Evidence in a maritime accident is critical
The underwriter of any vessel will get statements of witnesses about your case. It is important to hire an attorney immediately to investigate your accident and to obtain statements from witnesses because crew members often return home or transfer vessels. Witnesses can provide valuable information about the liability of an employer or shipowner.
Negligence in maritime accidents
Vessel crews often work under hazardous conditions so that the vessel achieves the highest possible revenues. Sailors injured due to operating under hazardous conditions, negligence of an employer or vessel operator or crew member, or the unseaworthy condition of the vessel have rights under the Jones Act. Injured sailors are typically entitled to recover wages, future earnings, medical expenses and damages for pain and suffering and other general damages. You should consult a lawyer immediately to determine how much time you have to file your claim and to determine if your claim is one of worker’s compensation or one under the Jones Act.
Jones Act & Death on the High Seas Act
The Jones Act, or the Merchant Marine Act, allows injured sailors to obtain damages from their employers for the negligence of the shipowner, the captain, or fellow members of the crew. The law takes legislation allowing damages by injured railroad workers and applies that right to sailors. This is similar to the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) and provides that employers must provide injured sailors with transport home, wages while out, medical expenses, and in cases of negligence, possibly damages for pain and suffering. If your loved one died as a result of an employer’s negligence or an unseaworthy vessel, you and your family may file for compensation under the Death on the High Seas Act.
Recreational boating accidents
Recreational boating accidents are subject to many types of city, county and state laws. Motor vehicle rules are often applied to recreational boating and in the case of accidents or boating injuries, negligence and fault are determined in similar ways. Depending upon what body of water you were injured upon, your legal rights may differ. Parker Waichman LLP, LLP will help you understand the laws governing recreational boating and will assist you with a potential boating accident claim.