Crane Accidents – Jones Act Attorney
Maritime workers are exposed to hazardous conditions every day. These individuals must use or work around dangerous equipment and tools, including heavy cranes and other machinery, to get the job done. Unfortunately, individuals who work on or around cranes are often involved in serious accidents. Whether the crane is used in an offshore drilling operation or to load machinery and other supplies onto a supply boat, ship or vessel at sea, severe injuries, including death, can result when workers are not properly protected.
Cranes are difficult and dangerous pieces of machinery that require highly skilled operators, proper maintenance and appropriate safety equipment. When a crane is used in a maritime operation, all types of accidents and injuries can occur, including:
- Crush injuries when an individual is pinned
- Loss of limbs
- Personnel basket injuries resulting from loading and off-loading workers
- Wind and high seas accidents
- Crane collapses and falls
- Rigging accidents when a load is not properly secured
- Negligent hookups
A Jones Act or General Maritime Law Attorney Can Help
If you are a maritime worker who has been injured in an accident involving a crane or other type of heavy equipment, you may have the right to recover legal compensation for your injuries. The Jones Act is a federal statute that protects seamen who are injured or become ill in the course of their employment. Under the Jones Act, when a seaman is injured due to the negligent actions of an employer or co-worker, the seaman can file a legal claim against the employer to recover certain damages, including past and future medical care, pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. In a Jones Act negligence suit, the burden of proof is very low – almost any unsafe condition that played a part in your injury, no matter how small, can result in your employer being held legally responsible for your injuries.
In addition to filing a negligence lawsuit, Jones Act seamen are entitled to collect maintenance and cure benefits from their employer when they are injured on the job. Employers are required to pay these benefits to an employee, regardless of who is to blame for the employee’s injury. Maintenance benefits are meant to cover your daily costs of living on land while cure benefits provide compensation to cover the costs associated with the medical care you need to treat your injury or illness.
It is important to understand that even if you are not classified as a “seaman” under the Jones Act, many other laws may provide you with the legal protection you need. For instance, if you are involved in a crane accident on an offshore drilling platform, your accident may fall under the Longshore Harbor & Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA). The LHWCA is a federal worker’s compensation program that provides medical care and income benefits to injured longshore workers, including harbor workers, dock men, ship builders and other categories of maritime employees. Additionally, if your injuries occurred while working on the Outer Continental Shelf, you may be protected under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).
We Will Fight for Your Legal Rights
When a maritime worker is injured in an accident, employers will often fight hard to avoid their legal responsibilities. If you have been hurt in a crane accident or involved in any other type of maritime accident, it is important to have a strong legal team on your side. The Willis Law Firm has decades of experience helping injured employees recover the financial compensation they are legally entitled to receive under the law. You can contact us today by completing our online contact form or by calling 1-800-468-4878.