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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 that provide benefits similar to those available to land-based workers under state workers’ compensation laws.

3. State Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Speaking of state workers’ compensation laws, these laws cover commercial diving accidents in certain cases as well. If you don’t qualify for state workers’ compensation benefits because you are an independent contractor rather than an employee, then you may be able to sue your employer for negligence.

4. Other Options

While filing for benefits is one way to recover losses after commercial diving accidents, there are also other options. For example, in many cases, divers will be able to file lawsuits against companies other than their employers. For example, if your diving equipment malfunctioned, or if there was an issue with the vessel, rig or other object on which you were working, a Florida commercial diving accident lawyer may be able to help you file a lawsuit to recover full compensation for your financial and non-financial losses.

In short, there are lots of options when it comes to seeking benefits for commercial diving accidents. To make sure you file the right claim (or claims) and seek the maximum benefits available, you will need to work with an experienced maritime accident lawyer.

Commercial Diving Accidents Can Be Devastating. Talk to a Maritime Accident Lawyer for Free

If you would like to speak with a lawyer about legal rights following commercial diving accidents, we encourage you to contact us promptly. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a maritime accident lawyer as soon as possible, call 800-468-4878 or inquire online now.

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