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Common Types of Maritime Collisions

Offshore Injuries Oct 1, 2021

While it might seem like maritime collisions should never happen, these accidents are alarmingly common. In fact, our maritime collision lawyers routinely hear from seamen and other maritime workers who need to seek compensation for accidents involving: Allisions An allision involves a collision between a vessel and a stationary object. Collisions with bridges, seawalls, jetties, navigation markers, docks, and other objects can cause both serious damage and serious injuries. Allisions can also involve collisions with reefs, rocks and land caused by high seas. Bow-On Collisions A bow-on collision involves two vessels colliding bow-to-bow or head-to-head. These accidents frequently occur when captains are distracted, though rudder failures and other mechanical issues can also cause captains to lose control and strike another vessel’s bow. Side-Impact Collisions Side-impact collisions occur under a wide range of scenarios. They can occur while one vessel is docked or moored (which is also a type of allision) or while both vessels are in navigation. Side impacts while large ships are attempting to dock at ports, marinas and offshore platforms can cause injuries as well. Stern Collisions A stern collision occurs when one vessel rear-ends another. Similar to the other types of accidents discussed above, these collisions can result from various factors, and they can result in injuries to crew members and passengers onboard both vessels. How is Fault Determined in a Maritime Collision? Determining fault in a maritime collision requires an in-depth investigation of the circumstances involved. This investigation can take hours, weeks or months. When you […]

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Hot Work Accidents in the Maritime Industry

Maritime Injuries Sep 21, 2021

If you do hot work in the maritime industry, you face risks on a daily basis. Welding, brazing, burning, cutting and other forms of hot work can result in various types of injuries, and these injuries often have long-term or permanent consequences. Were you injured in a hot work accident? If so, you should consult with a lawyer promptly. While you may be entitled to financial compensation under the Jones Act (or another maritime injury law), you will need an experienced lawyer to help you recover the compensation you deserve. When Can You Seek Financial Compensation for a Maritime Hot Work Accident? Under the Jones Act and other laws, maritime workers can seek benefits when they get injured on the job. Proof of fault is not required. As a result, if you have been injured in any type of hot work accident, you should schedule a free consultation right away. Your lawyer can help you report the accident, get appropriate medical care, and fight to make sure you receive the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Our firm handles cases involving all types of hot work accidents, including: Burns Fires Explosions Exposure to toxic fumes or vapors While proof of fault is not required to pursue a claim in most cases, you may be entitled to additional compensation if your employer is responsible for your injuries. For example, while maintenance and cure benefits under the Jones Act are limited, pursuing a claim for Jones Act negligence allows seamen to fully […]

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Maritime Safety for Veterans

Maritime Injuries Aug 10, 2021

Many U.S. military veterans transition into the commercial maritime industry following their retirement from service. There are many careers in the commercial maritime industry that are well-suited to military veterans’ training and skills, and veterans often spend long careers as “merchant mariners” in both inshore and offshore waters.

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Why Docks are Dangerous for Maritime Workers

Maritime Injuries Jul 1, 2021

Seaman and Other Maritime Workers Need to be Mindful of the Potential Hazards of Working on a Dock Working on a dock can be dangerous. Docks present various risks, and workers can – and do – suffer various types of injuries. While dock owners and employers should take steps to mitigate these risks, many fail to do so, and these failures often have severe consequences.

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5 Important Facts about Maintenance and Cure Benefits

Maintenance and Cure Jun 30, 2021

If you qualify as a “seaman” under the Jones Act, you are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits when you get injured on the job. Unfortunately, there is a lot of important information your employer won’t tell you, and many companies try to get away with paying far less than their employees deserve. How much are you entitled to receive for maintenance and cure? How long are you entitled to receive these benefits? What if your employer refuses to pay the full amount you are owed? These are all answers you need to know. With this in mind, here are five important facts about maintenance and cure benefits for injured seamen: 1. Your Maintenance Benefits Should Cover Your Living Expenses The maintenance benefits you receive under the Jones Act should cover your living expenses. While many companies offer their employees a fixed rate (usually between $15 and $30 per day), you are entitled to submit documentation showing that you need more in order to buy gas and groceries and keep paying your bills on time. 2. There is Not a “Maximum Amount” Your Employer Can Pay Some companies will falsely claim that they cannot pay more than a predetermined “maximum amount” for maintenance and cure. This is not the case. Your employer can – and must – pay full maintenance and cure benefits until you get better or reach your maximum medical improvement (MMI). 3. You Don’t Have to Accept Your Company Doctor’s Decision Regarding MMI When you see a […]

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5 Important Facts for Offshore Workers Who Live in Florida

Maritime Injuries May 28, 2021

Many Florida residents work offshore. If you are among them, it is important to make sure you have a clear understanding of your legal rights—especially when you get injured on the job. Here are five important facts for offshore workers from Florida maritime injury lawyer David P. Willis: Fact #1: Most Offshore Workers are Entitled to “No-Fault” Benefits When They Get Injured on the Job There are two primary laws that protect offshore workers: (i) the Jones Act and (ii) the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). Both of these laws entitle offshore workers to “no-fault” benefits when they get injured on the job. The right to “no-fault” benefits means that you can file a claim regardless of how you got injured. Whether your employer is responsible, a coworker made a mistake or you accidentally caused your own injury, you should talk to a Florida maritime injury lawyer about filing a claim under the Jones Act or the OCSLA. Fact #2: Many Offshore Workers Can Seek Additional Compensation for Fault In addition to “no-fault” benefits, many offshore workers can seek fault-based compensation as well. The Jones Act allows offshore workers to sue their employers for even “slight” negligence, and offshore workers will often have fault-based claims against other companies as well. For example, if you got injured on a rig, platform or vessel, the owner of the rig, platform or vessel may be liable. Or, if you got injured by a defective tool or piece of equipment, the manufacturer may […]

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What are Your Legal Rights After a Shrimp Boat Accident in Georgia?

Maritime Injuries May 21, 2021

It’s shrimp season in Georgia, and this means that shrimp boats are once again hitting the water. Unfortunately, this also means that many individuals who work on shrimp boats will soon suffer injuries on the job. While shrimp boat owners and operators should protect their workers, many of them cut corners, and many workers end up needing to hire a Georgia maritime accident lawyer to help them recover just compensation. Here are your legal rights when you get injured in a shrimp boat accident in Georgia: Right to Jones Act “Maintenance and Cure” Benefits The Jones Act is a federal law that protects offshore workers, including Georgia residents who work on shrimp boats. Under the Jones Act, shrimp boat workers can collect “maintenance and cure” benefits when they suffer job-related injuries. These benefits are available on a no-fault basis, which means that you can collect them no matter how you got injured on the job. Right to Sue for “Jones Act Negligence” Shrimp boat workers also have the right to sue their employers for “Jones Act negligence.” This is important because “maintenance and cure” benefits do not cover all of the costs associated with job-related injuries. If your employer is responsible for your injury (for example, if it failed to follow any necessary safety precautions), then a Georgia maritime accident lawyer can help you file a claim for full compensation. Right to Sue for Unseaworthiness If you got injured because your shrimp boat was unsafe, you may also be able […]

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How Do You Claim Benefits for a Commercial Diving Accident?

Maritime Law May 14, 2021

Working as a commercial diver can be a dangerous job. Even if you know what you are doing and you do everything you can to keep yourself safe, you can still suffer job-related injuries and illnesses due to factors that are beyond your control. If you have gotten injured or sick while working, you will want to speak with a Florida commercial diving accident lawyer about your legal rights. You may have various claims for benefits, and an experienced lawyer can help you collect the benefits you deserve. Types of Benefits Available to Commercial Divers As a commercial diver, your legal rights depend on several different factors. However, two of the most important factors are: (i) where you were working when you got sick or injured, and (ii) your relationship with your employer (i.e. whether you are an employee or an independent contractor). 1. Jones Act Benefits Some commercial divers are eligible for benefits under the Jones Act. The Jones Act applies to employees who qualify as “seamen,” and it allows eligible divers to file two different types of claims. Commercial divers who qualify as seamen can seek “no-fault” maintenance and cure benefits, and they can also sue their employers for Jones Act negligence. 2. LHWCA and OCSLA Benefits If you don’t qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act, then you may be eligible for benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). These are federal workers’ compensation statutes […]

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Maritime Injury Claims in Mississippi: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Maritime Injuries Apr 30, 2021

If you work offshore, as a shipbuilder or in any other maritime occupation, you need to be careful if you’ve been injured on the job. It is easy to make mistakes, and making mistakes could leave you without the compensation you deserve. To protect yourself, you need to rely on the advice of an experienced Mississippi maritime injury attorney, and you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Mistakes to Avoid When Seeking Compensation for a Maritime Injury in Mississippi At Willis Law Firm, our practice is devoted to helping maritime workers collect maximum benefits for their job-related injuries. Here are five costly mistakes our Mississippi maritime injury attorneys can help you avoid: 1. Waiting to Report Your Injury at Work In order to seek benefits, you need to report your injury at work as soon as possible. You need to make sure you do this correctly in order to protect your legal rights. If you leave out important information, or if you accidentally report information that isn’t accurate, this could lead to a denial of benefits. We can report your injury for you, and we can conduct a thorough investigation to make sure we have all of the information we need to help you collect payment. 2. Waiting to Seek Medical Treatment After getting injured on the job, it is also important that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible. In some cases, this will mean seeing a ship doctor or other “company doctor.” However, maritime laws […]

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Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Offshore Workers in Texas?

Jones Act Apr 23, 2021

Under Texas law, most employers are required to provide workers compensation coverage for most employees. Unfortunately, this does not apply to employees who work offshore. But, there are federal laws that protect offshore workers; and, if you’ve been injured on the job, a Texas offshore accident lawyer can help you seek benefits for your injury. How Do I Seek Benefits if I Am Not Eligible for Workers Compensation? In most cases, workers who get injured offshore can seek benefits under the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a federal law that Congress enacted in order to provide benefits to workers who do not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits because they work on the open water. What Benefits are Available Under the Jones Act? The Jones Act provides “maintenance and cure” benefits to all eligible offshore workers. These are similar to workers’ compensation benefits in that they are designed to help cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost income. However, maintenance and cure benefits are typically much less than the benefits available through workers’ compensation. For this reason, the Jones Act affords additional options to injured workers. Under the Jones Act, offshore workers can also file claims for: Jones Act Negligence – If your employer is to blame for your injury (i.e. if it failed to provide adequate safety equipment or paired you with untrained crew members), a Texas offshore accident lawyer may be able to help you file a claim for Jones Act negligence. Unseaworthiness – If […]

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