maritime work duties.

Also sometimes called “admiralty law,” maritime law is an entirely separate legal jurisdiction from the usual federal body of law. Because it technically operates outside of national law, the maritime laws of all member states are held to the standards of the International Maritime Organization (171 members in all). The United States, of course, is one of these member states.

Compensation Benefits Under Maritime Law

This international set of rules ensures the maintenance and regulation of appropriate and fair maritime laws worldwide. Ships must also carry appropriate IMO certification aboard at all times, and local governments are expected to enforce the relevant standards at all times.

Compensation Benefits Under Maritime Law: an Overview

Because maritime law was written specifically to address the legal rights of deckhands, fishermen, seamen, and others working on the water, the rules had to be carefully crafted to meet the varied, sometimes unusual, needs of this unique workforce.

Maritime injuries can occur in situations that an employee would never experience on land, like being made to work on an unseaworthy vessel. As such, the umbrella of maritime law contains a variety of other laws, acts, and regulations that seek to protect the rights of those laboring every day on navigable waters.

There are a variety of areas of U.S. maritime law, including Maintenance and Cure, The Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), the Death on High Seas Act (DOHSA), and Passenger Personal Injury. The types of damages an injured worker can rightfully claim vary based on under which portion of the law a given incident falls.

Maintenance and Cure

The following are examples demonstrating which types of incidents might fall under which sections of maritime law:

• Maintenance and Cure

Nearly any kind of injury at sea—regardless of cause or fault—entitles a worker to compensation benefits under Maintenance and Cure. This section of maritime law is so-named because it relates to maintaining daily expenses and paying for any medical expenses needed to treat the related injury.

Examples of covered expenses under Maintenance and Cure include rent/mortgage payments, utility bills, taxes, food, hospital stays, doctor appointments, relevant medications, physical therapy, medical equipment, etc. This compensation will continue to be paid to an injured worker until such time as his or her doctor determines that it is safe to return to work.

• The Jones Act

This particular act exists to protect maritime workers who have specifically been injured as a result of negligence (generally on the part of another worker or the employer). Because this law hinges on employer liability, the injured party does have the burden of proof and must provide evidence that their injury happened at work and is the result of someone else’s negligence.

Fortunately for the injured individual, the burden of proof for negligence is generally easier to meet under maritime law than it might be in another kind of personal injury case. The Jones Act requires only that the employee is able to show that employer negligence was involved in some way in his or her injury (e.g., improper equipment maintenance, poorly cleaned decks, improper training, overworking, etc.).

• The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)

Death on High Seas Act

By comparison to other areas of maritime law which deal only with those working on open water, the LHWCA covers all maritime workers working on or around navigable waters. This includes longshoremen, mechanics, and harbor workers who deal with vessels at the shore but may not work directly on the water.

The LHWCA stipulates that an injured worker may receive 66 2/3 percent of normal wages while they heal, and may be compensated further for especially serious injuries and/or disabilities (e.g., loss of limbs, paralysis, etc.). Should a maritime worker be killed on the job, the act states that his or her surviving spouse is entitled to 50% of average pay.

• The Death on High Seas Act (DOHSA)

As its name implies, DOHSA compensates the families of those who are killed on the job when working more than three miles from a U.S. shoreline (considered “high seas” for legal purposes). Claims for benefits under the Death on High Seas Act may only be filed by a spouse, child, or dependent (or a legal representative of any of these).

Compensation under DOHSA is calculated on a case-by-case basis, and generally includes the amount of income the individual would have provided to his or her family, as well as some consideration for the care that any dependent children will no longer receive from their deceased parent. Surviving family members who are entitled to compensation under this act have three years from the date of the individual’s death to file a claim for these benefits.

Of course, employee injury is not the only type of case that can be covered under maritime law; issues of property damage and passenger injury (such as on a cruise ship) can also fall under this special legal jurisdiction.

Under U.S. law, the majority of personal injury, collision, cargo damage, and other maritime cases can be brought in either state or federal court. However, cases involving shipowner liability, property/vessel arrests, salvage, and other property possession issues can typically only be brought in a federal court.

Trust an Expert Local Maritime Lawyer to Help You Seek Compensation as a Maritime Worker

Expert Local Maritime Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been injured while working at sea or on the docks, you may be entitled to compensation benefits under maritime law. At Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., our local maritime lawyers devote their legal expertise to helping injured maritime employees seek the damages they deserve. Leveraging decades of combined experience working in maritime law, we’ve helped clients just like you recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages as a result of maritime injuries.

To learn more about maritime law and how our local maritime attorneys can help you claim the benefits you deserve, contact us online or call us 24/7 at (888) 297-4553. We’ll help you set up a free, confidential case evaluation with one of our experienced Maintenance and Cure attorneys to discuss your situation and needs.

Sources

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/maritime-law.asp
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admiralty_law
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Compensation Benefits Under Maritime Laws

When a worker is injured on the job, typically there are specialized benefits available to assist them: employer-provided worker’s compensation, disability, etc. Naturally, these benefits fall under the jurisdiction of the usual state and federal laws.

local maritime attorney

What happens, however, when an individual is injured while working on open water? In this article, we’ll discuss the concept of maritime law; the types of compensation benefits it can provide to seamen, longshoremen, and other maritime employees; and the benefits of retaining a local maritime attorney.

What Is Maritime Law?

In general, maritime law is the body of legal rules and regulations governing the activities that occur at sea. Activities that may be covered under maritime law include shipping of cargo, transport of passengers, fishing, and more. In the United States, federal maritime law allows maritime workers/seamen to file suits and claims for compensation should they be injured on the job while performing maritime work duties.

Also sometimes called “admiralty law,” maritime law is an entirely separate legal jurisdiction from the usual federal body of law. Because it technically operates outside of national law, the maritime laws of all member states are held to the standards of the International Maritime Organization (171 members in all). The United States, of course, is one of these member states.

Compensation Benefits Under Maritime Law

This international set of rules ensures the maintenance and regulation of appropriate and fair maritime laws worldwide. Ships must also carry appropriate IMO certification aboard at all times, and local governments are expected to enforce the relevant standards at all times.

Compensation Benefits Under Maritime Law: an Overview

Because maritime law was written specifically to address the legal rights of deckhands, fishermen, seamen, and others working on the water, the rules had to be carefully crafted to meet the varied, sometimes unusual, needs of this unique workforce.

Maritime injuries can occur in situations that an employee would never experience on land, like being made to work on an unseaworthy vessel. As such, the umbrella of maritime law contains a variety of other laws, acts, and regulations that seek to protect the rights of those laboring every day on navigable waters.

There are a variety of areas of U.S. maritime law, including Maintenance and Cure, The Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), the Death on High Seas Act (DOHSA), and Passenger Personal Injury. The types of damages an injured worker can rightfully claim vary based on under which portion of the law a given incident falls.

Maintenance and Cure

The following are examples demonstrating which types of incidents might fall under which sections of maritime law:

• Maintenance and Cure

Nearly any kind of injury at sea—regardless of cause or fault—entitles a worker to compensation benefits under Maintenance and Cure. This section of maritime law is so-named because it relates to maintaining daily expenses and paying for any medical expenses needed to treat the related injury.

Examples of covered expenses under Maintenance and Cure include rent/mortgage payments, utility bills, taxes, food, hospital stays, doctor appointments, relevant medications, physical therapy, medical equipment, etc. This compensation will continue to be paid to an injured worker until such time as his or her doctor determines that it is safe to return to work.

• The Jones Act

This particular act exists to protect maritime workers who have specifically been injured as a result of negligence (generally on the part of another worker or the employer). Because this law hinges on employer liability, the injured party does have the burden of proof and must provide evidence that their injury happened at work and is the result of someone else’s negligence.

Fortunately for the injured individual, the burden of proof for negligence is generally easier to meet under maritime law than it might be in another kind of personal injury case. The Jones Act requires only that the employee is able to show that employer negligence was involved in some way in his or her injury (e.g., improper equipment maintenance, poorly cleaned decks, improper training, overworking, etc.).

• The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)

Death on High Seas Act

By comparison to other areas of maritime law which deal only with those working on open water, the LHWCA covers all maritime workers working on or around navigable waters. This includes longshoremen, mechanics, and harbor workers who deal with vessels at the shore but may not work directly on the water.

The LHWCA stipulates that an injured worker may receive 66 2/3 percent of normal wages while they heal, and may be compensated further for especially serious injuries and/or disabilities (e.g., loss of limbs, paralysis, etc.). Should a maritime worker be killed on the job, the act states that his or her surviving spouse is entitled to 50% of average pay.

• The Death on High Seas Act (DOHSA)

As its name implies, DOHSA compensates the families of those who are killed on the job when working more than three miles from a U.S. shoreline (considered “high seas” for legal purposes). Claims for benefits under the Death on High Seas Act may only be filed by a spouse, child, or dependent (or a legal representative of any of these).

Compensation under DOHSA is calculated on a case-by-case basis, and generally includes the amount of income the individual would have provided to his or her family, as well as some consideration for the care that any dependent children will no longer receive from their deceased parent. Surviving family members who are entitled to compensation under this act have three years from the date of the individual’s death to file a claim for these benefits.

Of course, employee injury is not the only type of case that can be covered under maritime law; issues of property damage and passenger injury (such as on a cruise ship) can also fall under this special legal jurisdiction.

Under U.S. law, the majority of personal injury, collision, cargo damage, and other maritime cases can be brought in either state or federal court. However, cases involving shipowner liability, property/vessel arrests, salvage, and other property possession issues can typically only be brought in a federal court.

Trust an Expert Local Maritime Lawyer to Help You Seek Compensation as a Maritime Worker

Expert Local Maritime Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been injured while working at sea or on the docks, you may be entitled to compensation benefits under maritime law. At Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., our local maritime lawyers devote their legal expertise to helping injured maritime employees seek the damages they deserve. Leveraging decades of combined experience working in maritime law, we’ve helped clients just like you recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages as a result of maritime injuries.

To learn more about maritime law and how our local maritime attorneys can help you claim the benefits you deserve, contact us online or call us 24/7 at (888) 297-4553. We’ll help you set up a free, confidential case evaluation with one of our experienced Maintenance and Cure attorneys to discuss your situation and needs.

Sources

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/maritime-law.asp
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admiralty_law
Jones Act Lawyer

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We have board certified personal injury trial lawyers prepared to take on your case. Details

 

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Newsweek Leaders in Maritime
FREE confidential case Evaluation
Contact our experienced maritime attorneys to see if you have a case.

 
 
 
 
 

* Please be aware that your submission of this contact form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Jones Act Lawyer

tbls

We have board certified personal injury trial lawyers prepared to take on your case. Details

 

bbb

Newsweek Leaders in Maritime
Recently
Filed Cases

Compensation Benefits Under Maritime Laws

When a worker is injured on the job, typically there are specialized benefits available to assist them: employer-provided worker’s compensation, disability, etc. Naturally, these benefits fall under the jurisdiction of the usual state and federal laws.

local maritime attorney

What happens, however, when an individual is injured while working on open water? In this article, we’ll discuss the concept of maritime law; the types of compensation benefits it can provide to seamen, longshoremen, and other maritime employees; and the benefits of retaining a local maritime attorney.

What Is Maritime Law?

In general, maritime law is the body of legal rules and regulations governing the activities that occur at sea. Activities that may be covered under maritime law include shipping of cargo, transport of passengers, fishing, and more. In the United States, federal maritime law allows maritime workers/seamen to file suits and claims for compensation should they be injured on the job while performing maritime work duties.

Also sometimes called “admiralty law,” maritime law is an entirely separate legal jurisdiction from the usual federal body of law. Because it technically operates outside of national law, the maritime laws of all member states are held to the standards of the International Maritime Organization (171 members in all). The United States, of course, is one of these member states.

Compensation Benefits Under Maritime Law

This international set of rules ensures the maintenance and regulation of appropriate and fair maritime laws worldwide. Ships must also carry appropriate IMO certification aboard at all times, and local governments are expected to enforce the relevant standards at all times.

Compensation Benefits Under Maritime Law: an Overview

Because maritime law was written specifically to address the legal rights of deckhands, fishermen, seamen, and others working on the water, the rules had to be carefully crafted to meet the varied, sometimes unusual, needs of this unique workforce.

Maritime injuries can occur in situations that an employee would never experience on land, like being made to work on an unseaworthy vessel. As such, the umbrella of maritime law contains a variety of other laws, acts, and regulations that seek to protect the rights of those laboring every day on navigable waters.

There are a variety of areas of U.S. maritime law, including Maintenance and Cure, The Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), the Death on High Seas Act (DOHSA), and Passenger Personal Injury. The types of damages an injured worker can rightfully claim vary based on under which portion of the law a given incident falls.

Maintenance and Cure

The following are examples demonstrating which types of incidents might fall under which sections of maritime law:

• Maintenance and Cure

Nearly any kind of injury at sea—regardless of cause or fault—entitles a worker to compensation benefits under Maintenance and Cure. This section of maritime law is so-named because it relates to maintaining daily expenses and paying for any medical expenses needed to treat the related injury.

Examples of covered expenses under Maintenance and Cure include rent/mortgage payments, utility bills, taxes, food, hospital stays, doctor appointments, relevant medications, physical therapy, medical equipment, etc. This compensation will continue to be paid to an injured worker until such time as his or her doctor determines that it is safe to return to work.

• The Jones Act

This particular act exists to protect maritime workers who have specifically been injured as a result of negligence (generally on the part of another worker or the employer). Because this law hinges on employer liability, the injured party does have the burden of proof and must provide evidence that their injury happened at work and is the result of someone else’s negligence.

Fortunately for the injured individual, the burden of proof for negligence is generally easier to meet under maritime law than it might be in another kind of personal injury case. The Jones Act requires only that the employee is able to show that employer negligence was involved in some way in his or her injury (e.g., improper equipment maintenance, poorly cleaned decks, improper training, overworking, etc.).

• The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)

Death on High Seas Act

By comparison to other areas of maritime law which deal only with those working on open water, the LHWCA covers all maritime workers working on or around navigable waters. This includes longshoremen, mechanics, and harbor workers who deal with vessels at the shore but may not work directly on the water.

The LHWCA stipulates that an injured worker may receive 66 2/3 percent of normal wages while they heal, and may be compensated further for especially serious injuries and/or disabilities (e.g., loss of limbs, paralysis, etc.). Should a maritime worker be killed on the job, the act states that his or her surviving spouse is entitled to 50% of average pay.

• The Death on High Seas Act (DOHSA)

As its name implies, DOHSA compensates the families of those who are killed on the job when working more than three miles from a U.S. shoreline (considered “high seas” for legal purposes). Claims for benefits under the Death on High Seas Act may only be filed by a spouse, child, or dependent (or a legal representative of any of these).

Compensation under DOHSA is calculated on a case-by-case basis, and generally includes the amount of income the individual would have provided to his or her family, as well as some consideration for the care that any dependent children will no longer receive from their deceased parent. Surviving family members who are entitled to compensation under this act have three years from the date of the individual’s death to file a claim for these benefits.

Of course, employee injury is not the only type of case that can be covered under maritime law; issues of property damage and passenger injury (such as on a cruise ship) can also fall under this special legal jurisdiction.

Under U.S. law, the majority of personal injury, collision, cargo damage, and other maritime cases can be brought in either state or federal court. However, cases involving shipowner liability, property/vessel arrests, salvage, and other property possession issues can typically only be brought in a federal court.

Trust an Expert Local Maritime Lawyer to Help You Seek Compensation as a Maritime Worker

Expert Local Maritime Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been injured while working at sea or on the docks, you may be entitled to compensation benefits under maritime law. At Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., our local maritime lawyers devote their legal expertise to helping injured maritime employees seek the damages they deserve. Leveraging decades of combined experience working in maritime law, we’ve helped clients just like you recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages as a result of maritime injuries.

To learn more about maritime law and how our local maritime attorneys can help you claim the benefits you deserve, contact us online or call us 24/7 at (888) 297-4553. We’ll help you set up a free, confidential case evaluation with one of our experienced Maintenance and Cure attorneys to discuss your situation and needs.

Sources

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/maritime-law.asp
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admiralty_law
Jones Act Lawyer
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Maritime Injury Lawyers

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Board Certified Attorneys

We are maritime injury attorneys that have recovered millions for our injured clients. We have always been a strong advocate for maritime personal injury victims and the families of those who are killed while working in service of a vessel or under the Jones Act law. Our concern is for the safety of those involved and helping their families find out the whereabouts and conditions of their loved ones.

These are some of the diverse groups of injured workers we have represented:

  • Jones Act seamen
  • Workers on oil rigs, offshore platforms and jack-up rigs
  • Crews and workers on barges, supply boats, tankers, freighters and other vessels

The list is by no means comprehensive. If you are unsure whether you qualify as a Jones Act seamen or whether you might be covered by other maritime regulations, it’s vital that you contact our maritime lawyers today to learn about your rights.

We have represented workers and their families in the following disasters:

  • Deepwater Horizon Disaster
  • M/V Jillian Morrison Explosion
  • Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. Barge B No. 125 Explosion
  • British Petroleum Texas City Refinery Explosion
  • Phillips 66 Refinery Explosion

The team of Jones Act attorneys and maritime lawyers at SMSH have over 100 years of combined trial experience. Contact our Jones Act lawyers today for a free, confidential case evaluation.

Why Hire the Worldwide Jones Act, Offshore & Maritime Injury Lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris?

The Jones Act and maritime injury lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris have spent more than five decades representing seamen, longshoremen and other maritime workers, and recovered millions of dollars for our clients. SMSH has always been a strong advocate for maritime personal injury victims and the families of those who are killed while working in service of a vessel. Our concern is for the safety of those involved and helping their families find out the whereabouts and conditions of their loved ones, as well as recovering the compensation they are entitled to for injuries, medical bills and other damages.

Here are some of the reasons why thousands of injured maritime workers have chosen Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris to represent their interests:

  • We have recovered over $620 million dollars for offshore and maritime workers, including recovery of $17.5 million in the largest Jones Act settlement ever paid by the United States government.
  • Each of our Jones Act attorneys and maritime injury lawyers has more than 25 years of experience, with total of more than 100 years of trial experience for the team.
  • Our maritime injury lawyers have represented clients in some of the nation’s worst maritime and refinery disasters, including: the Deepwater Horizon explosion; the M/V Jillian Morrison explosion; the Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. Barge B No. 125 explosion; the British Petroleum Texas City Refinery explosion; and the Phillips 66 Refinery explosion.
  • As dedicated maritime injury and Jones Act attorneys, we understand the financial difficulties that families often face when a loved one is injured and unable to work. Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris offers interest free loans to assist our clients with day-to-day living expenses while waiting for the conclusion of their case.
  • Our attorneys provide assistance to maritime, offshore and port workers across the United States.
  • We have board certified Personal Injury Trial lawyers.
 

The Maritime Attorney Difference

Maritime and offshore accidents fall under a different set of laws than other personal injury or workers’ compensation claims. There are specific maritime laws that govern claims, including the Jones Act, the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and general maritime laws. To receive the full protections these laws offer, it’s crucial to have an attorney who understands the complexities of each. If you’ve been injured while working on a vessel, offshore or in one of the nation’s many ports, contact the Jones Act attorneys at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris today for a free consultation.
Our experienced offshore injury lawyers have handled cases throughout the Gulf of Mexico coastal region of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, and represented clients from all 50 states of the United States. We have years of experience representing the crew working on inland waters such as the Mississippi River, Ohio River, Kentucky River, the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and many more. We have also handled cases worldwide in countries as far away as the Ukraine and Israel. We routinely represent clients from the Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. We have also made claims for clients from Columbia, Venezuela, Bangladesh, The Philippines, Romania, Croatia, England, Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands, Russia, China, Mexico, and Brazil.

Time is of the Essence

If you or a member of your family has been seriously injured or killed as the result of an offshore accident, please speak to a qualified maritime lawyer before talking to your employer or any insurance company or adjuster. If you work on a vessel, boat, barge, tanker, fishing boat, an offshore drilling rig or platform, or any other kind of ship, you may qualify for Jones Act compensation. Working in, on, or near water means you need the specially-trained legal assistance of the Board Certified maritime lawyers of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.

A few small tidbits of advice for the injured offshore worker:

  1. Fill out an accident report or incident paperwork as soon as possible after your injury.
  2. If your employer gives you any paperwork to sign, have it reviewed by a competent maritime lawyer so you don’t waive your rights to more money.
  3. Do not give a recorded statement to anyone without first seeking legal counsel.
  4. Do not accept the word of a company doctor as to the extent of your injuries, seek out your own doctor for a second-opinion.
We are Worldwide Jones Act attorneys and Maritime lawyers with over 100 years combined experience in Maritime Personal Injury Cases and we have handled thousands of cases. Your initial consultation for your maritime accident case is FREE. You pay us nothing unless we win your case and get you money. Call a maritime lawyer NOW at 1-800-836-5830 or e-mail us at info@smslegal.com.

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Recent Successful Cases

$17.5 Million in Jones Act Deckhand Case

 

In March 2008, our client was employed as a deckhand in a shipyard. He suffered a head injury.

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$2.5 Million Recovered in Jones Act Case

 

While on stern of tug attempting to hook up a barge, the “L” line became tight, broke, hit our client,

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$1.6 Million Recovered for Offshore Workers

 

On April 20, 2007, while working as blasters, painting an offshore rig on a platform, our two clients injured

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