Failing to Hire Qualified Harbor Workers
It is the responsibility of the seaman’s employer to insure that working conditions are safe and that adequate safety, training, and security measures have been put in place to prevent accidents. In the event that the seaman’s employer and/or the owner of the vessel are two different parties, the injured seaman or his/her family can file an unseaworthiness claim against the vessel owner for compensation. The hiring of qualified and competent, trained harbor workers is integral to every worker’s safety and well-being on the job.
A maritime injury is an injury that occurs when a “seaman” is injured on the water while working for their employer.
There are several categories of individuals who may be injured at sea or in a maritime setting that qualify for Workers’ Compensation. These include:
- Seamen and fishermen
- Longshoremen and harbor workers
Seamen and fishermen
A seaman is defined as someone who works a majority of his or her time on a vessel or doing work for a vessel. Seamen can be fishermen, merchant mariners, ferry workers or deckhands and cooks. Even a musician and waiter on a passenger vessel could be classified as a seaman.
Longshoremen and harbor workers
A longshoreman is a worker who works on or near the water. This person is responsible for loading, unloading and tying a vessel. A harbor worker is an employee who repairs, converts, breaks apart and/or builds a vessel.
If a shipowner’s negligence caused your injury, you may be able to sue the ship owner for damages.
Any paying passengers who were injured on a boat or cruise ship may sue the boat owner for personal injuries suffered while on board. Passengers typically have a year to file this claim. You may be required to give the boat owner notice of your injury within a specified time. So it is important to consult an attorney if you are a passenger who has been hurt at sea.
Instead of being a state workers’ compensation claim, a maritime injury is typically covered by the Jones Act.
The Jones Act was officially called the “Merchant Marine Act” of 1920. It was developed and passed in response to the health and safety concerns of the Merchant Marine, and to establish protections for sailors. Before the Jones Act was passed, sailors and boatmen who were hurt on the job had few choices if they were injured at sea or preparing for sea. After identifying the danger of working at sea and the value of qualified seamen, the Jones Act was created to give these hard workers benefits in the event of an injury or illness.
To establish a maritime injury claim, seaman must prove that a negligent action or an “unseaworthy” activity occurred on board of the vessel that resulted in your injury.
Some examples of negligence include:
- Failure to provide safe equipment or proper vessel maintenance
- Working in severe weather
- Failure to follow the safety rules or to provide a safe work environment
- Requiring seaman to work long, excessive hours
- Failure to hire a competent captain or crew
- Failure to provide appropriate equipment or guards on the machinery
- Not providing prompt or sufficient medical treatment
- Failure to provide appropriate gear, or properly train the crew
If the vessel or equipment is defective or in some way unfit, this can be considered “unseaworthiness.”
Some examples include:
- Faulty equipment
- Insufficient crew
- Broken planks or deck boards;
- Fluid or oil on deck that makes it slippery
- Deck obstructions or tripping hazards
- Defective tools
- The absence of proper lifesaving equipment
Protect Your Rights
If you or a loved one was hurt at sea or preparing a vessel for sea, you may not know how to get the compensation you deserve. Please schedule a maritime injury consultation with the Louisiana personal injury lawyers at the offices of L. Clayton Burgess. Our persistence and experience will get you the money you deserve.
CALL THE EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS AT THE LAW OFFICES OF L. CLAYTON BURGESS TODAY TO SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION.
The statute of limitations for filing for compensation under the LHWCA is short. Please call the Law Offices of L.CLAYTON BURGESS today to discuss your claim. LHWCA claims can be filed against the worker’s employer, such as the shipping company, a contracting company, or a boat operator or owner.
Insurance companies will often fight to pay the minimum recovery amounts to injured workers. The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess are known for their aggressive handling of our client’s insurance claims when seeking justice for our clients and will fight for your compensation.
Clay Burgess offers his clients highly effective skills and strategies and an in-depth knowledge of maritime injuries and the laws that govern various accidents. Call us today with your questions about your case and we will respond and answer your questions promptly.
We can also file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against any third party whose negligence may have contributed to your accident. It is important that you contact Clay Burgess before trying to negotiate a settlement with any insurance company. The statute of limitations for filing a claim may be short, so don’t hesitate. Call Clay Burgess now at 337-234-7573 or toll free 877-234-7573 to discuss your case FREE of charge.