Alton Priddy is an experienced maritime attorney who can help you determine whether you have the right to sue a negligent third party for damages and advises clients whether a maritime lawsuit represents a more complete recovery for them than a negligence claim under state law.
You do not neccesarily have to be right next to the water to recover negligence damages under maritime law. If you drive a forklift and are injured a quarter mile inland while stacking cargo and the accident was caused by poorly secured loads or repacking at sea, you possibly have a claim against the owner of the vessel.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provides employment-injury and occupational-disease protection to workers who are injured or contract occupational diseases occurring on or near the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas, and for certain other classes of workers covered by extensions of this Act.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provides medical benefits, compensation for lost wages and rehabilitation services to longshoremen, harbor workers and other maritime workers who are injured during the course of employment or suffer from diseases caused or worsened by conditions of employment.
These benefits are paid directly by an authorized self-insured employer; or through an authorized insurance carrier; or, in particular circumstances, by a Special Fund administered directly by the Division of Longshore Compensation.
The Jones Act was written to help injured seamen. Additionally, the Jones Act ensures that the U.S. keeps and maintains a fleet of ships staffed by U.S. crews and owned by U.S. companies.
Prior to the passing of the Jones Act in 1920 there were no written laws (statues) by Congress to ensure that injured U.S. seamen would be provided for if they were injured. For many years, injured seamen relied upon Maritime Law for their recovery. Maritime law or admiralty law is a mixture of common law, traditions and practices adopted by ancient seafaring nations, and incorporated into the American legal system over time.
The Jones Act provides for two types of remedies for seamen. First, the employer is bound by law to compensate an injured seaman for:
- Maintenance and Cure
Transportation and Wages are paid until the voyage is complete. Maintenance and Cure are paid until the seaman has reached his or her maximum medical cure.
If the injury was caused in any way by negligence on behalf of the employer, the injured seaman may also be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
The Jones Act is extremely complex. Few attorneys are familiar enough with the issues and benefits of the Jones Act to effectively represent injured seamen.
Jones Act judgments are typically for much higher amounts than other traditional injury actions, so the selection of a competent attorney is essential for an injured seaman.