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Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen on the waters of Kentucky, and it may be important to retain the services of experienced Owensboro, KY maritime lawyers should you find yourself in such a situation. Many people do not realize that maritime law is somewhat different from traditional personal injury law, and it can be beneficial to retain the services of experienced and qualified attorneys who have handled these complex issues before. It can be very difficult to proceed on your own without clarity over how best to support your interests. Many people do not recognize some of the complexities associated with maritime law and are not prepared to proceed forward on their own. Maritime law is notoriously complex and often requires attorneys who have practiced in this specific area of the law for some time. Maritime lawyers are familiar with local, state, and federal laws that impact the rights of those who are injured in maritime work.
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What if I Get Injured on the Job as a Maritime Worker?
Most workers are protected under workers’ comp laws in their own states, but there are special rules that apply to people who work on navigable waters. There are many different ways that these employees can get injured on the open water, which is why there are also laws that protect seamen and other maritime workers. If you believe that you have suffered an injury on the job that is covered by relevant laws, you need to consult with an experienced and dedicated lawyer.
The Risks of Maritime Work
Working on the open water is strenuous, dangerous, and demanding. This means that when maritime injuries occur, a qualified attorney needs to be retained to take on these complex cases with your best interests in mind.
Maritime law regulates navigation, commerce, shipping, piracy, towage, and recreational boating on both domestic and international waters. It covers natural and manmade navigable waters, such as canals and rivers, as well as contracts connected to maritime activities, such as shipping, insurance, contracts, and maritime liens. Furthermore, those people who work on the water may be protected by maritime worker laws and these laws can also help to provide financial compensation for illnesses and injuries associated with working on the water. This unique area of law is not something that is handled by every Owensboro, KY personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney who has experience in maritime law, like those working at Morgan & Morgan, is strongly recommended to be brought into your case so that you can understand the full range of legal issues involved.
One of the most complicated aspects of maritime lawsuits in Owensboro has to do with jurisdiction for admiralty and maritime issues. Maritime jurisdiction has expanded to any waters navigable within the United States for interstate or foreign commerce. This means that the jurisdiction issues incorporate a broad array of admiralty issues, including those that are not specifically related to commerce between states, like recreational boating. For example, the Ohio River is used extensively throughout Ohio and Kentucky, and dock workers and boat crews can face significant injuries from a range of different kinds of accidents. These can include problems associated with unsecured cargo, defective fuel lines, overboard accidents, slipping on wet stairs and catwalks, falling on unsecured ladders, combustible materials on deck, unsecured swinging cables, and tank leaks. Any incidents that occur on navigable waters throughout Owensboro, KY are subject to maritime and admiralty jurisdiction.
Who Is Liable in These Situations?
Multiple entities could be held legally accountable in a lawsuit associated with a maritime accident. Employers and vessel owners are not the only people that may be named as liable in these circumstances. This is why it is so important to retain Owensboro, KY maritime lawyers to investigate the full depth of your claim and to provide you with further information about what to expect. Under general maritime law, an evaluation of the accident may determine that you are also eligible to pursue damages from a third party who is at fault for your losses. The right Owensboro, KY maritime lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident as soon as possible after it happens to assist you with filing a negligent claim against third parties, such as product or equipment manufacturers, suppliers or equipment distributors, repair companies and maintenance companies or other contractors on an offshore platform or aboard a ship.
What Do I Need to Know About the Jones Act?
This piece of legislation was passed in 1920 and designed to support workers participating in maritime labor. This is available to those employees who spend at least 30% of their time in active service on water vessels, such as riverboat casinos, tugboats, crew boats, barges, and other types of watercraft.
Anyone who contributes to the operation of a vessel may also be covered under the Jones Act, such as maintenance personnel, dock workers, and cargo loaders. Certain maritime workers, however, do not qualify to receive the benefits provided by the Jones Act and may need experienced Owensboro, KY maritime lawyers to assist them with the recovery of benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act.
The Jones Act provides maritime workers with compensation for lost wages during a recovery period and injury-related rehab and medical expenses. In some cases, the Jones Act may also extend to benefits for providing compensation for vocational training in situations in which a worker has sustained a catastrophic injury that prevents them from returning to their previous role. Injured seamen have the right to sue their employers for negligence within three years from the date of the injury under the Jones Act, but there are limitations to this role. A shorter amount of time to file your claim, for example, may apply if you are assigned to a vessel that is operated, owned, or contracted by the United States government.
Negligence and defective equipment are some of the most common causes of preventable accidents on these barges. It is vital to retain the services of someone who is familiar with many of the complex issues involved in maritime cases. This is the best way to protect your right to file for compensation and to argue for maximum compensation under the law. You need to identify an attorney who has successfully navigated these situations before to assist you with the best ways to move forward.
Do I Need to Tell My Employer About a Ship Accident Right Away?
If your injury happened at work and because of work circumstances, you need to submit this information to your employer as soon as possible. Complete a full accident report so that there is a clear record of what happened. If you're accused of not completing an accident report or letting them know, it can be much harder to seek out your benefits for the accident. Getting things documented while they are still fresh in your mind is valuable, too.
If you're able to, get a copy of the workplace accident report so that you can share it with your maritime injuries lawyer.
What About Cruise Ship Passenger Injuries?
Many maritime injuries impact people who are not in the business of working on or around vessels, especially if an accident happens on a boat or when boarding/getting off the boat. In these situations, you might have a personal injury claim, but you need to discuss the details of your case with a maritime injuries lawyer. Different issues might apply based on the kind of vessel and where it was located at the time of the accident. In any case, if you were injured because of someone else's negligent behavior, this information must be shared with a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible.
You may be able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation if you can show that the cruise ship staff should have known about a hazard and failed to correct it or to notify guests about the issue. It can be very frustrating to experience a slip and fall or other personal injury incidents on your vacation, but it's critical that you protect your legal rights in this scenario.
Our lawyers know how to gather all the necessary information, determine the jurisdiction in which you need to file suit and help you to move forward with your best chance of physical and financial recovery.
Do not hesitate to identify an experienced lawyer to help you immediately as the gathering of evidence can be instrumental in making your case. The knowledgeable Owensboro, KY maritime lawyers at Morgan & Morgan have a strong track record of successfully navigating these cases to resolve them outside of court or in trial. There is a lot at stake when you move forward with a lawsuit like this, and it is vital that you have a dedicated and experienced lawyer who can guide you through this process with ease. Do not hesitate to contact our office today to get your free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started.