Although our country’s oceans, lakes, and rivers offer ease of transportation, trade, shipping, and recreation, they can also pose a danger to property and individuals alike.
Individuals injured on a cruise ship, riverboat, or recreational vessel can sue the owner or the ship operator for negligence or any other violation that led to injuries. Additionally, legislation like the Jones Act protects maritime industry workers and allows sailors and other employees of vessels to seek compensation for their workplace injuries. Have you or someone you love been injured as an employee or passenger of a boat?
The Columbus boating and maritime lawyers at Morgan & Morgan are skilled in litigating personal injury, workplace injury through the Jones Act, and other claims that took place on the water or on the surrounding docks and loaders.
Fill out our free case evaluation form to receive a consultation from a knowledgeable boating and maritime attorney.
Types of Boating and Maritime Accidents
Boating and maritime accidents can occur from a variety of different factors, including:
- Alcohol and drug use;
- Improper training;
- Operator error;
- Operating impaired vessels;
- Safety equipment violations;
- Failure to instruct or supervise;
- Speeding; and
- Operating in rough seas.
What Is the Jones Act?
Created specifically for maritime workers, the Jones Act creates its own version of workers’ compensation for offshore workers.
It provides workers the right to recover compensation—maintenance and cure—immediately following an injury, regardless of fault. Under the Jones Act, employers are required to compensate their injured workers for medical care related to the injury and provide a daily stipend during recovery.
Relief and benefits under the Jones Act are available to any seamen who spend at least 30 percent of their time aboard a Merchant Marine vessel. The Jones Act also creates the right for an injured offshore worker to pursue additional compensation through a negligence claim against their employer.
Workers are entitled to a safe working environment on a seaworthy vessel. If these requirements are neglected or disregarded and an injury results, the injured party may be able to bring a lawsuit against their employer and/or the vessel’s owner. If a third party contributed to the injury, the injured party may not be able to file a claim under the Jones Act; however, victims may be able to sue a third party responsible for their injuries.
An experienced Columbus maritime attorney will be able to help determine which claims you are eligible to file, against whom these claims can be filed, and the amount and type of compensation you may be owed.
What Will a Columbus Attorney Do to Help?
Whether you were injured on the job or during a recreational boating outing on local waters, your attorney will conduct an in-depth investigation into the accident for evidence of another’s negligence.
Once your attorney completes the investigation, he or she will create a claim that best supports your pursuit of compensation. Your attorney will use this claim as leverage in negotiations, as a foundation in filing a formal lawsuit, and at trial as evidence in support of your case.
Maritime and boat accident lawsuits can be complicated and must be handled properly; retaining an experienced Columbus attorney as soon as possible after the accident can help simplify the process of pursuing and successfully collecting compensation for your losses.
What Is My Columbus Maritime Claim Worth?
Each boating accident or maritime injury case is different. The type and amount of damages you may receive will depend on:
- The nature, location, and cause of the accident;
- The type of boat(s) or vessel(s) involved;
- The severity of the injury sustained; and
- Whether you contributed to the accident.
If your case is successful, compensation may be available for medical bills and expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of intimacy, pain and suffering, or funeral costs in the case of a fatal accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an offshore boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. In order to contact our Columbus boating and maritime lawyers to learn more about your available options and how we may be able to help, please fill out our free case evaluation form today.