When you’re hurt on the job, you may have many questions regarding your rights. Below are five common questions and concerns that you might have as an injured maritime worker:
- I was injured while working on or near the water. What are my rights? If you were injured while working on or near the water, then you may be able to file a claim in these areas: general maritime law, the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Act, or the Death on the High Seas Act. Anytime you are hurt offshore or near the water, you should consult a maritime lawyer to discuss your rights.
- Who can sue for a maritime injury? Anyone from seamen, maritime workers, deckhands, longshoremen, harbor workers, oil rig workers, tug boat and barge workers to other workers in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi River can file a claim if they are injured offshore. If you’ve been injured while working on any of these structures, then you may have a maritime case: an oil rig, floating crane barge, crew vessel, supply vessel, cargo ship, tanker, fishing vessel, drill ship, construction barge, towboat, tugboat, or other floating vessel or structure. Contact us today to discover what rights you have.
- What kind of compensation can I receive in a maritime injury lawsuit? It all depends on your situation, but you may receive compensation for any of the following: your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages (including overtime), physical disability, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, mental disability, property damage, and loss of fringe benefits.
- Do I need a maritime lawyer in the state that I was injured? In a word, no. Our firm has represented clients in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas as well as workers injured in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi River. In addition, we have helped injured seamen across the United States by working with their local attorneys to ensure they have a skilled and experienced maritime injury legal team on their side.
- Will I be blacklisted from future maritime jobs if I bring a lawsuit against my employer? In our more than 50 years of practice, we have never seen a “blacklist.” In fact, there are laws that prevent your former employer from revealing information like injuries or lawsuits. Even when offshore workers do file a lawsuit, many of them find new jobs despite their large settlements. There are still opportunities after your injury.
Identifying the Best Maritime Lawyers
If you’re injured while working offshore, then it is imperative for your health and future to hire only the best maritime lawyers to handle your case. There are thousands of lawyers out there who claim to be able to handle cases such as yours, but how can you be sure that they are actually the best option for you? The following are qualities that we believe only the best maritime lawyers have, and if you select a lawyer with these traits, you will know your case is in good hands.
The Best Maritime Lawyers Focus Primarily on Maritime Injury and Jones Act Cases
There are hundreds of different types of law practices out there and each type of law has its own intricacies and its own difficulties. Maritime law is particularly difficult as it deals with cases that can be international in nature. For example, a United States offshore worker is hired through an American agency, works for a rig operator based in the Netherlands, and is injured in India’s internal waters. Many lawyers who do not focus on maritime law would be at a loss as to where to start with this case. The best maritime lawyers are experts in this field and would have no problem diving into a case like this.
Each country has its own laws and unraveling who is actually at fault for your injury can be an arduous task. This is why it is crucial that the lawyer you choose to represent you has many years of experience in and focuses on maritime law. Do not let your attorney use your case to learn maritime law. Before you pick your lawyer, ask them how many maritime law cases they have personally worked on and what percentage of their cases are maritime cases. If they don’t know maritime law, they won’t know how to help you during your time of trouble. We are proud to say that our firm has over 40 years of experience specifically in maritime law and 90% of our cases are maritime cases. We understand the law and our offshore clients.
The Best Maritime Lawyers Personally Handle Your Maritime Cases
Many times lawyers will accept maritime and Jones Act cases only to refer them out to someone who specializes in this area of law. Those initial lawyers that you chose then get a percentage of your settlement for referring you to someone else. This means even less of your settlement goes to paying for your medical care and other needs. You don’t want a lawyer who will just pass you off to someone else; you want someone who will be there every step of the process, from start to way past finish. The best maritime lawyers won’t need to refer you to someone else.
The Best Maritime Lawyers Won’t Make You Pay Out of Pocket
When you’re injured and considering filing a case against your employer, your financial stability is seriously threatened. Bills need to be paid, families taken care of, and futures secured, and the last thing you need is another outrageous bill to worry about. The truly best maritime lawyers won’t add to your financial burden in your time of crisis; instead, they will take your case on a contingency basis and only charge a fee if you win your case. This means you don’t pay for any legal fees out of pocket. Many of the best maritime lawyers will even help you stay afloat on your bills, rent, and other necessities. Our firm takes this stance on all of our cases and has saved many offshore workers from losing their homes, families, and livelihoods.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) recently released quarterly data that revealed a startling 600 plus instances of noncompliance (safety violations) among oil rig and platform operators in the Gulf of Mexico.
Maritime safety violations can lead to serious, debilitating injuries or even death. It is incredibly important that you report any safety violations in order to prevent yourself, another employee, or member of the public from becoming injured. If you fear your job may be at stake if you report any violations, then you should discuss your concerns with a maritime lawyer who will advocate for your rights.
The best maritime lawyers will protect you under the Jones Act. Under the Jones Act, employers are prohibited from firing or discriminating against employees for reporting maritime safety violations to the Coast Guard, OSHA, or any other federal agency. Employers are also not allowed to fire an employee from refusing to perform certain duties out of fear of serious injuries. In situations in which you refuse to perform certain duties, you must have reported the dangerous conditions to your employer, and your employer must have failed to make the appropriate repairs or modifications.
If you feel as if you are being discriminated upon, contact one of the best maritime attorneys as soon as possible. If you have a legitimate case, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer.
Through a lawsuit, you may be able to accomplish:
- correction of safety violations;
- job reinstatement and back pay; and
- reasonable attorney fees.
It is understandable that you may be apprehensive about reporting safety violations, but by doing so, you may keep yourself and others out of danger.
Did you know that the not public injury globe is drenched with a new buzz express which is no win no fee injury lawyer? But, what is a no win no fee and why must you appoint a no win no fee injury lawyer?
Read More »
Injury law entitles victims of accidents or supplementary injuries to attain compensation to take in their therapeutic expenses and get back from supplementary losses. The victim may undergo natural pain, shock or compensation to home. The injury may be caused by supplementarys’ neglect, incautiousness or intentional proceedings. Governments have enacted tort laws to keep the civil rights of injured parties.
Read More »