Get Help From a Mississippi Maritime Injury Attorney
At Willis Law Firm, we help people injured in tugboat, barge and other offshore accidents get back on their feet with the full assistance available under the law. Whether it is a slip and fall on a cluttered deck, an equipment malfunction that causes a crushing accident, or an operational mistake that leads to a crash with another vessel, mishaps offshore can cause serious and even life threatening injuries. There is no reason to go it alone. A Mississippi maritime injury attorney at our maritime law firm can help you understand your rights and explore your options.
Benefits and Compensation for Seamen and Other Workers
Accident injuries can have a significant and lasting impact both for the maritime worker injured and his or her family, which includes expensive medical bills and limits on your ability to earn a living.
That is where the Jones Act comes in. The century-old law makes tugboat and other maritime workers eligible for medical benefits and other compensation for injuries and illnesses incurred aboard a vessel, which includes money for missed wages and other costs of living while you are recuperating onshore.
This is a “no-fault” law, meaning you do not need to prove that your employer or some third-party was to blame for the accident in order to get benefits and compensation.
Instead, you must simply prove that you are a “seaman” covered by the law and that you were injured or contracted an illness while aboard a vessel.
A Mississippi Maritime Injury Attorney Will Help You Pursue Compensation
Maritime workers also have the right to sue for money damages in situations where an accident is caused by negligence or a vessel’s unseaworthiness. The compensation typically available in these cases includes money damages for medical bills, missed wages and any reduction in earning capacity, along with non-economic damages for pain and suffering. Additionally, punitive damages may also be used to punish particularly reckless behavior.
The loved ones of a person killed in a tragic accident aboard a tugboat have the right to seek similar compensation by suing for wrongful death. No amount of money will ever allow you to go back in time and stop the accident from happening, but it can help ease the financial burden that often comes with losing a loved one.
A Mississippi maritime injury lawyer at our firm will guide you through the legal process with experience and personal attention.
What to Do After a Maritime Accident
It is vital to have an experienced Mississippi tugboat accident lawyer in your corner. You should also take the following steps:
- Report the accident to your employer
- Get an accurate, written report of the accident signed by your employer
- If the report is not accurate, respond in writing
- Prepare your own written statement describing what happened
- Do not return to work if you are injured. Request to be returned to shore for medical assistance.
Time is often of the essence in these situations. It is important to act swiftly.
Workers and Job Duties in Mississippi’s Maritime Industry
Mississippi’s maritime industry is an essential part of the Magnolia State’s economy and a way of life for many of its residents. People who work on tugboats, barges or other vessels are at the heart of that industry. They also are generally eligible for a wide range of benefits and compensation if they are hurt in an accident offshore.
Tugboats are an essential part of the industry, which help larger vessels and barges navigate waters throughout Mississippi and across the country. Working on a tugboat is a skilled job that offers a number of opportunities for maritime employees looking to climb the ranks.
Tugboats and other vessels typically feature a crew of workers onboard at any given time. That includes the captain, who is the master of the vessel and supervises all of the work, as well as a tugboat mate, chief engineer, and deckhands.
The captain and mate rotate shifts steering the boat, communicating with other vessels and overseeing operations. The engineer is responsible for routine maintenance of the tugboat and monitoring mechanical systems. He or she also assists the captain and mate, particularly on smaller boats. These are highly skilled jobs that require significant training and experience. Without proper training, a tugboat accident could easily occur.
Deckhands are general crewmembers who do much of the day-to-day work involved in operating a tugboat. They often have specific assigned duties, but are also expected to be ready to assist in a variety of tasks as needed. That includes assisting with docking, setting up towing rigs, maintaining and repairing machinery and standing watch.
Tugboats and other vessels operate around the clock, going offshore for trips of several days or more. Crew members log six-hour watches of shifts and remain on the vessel, often in tight quarters, during off hours.
At any point, someone can make a mistake. Even if your injury was caused by a simple accident, it is worth at least a meeting with a Mississippi maritime injury attorney to make sure you understand your options.
How a Mississippi Maritime Injury Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a tugboat, barge or other accident off the shore of Mississippi, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer. Do not accept a deal from your employer or the company’s insurer before first speaking with a Mississippi maritime accident law firm.
At the Willis Law Firm, we have dedicated our careers to helping workers and their families who suffer from maritime-related injuries in Mississippi and across the country. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that we do not get paid unless we successfully resolve your case. Call us at 1-800-468-4878 or email us through our online webform to find out more about your legal rights and options.