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Accidents are sea are not uncommon; thousands of seamen, fisherman, drillers and other workers who make a living off the coastal waters of the Pacific are injured each year. Jobs on oil rigs, gas rigs, cruise ships, fishing boats and other vessels are nothing if not dangerous. Things can turn ugly quickly when you’re miles out in the ocean, often working in extreme conditions and without a lot of supervision or oversight. Maritime accidents fall under special rules laid out by the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act and the Jones Act. Workers can qualify for benefits that are similar to standard worker’s compensation to help them recoup their losses in the aftermath of a maritime accident.

If you have been injured at sea during the course of work, you have legal rights that are best explained by a maritime lawyer who is well-versed in this niche of the law. Contact Russell and Hill right away following your maritime injury to find out what legal remedies apply in your case and how you can file a timely claim.

Liability in Maritime Accident Claims

Filing a liability claim after a maritime accident is different than filing a regular personal injury claim. This is because vessel owners can file a Limitation of Liability lawsuit in accordance with the Limitation of Liability Act. The Limitation of Liability Act permits vessel owners to restrict or limit liability owed to the maritime worker who has been injured to the value of the vessel they were injured on. This act dates all the way back to 1851. It was originally enacted to protect American shipowners from lawsuits that, in its day, greatly exceeded the value of the personal injury cases’ value. Even though times have changed, and with it technology and our ability to determine what happened, when and why it happened, and who is responsible, the Limitation Act still stands. As such, it is vital that you seek the assistance of an attorney who understands the Limitation of Liability Act and can help you attain a just and fair compensation.

Maintenance and Cure Defined

Most people who become sick or injured while working on drilling rigs, vessels, tugboats, and other brown water workplaces often qualify for two types of benefits under maritime law: “Maintenance” and “Cure.”

  • Maintenance: Maintenance benefits are a form of income supplement that give you money to help with everyday living expenses while you are incapable of working. In order to receive maintenance payments, you must prove that you have day-to-day costs that are not covered by other methods while you are recuperating from your injuries or illness.
  • Cure: Cure benefits any legitimate medical expenses connected to your illness or accident. This includes any necessary surgeries or follow-up treatments in addition to immediate emergency care you receive right after the accident.

Consulting With a Maritime Accident Attorney

Your first step following an accident at sea is to consult with a legal professional about your case. Our Bremerton maritime accident attorney can review your case and help identify any potential liable parties to which your claim should be directed. We have a history of helping accident victims receive the compensation due to them and provide knowledgeable and compassion representation for our clients. Contact us now to schedule a no-obligation, no-cost case review and evaluation.

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