Workplace injuries are unfortunately common for seamen, deckhands, longshoremen, and others in the maritime industries. Most workers injured on the job can collect benefits under state workers’ compensation laws, but maritime employees are a key exception to this rule. Instead, injured mariners often must pursue any necessary payment for medical bills, lost wages, and permanent disability directly from their employer.
If you were hurt in an accident caused by your employer’s negligence, a Pasadena maritime injury lawyer can help you seek fair compensation for your losses. Help from a dedicated injury attorney at Haines Law could make a critical difference in your case and your future.
The Jones Act and Claims for Mariners
The Jones Act, 46 United States Code §30104, creates a cause of action in a United States District Court for maritime workers to sue their employers for damages resulting from a workplace injury. These damages can include:
- The costs of medical treatment
- Lost wages due to time spent off the job
- Emotional trauma connected to the injury
- Permanent disabilities that lead to decreased earning capacity
- Wrongful death
In these claims, the burden lies on the employee to prove that an employer’s negligence was the cause of the accident. A Pasadena maritime injury attorney can investigate the cause of an injury and pursue claims that allege employer negligence.
In certain cases, a vessel may be so dangerous that an employer is automatically liable for any workplace injuries. If a vessel is inherently unsafe, the owner and employer may be automatically liable for any resulting injuries. Shipowners owe an absolute duty to seamen to ensure their vessels are legally seaworthy.
Who is a Maritime Worker, and How Do Workplace Injuries Affect Them?
A maritime worker, as applied to workplace injury claims, is an individual who spends a significant portion of their working hours on a vessel in navigation. The vessel does not need to be moving, but it must be in navigable waters and capable of traveling under its own power. For example, workers may be able to seek compensation from their employer if the accident occurs while performing maintenance or unloading cargo while a vessel is moored.
Maritime workers in Pasadena may be exposed to many potential hazards during the course of their employment, including dangerous chemicals, oil products, or heavy machinery. If an employer or a ship’s owner fails to take proper safety precautions or perform maintenance, they may be liable for any resulting accidents. A maritime injury attorney can help identify the parties responsible for an injury and hold them accountable for their negligence.
A Pasadena Maritime Injury Attorney Could Help Injured Sailors
Mariners have an absolute right to expect that their employers will take proper steps to ensure they can perform their duties as safely as possible. Sadly, failures to provide a safe environment or maintain the seaworthiness of a vessel can lead to catastrophic workplace injuries.
Unlike many other employees, maritime workers are not protected by workers’ compensation laws. However, the Jones Act allows many mariners to seek compensation directly from their employers. A Pasadena maritime injury lawyer can help you negotiate with these companies and make a strong case for the money you deserve. Call Haines Law today to learn more about how to stand up for your rights as a maritime professional in Pasadena.