When you head out for work on an offshore oilfield or to perform any other commercial maritime activity, the last thing you expect is to get injured on the job. The aftermath of work-related accidents can be stressful and painful, and particularly intense for maritime workers. Their line of work is more dangerous than other professionals. Whenever there’s an accident, the injuries are often catastrophic.

The legal process for recovering damages after maritime accidents is considerably more difficult and complex than typical workplace accident claims. The laws surrounding maritime accidents not only involve federal and state laws but also international treaties. If you get involved in an offshore accident, it’s best to consult an experienced maritime lawyer at the law offices of Morrow & Sheppard LLP.

The Dangers of Maritime Occupations

Maritime occupations encompass different jobs, from offshore oil rig workers and refinery workers to seamen and shipbuilders. For many people, drowning is the first thing that comes to mind when marine accidents get mentioned. Although drowning is a major risk when working offshore, it isn’t the only hazard you might face.

Other hazards that offshore workers face include head injuries, broken bones, amputations, and shoulder injuries. Some of these injuries develop over time. For instance, shoulder injuries may result from performing the same strenuous tasks repetitively as part of your job. Such injuries tend to have a severe impact on the victim’s physical and mental health.

When you report to work, you trust that your employer will provide a safe and secure workplace. However, that’s not always the case because some employers are negligent. As such, after an accident, you need compensation and protection.

Why Consult a Maritime Lawyer?

The maritime lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP are specially trained to help you and your loved ones to recover damages if you get injured or die in a maritime accident. They understand how your case needs to be handled, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit, and how to win you fair and timely compensation.

Maritime attorneys are well versed in the state, federal, and international laws. They also understand the specifics of marine insurance, employee compensation (the Jones Act), and marine pollution. When you consult them, they’ll investigate the circumstances that contributed to your injury. Afterward, they’ll begin negotiations with your employer or file a lawsuit on your behalf.

A maritime attorney will represent you or your loved ones if the marine vessel you work on crashes and injures you, or you suffer harm while working offshore. The lawyer will represent you both in court and settlement negotiations.

What is the Jones Act?

When pursuing compensation for maritime injuries, the Jones Act is one of the legal terms you’ll encounter. This law is anchored within the Merchant Marine Act, which governs the maritime industry. The Jones Act applies to maritime workers and stipulates that employees have a legal and financial obligation towards workers injured while working at sea.

The Jones Act allows you to sue your employer to recover damages for the injuries and losses you suffered. You can seek compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of earnings, and more. With a maritime lawyer by your side, it will be easy to evaluate the specifics of your case and determine the laws under which you should seek compensation.

You can sue your employer under the Jones Act after a maritime accident if:

  • You’re employed on an American-owned marine vessel.
  • You spend at least 30% of your working time on a marine vessel.
  • You contribute to the function of the marine vessel.

What to Do After Suffering a Marine Injury

A lot will go through your mind after getting injured in a maritime accident. Regardless of the pain and suffering you’re undergoing, the first thing to do is seek medical treatment. Your employer or insurance company may try to deny liability for the injuries. Seeking immediate treatment puts everything on the record and proves that your injuries resulted from the accident.

If possible, take detailed photographs of the marine vessel, your injuries, the surroundings where you got injured, and any equipment/machinery in the vicinity. If you can’t take the photographs yourself, ask a colleague to do it for you. Even if you don’t plan to file a compensation claim for your injuries, the photos will provide crucial evidence if you change your mind.

After seeking treatment for your injuries, consult a qualified marine injury attorney. Like other personal injury cases, maritime injury cases in most jurisdictions have a statute of limitations. Consulting an attorney early will go a long way in ensuring your lawsuit gets filed before the time limit elapses. Recovering your damages early also allows you to access quality treatment for the injuries you suffered in the marine accident.

What is the Maritime Law Process?

When you consult a maritime lawyer, they will first investigate the circumstances that contributed to your injuries. The maritime attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP have the expertise and resources to investigate the accident and the losses you suffered. They understand the best route to take to pinpoint the at-fault party and help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Maritime companies and their insurance carriers always try to lower the compensation amount owed to injured workers. They know too well that a higher settlement affects their bottom line. For this reason, they’ll try to poke holes in your claim or even delay the compensation.

Seeking Compensation for a Maritime Accident? Contact Us Today

Maritime accident lawsuits are among the most challenging cases to litigate. As a layperson, you may not be able to navigate the complex field of maritime law and receive Jones Act benefits without the help of an aggressive attorney.

At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we’re a team of experienced maritime attorneys who understand maritime and personal injury laws in depth. Over the years, we’ve recovered billions of dollars in compensation for our clients. So, if you or a loved one suffers injuries or losses in a maritime accident, contact us to discuss your case and the available legal options.