If you were hurt in a maritime accident, you are likely hoping your employer will both take care of you in your time of need after your dedicated service to their company and hope they allow you to keep your job after the needed medical care is concluded. While some employers may do this, many turn their backs on employees when a serious accident occurs and they need help the most.
If you are a seaman or offshore worker and you are injured on the job, you are likely entitled to a variety of financial and medical benefits. Despite the very established processes that have been in place for decades to ensure offshore workers reporting injuries are safe from retaliation, many injured seamen worry about being “blacklisted” by their employer or within the offshore transportation industry if they bring a legal claim for damages to which they are legally entitled. They are concerned that by taking legal action against an employer, they will be labeled a troublemaker and find themselves unable to obtain future employment in the maritime industry.
Maritime workers cannot receive standard workers’ compensation benefits but often qualify for something similar but unique to the offshore setting called maintenance and cure. Despite the protection afforded by the Jones Act and other federal laws designed to protect those injured while working offshore on a vessel in navigation, many maritime workers fear filing claims for the benefits they are due out of fear of retaliation. Blacklisting or retaliation can mean being demoted, terminated, or suffering due to a newly hostile work environment after rightfully reporting a work-related accident and injury and requesting benefits to which they are entitled.
Retaliation or “Blacklisting” is Illegal
Both the Jones Act and the LHWCA prohibit employers from blacklisting and retaliating against maritime workers who file a claim and/or are approved for benefits under their respective acts. Even though this type of retaliation is illegal, unfortunately, some companies will still take actions that violate these laws. Furthermore, courts have consistently held that blacklisting or blackballing offshore workers is illegal. Beyond that, if a former employer is asked for a reference, they are not legally allowed to discuss whether or not you’ve filed a claim against them for injury damages (or any other reason) as part of this process.
In the event an offshore employer retaliates against a seaman, the maritime accidents lawyers of The Krist Law Firm will gather evidence supporting your claims of retaliation, pursue legal claims against the offending employer that could result in recoverable damages including back pay, future pay, damages for harm to employee reputation, mental anguish, and even punitive damages. Don’t let the fear of being blacklisted prevent you from filing a maritime injury claim. It is your legal right to seek compensation for the damages resulting from an accident that was someone else’s fault.
Types of Maritime Accidents
The maritime environment is a high-risk one and there are inherent dangers. Claims can be made for any number of accidents. While the causes and types of maritime accidents are seemingly unlimited, most are caused by the negligence of at least one but many times more than one party involved. Some of the more common offshore injury accidents we have investigated and/or handled include:
- Crane Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Inclement Weather Conditions
- Fire, Explosion, Electrocution, and Burn Incidents
- Vessel Collisions
- Falling Objects
- Shipyard Accidents
- Cargo Hauling Accidents
- Falls From Heights
- Heavy Machinery or Equipment Accidents
- Falling Overboard
- Enclosed Space Accidents
- Mooring Accidents
- Piracy Attacks
- Chemical Exposure
- Repetitive Stress Injuries
- Lifting Injuries
- Asbestos-Related Issues
- Defective Products
Texas Maritime Lawyers
No matter what type of maritime accident you’ve been involved in, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation that can help pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. This is critical if you are no longer able to work as a result of your injuries. If your accident resulted from your employer’s negligence, you should seek the legal representation of an experienced trial attorney to hold them responsible. Not just any lawyer can adeptly handle an offshore injury case that involves a special and unique subset of both state and federal laws, but The Krist Law Firm can and does successfully resolve these cases on a regular basis.
Houston personal injury and maritime lawyer Scott Krist has been recognized by many of the most distinguished legal organizations for his skills as a trial lawyer and record-setting recoveries, including The Best Lawyers in America ©, Law Dragon 500, The Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Texas, Super Lawyers, and more. He has obtained record-setting and award-winning results for his clients across his entire career, including in cases involving personal injury, maritime accidents, premises liability, and commercial trucking accidents, among other cases.
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