Chatom, AL Maritime Injury Lawyers
The work that seaman do is integral to the country, the economy, and everyone who relies on the safe and timely transport of goods. Working in this industry gives you access to unique experiences and work environments, but it also comes with its own set of risks. Accidents are quite common for maritime workers, and in many cases, injuries lead to long stretches away from work.
The standard workers’ compensation system isn’t designed for maritime workers—the heightened risks of the job, a worker’s inability to leave the ship until it docks, and the fact that many workers are in federal or international waters when injured makes workers’ compensation difficult to navigate.
That’s why there are specific laws in place to protect maritime workers. If you suffer an injury at work, you need to know your rights and how to use them to get the compensation you deserve. The team at Fuquay Law Firm is committed to helping maritime workers seek full and fair compensation after a workplace injury or illness. Find out how we can help you by calling us at 251-219-0329.
Maritime Injuries in Chatom, AL
Not only are maritime workers at greater risk of workplace injuries, but they are also more likely to sustain fatal or catastrophic injuries than those working in other industries. This risk extends to a wide range of job titles, including commercial fishermen, seamen, deckhands, rig workers, divers, ROV technicians, surveyors, and oil drillers. Some commonly reported injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Crush injuries
- Hearing loss
- Organ damage
Common Causes of Maritime Injuries
Why are maritime jobs in Chatom, AL so dangerous? Workers often work under extreme conditions, including high and low temperatures, unstable ground, long hours, and tight spaces. On top of that, workers may work a variety of shifts, including 24-hour shifts, overnight shifts, and swing shifts. Even when they get to rest, seamen aboard a moving vessel are stuck at the worksite until it docks. This often makes it difficult for workers to decompress and recharge fully, increasing the risk of injuries.
The physical nature of maritime jobs also makes injuries more likely. Workers often have to navigate slick decks in inclement weather, work in cramped or poorly lit spaces, and lift heavy items or run heavy-duty machinery. Some of the common causes of injuries include:
- Engine breakdown
- Slips and falls
- Toxic chemicals
- Electrical injuries
- Falling or moving objects
- Tight, cramped spaces with carbon dioxide buildup or limited oxygen
- Poorly maintained or faulty equipment
- Inexperienced operators mishandling equipment
- Dangerous water conditions
- Marine life
- Faulty safety equipment
Laws That Protect Maritime Workers
If you do suffer an injury while working in a maritime setting, there are numerous federal laws in place to help you seek fair compensation. These are separate from workers’ compensation laws, as workers’ comp is a system that is run separately by each state. As a seaman, you may spend most of your time in domestic or international waters that may not be bound by a state’s workers’ compensation laws.
Some laws that may be relevant to your maritime injury include:
- The Jones Act. Under the Jones Act, seamen act can seek compensation for their losses if they are injured while working aboard a vessel. To receive compensation, the seaman must have evidence that their injuries occurred because of another maritime worker’s negligence, an owner’s or captain’s negligence, or general unseaworthiness of a vessel.
- The Death on the High Seas Act. When a maritime worker dies, their family members are left with tremendous grief and financial difficulties. DOHSA allows surviving family members to receive fair compensation for the loss of their loved one.
- Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Those whose work supports the maritime industry may qualify for compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. This act provides compensation for those who work loading, unloading, repairing, and building vessels.
- Maintenance and cure. Maritime law allows injured seamen to seek compensation when they are injured. Maintenance refers to the income a worker needs to keep up with necessary costs, such as rent, food, and insurance. Cure refers to the medical treatment an injured worker needs to reach maximum improvement.
Why You Need a Chatom, AL Maritime Injury Attorney
You have rights when you are injured while working in the maritime industry. However, a shocking number of maritime workers do not know their rights and therefore cannot exercise them. This gives greedy vessel owners, insurers, and employers the chance to pay injured workers far less than what they deserve. The work you do puts your life at risk, and when you’re injured, you deserve to be fairly compensated for it.
Employers and insurance companies may try to pay you less than you deserve after you report an injury. In some cases, they may try to avoid paying you at all. They might claim that your injury is not work-related or that it was caused by your willful misconduct. Without an attorney, it is hard to fight back against these claims to seek maintenance and cure.
The workers’ compensation system of each state does not cover injuries that affect maritime workers. Because of this, you need an attorney with specific and extensive experience in maritime injury claims—not just an attorney that focuses on workers’ compensation.
At Fuquay Law Firm, we know how a maritime injury can impact your health and your financial stability. We’re focused on helping you get the support you need to recover.
Reach Out to Fuquay Law Firm Today
If you’ve suffered a maritime injury or illness, it’s time to find out what laws apply to your case and how you can get fair compensation for your losses. Let the team at Fuquay Law Firm help. Whether you’re a seaman, longshoreman, harbor worker, or another maritime worker, we can guide you through this time. Set up a meeting with us now by contacting us online or calling us at 251-473-4443.