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Workers in the maritime industry are at risk of suffering work-related injuries or even death. Accidents that happen on navigable waters can leave the victims with various degrees of injury. Maritime law provides maritime workers or anyone who has been injured in an accident the opportunity to claim compensation for the injury suffered.

Maritime law is complex and requires deep industry knowledge to navigate the intricacies that can arise from an accident. If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, get in touch with the lawyers at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers. Our Longview Maritime Law Attorney can help you seek financial compensation to help you recover your losses from suffering and medical complications.

We are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. Call us today to find out if you have a case.

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What Is Maritime Law?

Maritime law, also called admiralty law, refers to laws that regulate activities that happen on the sea or in navigable waters. It is a combination of industry customs and standards, the U.S constitution, judicial decisions, federal laws, and international treaties that govern contracts, torts, or injuries that happen on the water.

When Does Maritime Law Apply?

Maritime law applies to occurrences on navigable waters. Navigable waters are waters used for travel, trade, and commerce that connect states or countries. Maritime law does not apply to activities on a body of water that is within one state and that does not cut across states.

Some of the key laws that govern various aspects of personal injury claims in maritime law include:

Jones Act
This is a federal law that grants seamen injured during the course of their employment the right to bring personal injury cases against their employer. To receive protection under the Jones Act, a seaman must spend at least 30% of their time working on a vessel. The Act also grants a plaintiff in a personal injury claim the right to a jury trial.
The Death on High Seas Act
The Act allows the personal representative of a deceased person whose death was caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default occurring on a high sea to bring a claim.
Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA)
This Act provides benefits to maritime workers, such as longshore workers, ship-repairers, shipbuilders, ship-breakers, and harbor construction workers, who work on sea vessels but do not qualify as seamen. The Act allows them or their survivors to claim compensation for injuries that occur on U.S navigable waters or in adjoining areas, like, terminals, piers, docks, and wharves. The Defense Base Act extends this act to civilian private employees on U.S. military bases. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act also extends the LHWCA to workers involved in offshore drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf.
Bad Weather

Pilots and airlines are trained to handle bad weather, but some fail to take the proper precautions. An airline may seek to avoid cancellations and permit a flight that should not be allowed to depart in dangerous weather conditions. A pilot may choose a route through a storm rather than around one when that is the wrong choice. Runway collisions may occur when planes cannot see each other during takeoff or landing.

Bad weather like fog, rain, high winds, snow, and much more can contribute to an accident. If the airline or its employees are negligent in accounting for this bad weather, they may be financially responsible for your injuries or the loss of your loved one.

A key thing to note is that many of the legal issues that occur on land, such as personal injury, workers’ compensation, and criminal offense can also occur on water. When they do so, maritime law often applies special rules.
Container cargo ship, freight shipping maritime vessel
Aerial view of cargo container ship in the sea

Incidents That Require a Maritime Lawyer

There are various circumstances where you may need the services of a maritime law attorney. If you or a loved one is involved in any of the following scenarios, a Longview Maritime Law Attorney can help:

Seamen’s Maintenance and Cure Claim

Seamen who were injured while working or fell ill are entitled to maintenance and cure. Seamen include a ship captain and crew members of a vessel in navigation. A maintenance claim provides for the seaman’s living expenses, such as rent, mortgage, grocery, and utility bills. The seaman’s employer is obligated to pay the maintenance; the rate is not fixed.

A cure claim is similar to worker’s compensation that land-based workers claim from their employer for work-related injuries. An employer of an injured seaman is required to provide them with the medical care they need to recover. Just like worker’s compensation, an injured seaman doesn’t have to prove negligence before they can claim maintenance and cure.

Dock Accidents

Docks are some of the busiest places in every port, and it’s where many longshore and harbor workers perform their duties. Several heavy machines are used to load and unload cargo, and they are inherently dangerous for workers. Some of the common accidents that occur at docks include:
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Crane and winch accidents
  • Electrocution, fires, and burns
  • Falling of loads
  • Over-exertion and back injuries

Maritime Burn Injuries

A burn injury is one of the more common injuries a maritime worker can suffer from due to a fire accident, especially offshore. Burn injuries can be caused by defective machines, explosive substances, engine room fires, or electrical accidents.

Burn injuries range from mild to severe, with severe ones leading to serious health complications like hypothermia, hypovolemia, sepsis, infections, and damage to joints. Some of these complications can result in expensive medical bills. If you’ve suffered any burn injury in a maritime accident, a Longview Maritime Law Attorney can help you rebuild your life.

Maritime Brain Injuries

Head injuries can result in severe brain injuries, which may lead to the victim requiring lifelong support. Many brain injuries are preventable if adequate safety precautions are in place. A Longview Maritime Law Attorney can help you hold those responsible for your brain injuries.

Maritime Amputation Injury

The heavy and dangerous machines used in the maritime industry pose a risk to maritime workers. Due to negligence, these machines can cause injuries that may result in amputation of some body parts. Amputation injuries require surgery and the victim may need medical care throughout their life.

Recovering Compensation for Maritime Accident Injuries

Maritime law provides seamen and other maritime workers injured offshore or while working the right to claim maintenance and cure and compensation for their injuries. Maritime accidents can result in burn injuries, brain injuries, and amputation, which can cause complications that may radically alter the victim’s life.

If you were injured in a maritime accident, you may be able to recover the costs of hospitalization, in-home care, long-term rehabilitation, emotional and financial damage, lost wages, and earning capacity.

A Longview Maritime Law Attorney can help you recover compensation for pain and suffering in addition to medical expenses. Contact us today to discover how we can help you with your maritime law claim.

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