Citronelle Maritime Injury Lawyers
The maritime industry is one of the most dangerous in the United States, making up a substantial portion of all workplace injuries. Whether you’re working at the harbor loading and unloading ships, working as a commercial fisherman, gaining experience as an underground welder, or taking care of other tasks aboard a vessel, you are at risk of serious or even fatal injuries. That’s why it’s important to know your rights if you become injured—you can receive compensation that allows you to get the treatment you need and meet your financial obligations.
If you’ve suffered a maritime injury in Citronelle, AL, the team at Fuquay Law Firm is here to help you. Call us now at 251-473-4443 to schedule a consultation now.
Types of Maritime Injuries and the Accidents That Cause Them
You could experience or witness a variety of different injuries during your time as a maritime worker. Some of the most commonly reported injuries include:
- Muscle and tendon injuries
- Overboard falls
- Chemical burns
- Broken bones
- Lacerations and bruises
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Hearing problems
These injuries stem from a wide range of causes, including human error, defective boat parts, and carelessness. Some of the most common causes of maritime injuries include:
- Slips on deck or falling from one level to another
- Asphyxiation when working in tight or enclosed spaces
- Hazardous chemical exposure
- Dock accidents
- Fishing accidents
- Accidents caused by drugs and alcohol
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Drowning caused by ineffective safety equipment
It’s important to know the cause of your injury so you can seek the right type of compensation. For example, some laws require that you prove wrongdoing on the part of the vessel owner or employer before you seek compensation. Others simply require proof that an injury happened at work. Know the burden of proof for whichever law you use to seek compensation.
Laws That Protect Maritime Workers in Citronelle, AL
There are several laws that offer protection for maritime workers. Your options depend on what type of work you perform, who is at fault for your injury, and where the injury occurred.
Perhaps the most well-known maritime law is maintenance and cure. Maritime law requires that an injured seaman receive fair compensation after an injury sustained at work. Maintenance and cure is provided regardless of whose fault the accident was.
Cure refers to an injured worker’s medical expenses, which the employer must cover until the employee reaches maximum medical improvement. Maintenance refers to the expenses a seaman must pay in order to survive. This includes rent or mortgage, utilities, and food, but it does not cover luxury expenses like your Internet bill or telephone service.
The Jones Act is a federal law that provides compensation to injured employees when their employer does not provide them with a safe workplace. The law states that a maritime employer is required to provide employees with a safe work environment and a vessel that is properly maintained. Employees may seek compensation under the Jones Act if their injury was caused at all by the employer’s negligence or failure to maintain the vessel. This means that your injury does not have to be entirely the employer’s fault—if it is even partially their fault, you qualify.
Another federal law that protects maritime workers is the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. While the Jones Act helps seamen, the LHWCA provides options for those who are not seamen but work on or near a vessel. The LHWCA provides temporary total disability benefits and permanent partial disability benefits. In many ways, it is similar to state workers’ compensation programs.
What to Do If You Experience a Maritime Injury
An injury can happen in a matter of seconds, leaving you dazed, confused, and unsure about what to do next. The strength of your injury claim hinges on what you do in the minutes, hours, and days after a maritime injury. The following steps can help you get the care you need and protect your maritime injury claim:
- Get checked out by a medical professional. Maritime injuries can threaten your mobility, your independence, and even your life. It should be your top priority to seek medical attention, as many injuries require prompt identification and treatment.
- Notify your employer or manager. Your employer should have a specific protocol in place to report workplace injuries. Follow this protocol and ensure that the person you report to files the appropriate paperwork. The longer you wait to report an injury, the easier it is for your employer to claim that it may not be work-related.
- Gather evidence. Any evidence you have of your injury is valuable. You might want a copy of the injury report, pictures of the place where your accident occurred, and statements from coworkers who witnessed the accident. Make backups of everything you have.
- Hold off on signing anything. Your employer may push you to sign a document without reading it. You don’t want to sign away your right to seek compensation. Tell them that you want to wait before you sign off on anything or verbally agree to anything.
- Talk to an attorney with experience in maritime law. It’s possible that your employer is ready to do everything correctly to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. That is the best possible outcome. However, you simply don’t know until you’re well into the process. That’s why it’s important to talk to a maritime injury attorney in Citronelle, AL. They can defend your rights and help you fight for the compensation you are owed.
How the Team at Fuquay Law Firm Can Help
At Fuquay Law Firm, we focus on helping injured maritime workers get the compensation they deserve. Our knowledge of maritime law and our experience with various types of injuries ensures that we have what it takes to fight on your behalf. If you’re worried about retaliation for reporting an injury or you’re being pressured not to report an injury, it’s time to talk to our team.
Contact Us Today to Get Started
Ready to start your maritime injury claim in Citronelle, AL? Let’s talk about your options and make a plan. Give us a call at 251-219-0329 or fill out our online contact form