When Should I Contact a Maritime Injury Lawyer
As opposed to American workers who ply their trades on American soil, sea-based employees do not receive workers’ compensation benefits granted by state or federal law. Because of the lack of seamen protections against employer negligence that leads to injuries and illnesses, the United States Congress has enacted several laws that grant maritime workers protections that include compensatory damages, as well as medical care and vocational rehabilitation services.
Also referred to as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones maritime injury law includes language that dictates when you need to contact an attorney who practices naval injury law,
Statutes of Limitations
The Jones Act establishes a three-year statute of limitations from the date of an incident to file a lawsuit. Only professionals who work at least 30% of the time onboard a United States ship that travels through navigable waters qualify for compensation. The legislation mandates that anyone eligible for protection must contribute to the operation of an American shipping vessel.
Congress passed the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) to include a statute of limitations provision of one year. The difference in the timing for a lawsuit filed under each piece of legislation concerns the different legal language of each law. The LHWCA contains more legal privileges, such as the reception of medical care and availability of vocational rehabilitation services.
Contact an Attorney Right Away
Seamen who experience an injury or contract an illness aboard a United States ship must contact an attorney as quickly as possible after experiencing a nautical-related health issue. Your employer might promise insurance relief to help you address the financial burden of medical care costs. You can expect your company to use investigators to obtain information about the accident or occupational conditions that caused a sickness. However, the same investigators might implement unscrupulous tactics in an attempt to force you into making a blatant mistake, which often involves sharing blame for employer negligence.
Contact an attorney right away after you are hurt on the job to ensure the timely and professional handling of your nautical injury case.
Naval workers who suffer from injuries or illnesses caused by company negligence benefit from several legal rights that some maritime companies attempt to violate. You have no legal obligation to provide a statement of events to your employer. Professionals who work at sea have the right to seek medical care, as well as seek a second medical opinion to verify a diagnosis. Your employer cannot choose the rehabilitation nurse who works with you during health care provider visits and examinations. Never sign a medical release that permits your medical care provider to share health care information with your employer.
Above all, remember that your company cannot terminate you after you consult with a maritime injury attorney.
Do Not Hesitate to Contact a Lawyer
Longshoremen and harbor workers who endure serious injuries or suffer from work-related illnesses must contact an attorney who practices nautical injury law. Many companies that engage in naval commerce try to silence injured workers by threatening to fire or cut pay.
If you have experienced an injury caused by a marine accident or have contracted a debilitating illness from exposure to unhealthy working conditions, you should contact a licensed maritime injury attorney to schedule an initial consultation. Your attorney will review medical records, as well as interview witnesses who collaborate your version of events. It is essential that you have witnesses to the accident or unhealthy working conditions to file a legally compelling lawsuit.