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What Are My Rights if I Live in Virginia and Was Injured in a Maritime Accident?

Maritime Injuries Jan 29, 2021

Working in the maritime industry is dangerous. In fact, it is one of the most dangerous occupations in the country. Each year, numerous maritime workers in Virginia suffer serious on-the-job injuries, and many can never recover fully. Here, maritime accident attorney David P. Willis explains your legal rights if you have been seriously injured in a maritime accident in Virginia:

Statutory Rights Under Federal Law

Due to the unique nature – and unique risks – of the maritime industry, Congress has enacted several statutes that provide specific protections to maritime workers. Depending upon your particular occupation and where you perform your day-to-day job duties, you may be entitled to compensation for your job-related injury under:

  • The Jones Act – The Jones Act protects Virginia maritime workers who are classified as “seamen.” This includes captains, crewmembers, and others who work onboard vessels in navigation. Notably, a vessel does not have to be moving to be considered “in navigation.” If the vessel is in the water and capable of moving in navigable waters, then workers on board are entitled to “no-fault” maintenance and cure benefits under the Jones Act.
  • The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) – The LHWCA protects maritime employees who work at ports and terminals, as well as those who work on docks and offshore drilling platforms. Longshoremen, harbor workers, shipbuilders, and others who are entitled to the LHWCA’s protections in Virginia can receive “no-fault” compensation if they get injured on the job.
  • The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) – The OCSLA protects Virginia-based maritime employees who work on platforms, rigs, and other fixed structures on the outer continental shelf. The OCSLA provides access to disability benefits, medical benefits, and rehabilitation benefits on a “no-fault” basis.

The Right to Sue Your Employer

In addition to “no-fault” statutory benefits, maritime workers will be able to sue their employers for additional compensation in many cases. If your employer’s or a co-worker’s negligence caused or contributed to your on-the-job injury, an experienced maritime accident attorney may be able to file suit to seek full coverage for your medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other losses.

The Right to Sue Any Other Company That is Liable for Your Injuries

When you work in the maritime setting, there is a lot that can go wrong. From issues with the ship to issues with the safety equipment and tools you are provided, all types of problems can lead to severe and debilitating injuries. If a company other than your employer is to blame for what happened, an experienced maritime accident attorney can help you pursue a claim against that company as well.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Maritime Accident Attorney David P. Willis

Were you injured on the job in Virginia? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free consultation. To speak with maritime accident attorney David P. Willis in confidence, call 800-468-4878 or request an appointment online now.

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