Maritime Injury Lawyer
Injuries at sea are quite common, and often go unreported due to fear of retaliation. Injured seafarers often take too long to file claims, and this often prevents them from obtaining a recovery. Seafarers often don’t receive the compensation and medical care they deserve for their injuries, but they have the right to obtain representation from a maritime injury attorney immediately after an injury.
Most injured employees must go through the workers compensation system to obtain financial compensation for their workplace injuries. However, the Jones Act allows seafarers who are injured on the job due to the negligence of their employers to file negligence claims directly against their employers.
Determining whether the Jones Act applies to your injuries is one of many services we provide to injured seafarers. Call us today at 800-718-4658 if you were injured at sea while at work. Our experienced maritime lawyers have been helping seafarers obtain compensation for their injuries since 1990 on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t charge a fee until and unless we obtain a recovery.
You May Be Entitled To Financial Compensation
Seafarers injured at work can sue their employers for negligence under the Jones Act. Our experienced Jones Act lawyers has been representing injured seafarers for decades, helping those who were injured aboard yachts, cruise ships, tug boats, cargo ships, barges, oil rigs and more.
Maritime law entitles seafarers, in general, to:
- Medical care
- Wages and tips
- Food and shelter
- Contract benefits
Any seafarer who becomes injured or sick while working in a vessel, when it is the fault of the seafarer’s employer, is entitled to recover damages for their loss of earning capacity, lost wages, and injuries.
Who Are Considered Seamen?
The Jones Act allows seamen injured on the job to sue their employers directly for negligence. Courts use a three-part test to determine who qualifies as a “seaman.”
The three parts of this test are:
Vessel assignment: Seamen must be assigned to active vessels which are operating in navigable waterways and are not permanently moored.
Vessel contribution: Seamen must contribute to the mission of the vessel, the vessel’s function, or the vessel’s operation or welfare. As an example, even an entertainer on a cruise ship would satisfy this part of the test as the mission of a cruise ship is to provide an entertaining vacation.
Vessel connection: Seamen must spend a significant amount of their work time on a vessel, generally 35 percent or more. The time spent on a vessel must be “continuous attachment” and must not simply be occasional work.
Maritime Injury Compensation
Injured seafarers who can prove that their injury was the fault of their employer, the owner of a vessel or someone aboard a vessel may be eligible for financial compensation which can cover:
- Limited work capacity expenses
- Medical supplies
- Lost wages
- Other expenses
Seafarers must be able to prove that someone else was negligent and that this negligence was directly responsible for their injury. Experienced maritime lawyers like the lawyers at Nadrich & Cohen can help seafarers prove that their injury was directly caused by the negligence of others.
Maintenance And Cure
Seafarers covered under the Jones Act have a basic right to maintenance (general living expenses) and cure (medical expenses). Injured seafarers covered by the Jones Act are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits until they reach maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is the point at which further treatment will no longer improve the condition of an injured worker.
Shipowners are duty-bound to “cure” crew members who are injured while working on the ship by providing medical care until the seafarer reaches maximum medical improvement. Shipowners may be obligated to supply prosthetics or wheelchairs, or supply pain medication when further improvement is impossible.
Injured seafarers covered by the Jones act can choose their own doctors and medical providers, and have a right to seek second opinions.
Cure benefits can include:
- Durable supplies and medical equipment
- Necessary and reasonable medical treatment
- Any medication related to the illness or injury
Courts have recently interpreted the duty of the employer to provide maintenance benefits as a duty to provide benefits which adequately cover the basic living expenses of the injured seafarer. These expenses may include food costs, utility costs, mortgage payments or rent payments.
Maritime Injury FAQ’s
Do my employers need to pay for my medical care if I’m a Jones Act seaman who was injured on a vessel?
Yes. You are entitled to medical care for your maritime injury, even if you lack a written contract. Contact us today if you feel your employer has failed to provide you with adequate, prompt medical care.
What if I’m not a Jones Act seaman?
Vessel crewmembers are entitled to medical care for injuries which occur on the vessel, per their contracts, even without a written agreement. It may take longer to reimbursed for the medical care, but your employer should still pay for your treatment. Contact us today if this has not happened, as you may have a case.
What if I hurt my back while working on a vessel?
Back injuries are commonly seen in seafarers, as seafarers are often expected to work very long hours, every day, for months at a time. The human body is not designed to work as much as many seafarers do, and their employers are often more concerned about their workers getting back to work than the backs of their workers. Seafarers’ back injuries often worsen after they are sent back to work too early.
Report any back injury to your supervisor and seek medical treatment immediately, as it is critical to properly document the injury. If your employers and your ship’s doctors just want to send you back to work after giving you pills for your back injury, call us today for a free consultation and we can help you take the necessary actions to protect yourself.
Do I have a case if I was hurt while working on a vessel?
You may have a case, depending on the circumstances. Review your employment contract and contact experienced maritime injury lawyers to review your possible claim. Nadrich & Cohen offers free consultations and will never charge you a penny out of your own pocket.
Maritime Injury Lawsuits
We have been protecting injured seafarers since 1990, helping them preserve their legal rights and obtain financial compensation for their injuries. We have recovered over $350,000,000 on behalf of injured clients.
We only charge a fee for our services if we obtain a recovery, and our fee is only a small percentage of any recovery obtained.
We have formed relationships with the best doctors in California in our decades of helping injury victims. Best of all, these doctors will agree to not charge you for their services until your case is over. They do this because they know we obtain great settlements for our clients.
Call us today at 800-718-4658 for a free consultation if you’ve been injured while working on a vessel at sea, or use the texting feature on this page. You may be entitled to a financial recovery.