Florida Maritime Law and Maritime Accidents Attorneys – Seaman Protection
Maritime professions are exceptionally demanding physically, and can even be dangerous at times. Every year, hundreds of fisherman, deckhands, tugboat workers, cruise ship employees, ferry workers, and others employed aboard commercial U.S. flagged vessels, both at sea and upon inland waterways, are injured in maritime accidents. Many of these injured seamen will be unable to work for at least a time, and some may be permanently disabled. Fortunately, the Jones Act and other U.S. laws provide an avenue for injured crew to obtain compensation when they are injured on the job. Unfortunately, injured seamen are often placed at the mercy of uncaring insurance companies that only seek to settle claims for the lowest amount possible.
The Florida seaman protection lawyers at Gilman Law LLP are extremely familiar with the tactics the maritime industry uses to avoid fairly paying injured crew the compensation they are due. Our Florida maritime injury lawyers have extensive experience with maritime law, and have worked for 30 years to ensure the rights of injured crewman and their families, and have obtained excellent results for seamen and crewmembers, as well as longshoreman, harbor workers, oil rig workers, and shipyard workers hurt on the job. Our maritime injury lawyers are proud of our ability to help our clients obtain the best medical care, compensation for lost wages and other benefits they deserve.
The Jones Act
Because maritime law recognizes that seamen and crewmembers face unique risks, there are a number of laws on the books designed to make sure that maritime workers injured on the job are adequately compensated. The main law protecting injured seamen is the Jones Act. First and foremost, the Jones Act says injured maritime workers are entitled to maintenance, cure, and unearned wage benefits regardless of fault. Under the Jones Act, the vessel owner/employer must also pay compensation to his crewmen when his negligence is a cause of the crewman’s injury. Finally, injured seaman can bring claims against a vessel owner if a ship, its crew or its equipment are found to be unseaworthy, and that unseaworthiness played a role in an injury.
If you have been injured on the job, there are a few important things to remember about your Jones Act claim.
- You have he right to see a doctor of your own – not your employer’s – choice.
- You are under no obligation to see a doctor chosen by your employer.
- You are under no obligation to give a recorded statement to a company representative or insurance adjuster without talking to an attorney.
- If you’ve been injured on the job, be sure to ALWAYS report the incident, however small, and make sure that an accident report is made.
- Maritime employees covered by the Jones Act include masters, captains, offices, crewmembers and certain other people who work aboard vessels.
- Workers eligible for Jones Act compensation do not have to be employed in work that involves the navigational activities of the ship. Even cruise ship entertainers are eligible for compensation should they become injured on the job.
- Families of offshore workers killed on the job can also obtain compensation via the Jones Act.
Other Laws that Protect Injured Seaman
In addition to the Jones Act, the seaman protection lawyers at Gilman Law LLP have extensive experience representing injured Florida maritime workers in other claims, including those involving:
The Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988: Covers operational and safety procedures, wage laws and personal injury litigation of all commercial fishing vessels in the U.S. All workers on a commercial fishing vessel, including undocumented workers, are covered by the Act.
Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA): Allows injured longshoremen and their families to file for full and fair compensation for injuries or wrongful death that may occur during the course of their job.
Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA): Covers any death occurring beyond 3 nautical miles from the shore of any U.S. State. This law allows personal representatives of the deceased to pursue action on behalf of, or for the benefit of, the decedent’s spouse, children, parent or other financially dependent relative.
Legal Help for Injured Seamen
If you are a Florida seaman who was injured on the job, it is important that you take action today, as maritime laws set strict deadlines for filing claims. To increase your odds of obtaining the full compensation the law allows, it’s vital you contact the experienced Florida seaman protection lawyers at Gilman Law LLP today. With offices throughout Florida, the personal injury attorneys at Gilman Law LLP are available now to answer all of your maritime injury questions. Please complete our online form or contact Gilman Law LLP at (888) 252-0084 for your free, confidential, no-obligation case evaluation with one of our maritime injury attorneys today.