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 or near the water while working.
There are several categories of individuals who may be injured at sea or in a maritime setting that qualify for compensation. These include:
- Harbor workers
Defined as individuals who work a majority of their time on or for a vessel, seamen can be fishermen, merchant mariners, ferry workers or deckhands and cooks. Even waiters and musicians on passenger vessels are classified as seamen.
Longshoremen and Harbor workers
Working on or near the water, a longshoreman is responsible for loading, unloading and tying a vessel. A harbor worker repairs, converts, breaks apart or builds a vessel.
You may be able to sue the owner of the ship for damages if your injuries were caused by their negligence.
Passengers who were injured on a boat or cruise ship may sue the owner. Typically a claim must be filed within a year of the incident and notice of the injury given to the owner within a specified time. It is important to consult an attorney if you are a passenger who has been hurt at sea.
A maritime injury is typically covered by The Jones Act, instead of being a state workers’ compensation claim.
The Jones Act, or The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, was developed and passed in response to the health and safety concerns of Merchant Marines, and established protections for sailors. Sailors and boatmen had few choices before the enactment of The Jones Act if they were injured at 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.
For a legitimate maritime injury claim, a seaman must prove that a negligence or an “unseaworthy” activity occurred on the vessel that resulted in injury.
Negligence can include:
- Failure to provide safe equipment
- Failure to preform proper vessel maintenance
- Severe weather conditions
- Failure to follow safety rules
- Failure to provide safe working environments
- Requiring long or excessive work hours
- Failure to hire a competent captain or crew
- Failure to provide appropriate equipment
- Failure to provide prompt and sufficient medical treatment
- Failure to provide appropriate gear
- Failure to properly train crew-members
Vessels or equipment that are defective or unfit are considered “unseaworthy.”
Examples can include:
- Deck obstructions or tripping hazards
- Defective tools
- The absence of proper lifesaving equipment
- Fluid or oil on deck causing slippage
- Faulty equipment
- Insufficient crew
- Broken planks or deck boards
Protect Your Rights
If you or a loved one was injured at sea or preparing a vessel for sea, you need help recovering the compensation you deserve. Please schedule a FREE consultation with your Louisiana Personal Injury Attorneys at The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess.
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.