Your Rights if Exposed to Toxic Chemicals or Fumes in a Maritime Accident

Maritime Injuries Jan 29, 2021

Many workers in the maritime industry are exposed to toxic chemicals and fumes daily. This exposure can cause serious harm, and several types of illnesses and diseases are linked to toxic exposure in maritime occupations. If you are experiencing toxic exposure symptoms, you should see a doctor promptly, and you should also consult with a maritime injury lawyer about your legal rights.

Examples of Illnesses and Diseases Linked to Maritime Toxic Exposure

How do you know if your symptoms are related to toxic exposure at work? In most cases, maritime employees are only exposed to noxious chemicals and fumes in the workplace. As a result, upon being diagnosed with an exposure-related illness or disease, it is often relatively easy to link the diagnosis back to an employee’s work environment. This is true of illnesses and diseases such as:

  • Aplastic anemia
  • Blood and bone marrow cancers
  • Bronchitis
  • Kidney and bladder cancers
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
  • Scleroderma
  • Silicosis
  • Tuberculosis

What Are Your Rights if You Were Exposed to Toxic Chemicals or Fumes at Work?

If you work in a maritime or offshore occupation and you are suffering due to toxic exposure, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. The Jones Act, Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) all provide compensation to maritime and offshore workers who suffer from toxic exposure on the job. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be entitled to recover:

  • Maintenance and cure under the Jones Act
  • Medical, disability, rehabilitation and retaining benefits under the LHWCA or OCSLA
  • Full compensation under the Jones Act or other applicable law

The Jones Act, LHWCA and OCSLA all provide maritime and offshore workers with access to “no-fault” benefits for job-related injuries and illnesses. However, since these benefits are limited, it is important to evaluate your other options as well.

In many cases, workers who have experienced toxic exposure will be able to pursue claims to fully recover their losses from vessel owners and other companies. This means that they can seek full compensation for their current and future:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of companionship, consortium, services and society
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

To recover these losses, you will need to carefully follow your doctor’s advice (this means not relying solely on the advice of a company doctor), and you will need to rely on the representation of an experienced maritime injury lawyer. To get started with a free and confidential consultation, contact Willis Law Firm today.

Get Help from an Experienced Maritime Injury Lawyer for Free

If you have been diagnosed with an exposure-related illness or disease, maritime injury lawyer David P. Willis can help you recover the financial compensation you deserve. To schedule your free initial consultation as soon as possible, call 800-468-4878 or tell us how we can reach you online now.            

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