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Category: Maritime Law

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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FAQs: How Much Can I Recover Under the OCSLA?

Maritime Law Mar 26, 2021

If you work on an oil rig, platform or other fixed structure offshore, recovering your losses after an on-the-job injury will probably involve filing a claim under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). In this article, offshore accident lawyer David Willis explains what you need to know about your legal rights under the OCSLA. Who is Eligible to File a Claim Under the OCSLA? The OCSLA applies to offshore employees who work on rigs, platforms and other structures affixed to the outer continental shelf. It also applies to many offshore pipeline workers. In most areas around the United States, the outer continental shelf extends from about three to nine nautical miles from the coast to 200 nautical miles offshore. What Types of Benefits are Available Under the OCSLA? The benefits that are available under the OCSLA are similar to those that are available under state workers’ compensation laws. In most cases, injured workers who qualify for benefits under the OCSLA can recover: Medical Benefits – These benefits cover the cost of treating your injury. Disability Benefits – These benefits cover a portion of your lost wages if you are unable to work. Rehabilitation and Retraining Benefits – These benefits cover the cost of getting back to work if your injury prevents you from returning to your old job. Under the OCSLA, death benefits are also available to surviving family members. If you have lost a loved one working on the continental shelf, you will want to hire an offshore […]

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You Need This Information to File a Longshore & Harbor Workers Comp Claim

Maritime Injuries Feb 26, 2021

If you qualify for benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA), you will need to file your claim using the U.S. Department of Labor Form LS-203. You must complete the form to the best of your ability, and omitting any information could lead to your claim being denied. While you can file Form LS-203 on your own, you can also hire a maritime injury lawyer to help you. This is the best option for many workers, as completing the form and securing benefits can often prove to be a challenge. Information Required for Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act Claims Form LS-203 requires 36 different pieces of information, and only two can be omitted. All other sections of the form must be completed in order to successfully file for benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. In addition to basic information such as your name, address and date of birth, the information you must provide when filing a claim for benefits under the LHWCA includes: The date and time of your accident The date and time that you stopped receiving pay The date and time that you returned to work (if applicable) Whether you were injured “while doing regular work” (if not, you must provide an explanation) Your weekly wage at the time of your accident Your total earnings during the year before your injury The number of years you have worked for your current employer Your supervisor’s name The “earliest date” your supervisor or […]

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FAQs: How Much Can I Recover Under (LHWCA) Act?

Maritime Law Feb 19, 2021

If you work in the maritime industry but do not work offshore, recovering compensation after an on-the-job accident may involve filing a claim under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA). Here, maritime accident attorney David Willis answers some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about compensation claims under the LHWCA: Am I Eligible to For Compensation Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act? In order to be eligible for compensation under the LHWCA, you must qualify as a longshore or harbor “employee.” Those who are covered under the LHWCA include: Longshoremen Harbor workers Shipbuilders and repairmen Shipbreakers Other employees involved in longshoring operations In order to qualify for LHWCA benefits, you must also have suffered a job-related injury. However, since the LHWCA provides “no-fault” benefits, you do not need to prove that your employer is to blame for your injury in order to file a claim. What Costs Does the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act Cover? The LHWCA covers injured employees’ medical needs and a portion of their lost income. Specifically, if you have a claim under the statute, you are entitled to: (i) full coverage for all necessary medical care related to your on-the-job injury, and (ii) income benefits calculated as two-thirds of your weekly wage. How Much Compensation Can I Receive Under the LHWCA? The specific amount of compensation you can receive under the LHWCA depends on your medical needs and your current wage. It also depends on how long your injury prevents you from working. […]

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How COVID-19 Can Affect Maritime Workers

Maritime Injuries Nov 9, 2020

The maritime industry is very large, including over a million maritime workers across the world.  Because seamen work aboard vessels in confined spaces and close quarters to each other, such conditions are favorable for the spread of airborne diseases like COVID-19.  It is easy for germs to spread aboard vessels, especially those not kept in the highest sanitary conditions during a global pandemic. Unfortunately, maritime workers worldwide are struggling to stay safe due to the rampant spread of the highly contagious COVID-19.  If you or a loved one became seriously ill from working aboard a vessel, suffered damages, and don’t know where to turn, contact an experienced maritime injury lawyer at Willis Law Firm.  Our attorneys put clients first and are dedicated to protecting injured or ill workers from hazardous and unsanitary work conditions.  Extended Contract Periods Cause Maritime Workers to Become Fatigued, Sustaining Serious Injuries In addition to the challenges of staying safe from COVID-19 while working, some maritime workers are being forced to remain on ships past their contract period. This causes workers to become tired and mentally exhausted, making them no longer fit to safely perform their maritime work duties. Tired crew members and overextended work trips can, unfortunately, lead to serious accidents and injuries, such as: Slip and falls from oily deck surfaces,  Falling off defective ladders, Injuries from lifting heavy cables and lines,  Fractured and broken bones,  Drowning from falling overboard,  Amputated limbs, Burns from fires and explosions onboard, Exposures to toxic chemicals, and  Death. […]

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Vessel Sinks off Coast of Japan After Typhoon Maysak Injuring Maritime Workers

Maritime Injuries Nov 6, 2020

Maritime Workers Are Hurt Every Year Yearly, thousands of maritime workers are injured while working aboard a vessel in the navigable waters. Sometimes accidents occur for various reasons such as operator errors, safety hazards onboard, mechanical issues, improperly trained maritime workers, fires and explosions onboard, and failure to maintain safety standards, among other issues.  However, some workers are injured or even killed because of severe weather conditions that hit the open seas while workers are traveling to and from their destinations, as was the case with a livestock ship that sank off Japan’s coast earlier this year. If you or a loved one were injured while working aboard a vessel, the experienced maritime accident lawyers at Willis Law Firm are standing by to help you with your case.   Maritime Workers Killed When Gulf Livestock 1 Sank In early September 2020, Typhoon Masak hit Japan’s coast, causing very rough seas and dangerous weather conditions.  Only days later, a ship known as Gulf Livestock 1 carrying approximately 6,000 head of cattle and 43 maritime workers sank. The livestock ship departed from New Zealand and was headed to China with cattle. On September 2, only days after the typhoon hit, a distress call was received from the ship just off Japan’s coast. Unfortunately, only a few survivors were rescued by the Japanese coast guard from the distressed ship.  One survivor told officials that the ship had lost an engine and then capsized after a wave hit the ship.   It is essential for shipowners […]

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Are Maritime Workers at Risk of Contracting Infectious Diseases?

Maritime Injuries Nov 2, 2020

Maritime workers are injured each year due to various issues such as unseaworthy vessels, oily decks, fire hazards, and dangerous weather conditions, among other reasons.  One risk that maritime workers are exposed to that is not discussed quite as frequently involves workers contracting communicable (or infectious) diseases, such as COVID-19, while working aboard a vessel.  If you or a loved one became seriously ill after contracting an infectious disease while working aboard a vessel, the experienced maritime attorneys at Willis Law Firm can help you or your loved one obtain compensation for your work-related illness.  Our firm is dedicated to protecting injured maritime workers.  Unmasking Communicable Diseases Aboard Vessels Unfortunately, seamen work in conditions favorable for the spread of infectious diseases, including but not limited to COVID-19, Influenza, Norovirus, Hepatitis A, and Legionnaires’ Disease, among other contagious diseases.  Seamen work aboard vessels in confined spaces where workers commonly share close quarters.  Sometimes working conditions aboard vessels are unsanitary, which causes germs to spread rampantly.   Shipowners and operators must ensure that the vessels that seamen are working on are safe, clean, and healthy. Accordingly, owners/operators must follow safety guidelines and regulations and communicate policies and procedures for maintaining a safe work environment to the crew working aboard a vessel, including those related to preventing the spread of infectious diseases (like COVID-19).  Although no one can totally control the spread of a disease, they can take several precautions to prevent its spread aboard a vessel, such as the following: Provide proper disinfectant […]

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The Laws That Protect Offshore and Maritime Workers

Maritime Law Jun 9, 2017

As someone who works offshore or in the maritime industry, there are laws that protect you when you get injured at work. But, knowing which laws apply – and how to use them to maximize your financial recovery – can be a challenge. The following is a brief overview of the laws that provide for compensation when offshore and maritime workers get hurt or injured on the job: 1. The Jones Act Who It Covers: The Jones Act applies to offshore workers who qualify as “seamen.” This includes workers onboard tankers, freighters, tugboats, barges, fishing boats, supply boats, crew boats, jackup rigs, and other vessels. It also includes crewmembers on floating oil rigs and jack-up drilling rigs. Compensation Available: Under the Jones Act, injured seamen can potentially file two different claims for compensation: (i) a claim for no-fault “maintenance and cure” benefits, and (ii) a claim for full financial compensation based the negligence of the employer or others. 2. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Who It Covers: The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) applies to offshore workers who do not qualify as “seamen” under the Jones Act. This includes workers on fixed oil platforms and oil rigs, as well as certain longshoremen, harbor workers, dock men and other maritime employees. Compensation Available: Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, injured workers are entitled to certain benefits regardless of who is to blame for their injuries. These include benefits for disability (lost income), medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses and retraining […]

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