Injured in a maritime accident? Don't let compensation sail away

As someone who works offshore importing and exporting goods, you likely spend much of your time out at sea and away from the solid foundation of land. While you may consider your job enjoyable and exciting, you may also know that certain injury laws do not apply to you. For instance, if you have been seriously injured in an offshore accident while working, you may not qualify for workers' compensation.

Though a lack of such benefits may seem like a cause for worry, you still have options for pursuing compensation in the event that you suffer maritime injuries while carrying out your work-related duties.

The Jones Act

Luckily, the Jones Act works to protect maritime workers like you. This act -- also less commonly known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 -- offers many protections to merchant marines. The act offers you the ability to file a legal claim against your employer in the event that you suffer injuries while working. This act covers a variety of maritime positions including:

  • Captains
  • Officers
  • Additional crew members

In order for crew members to qualify for protection under this act, they must spend at least 30 percent of their work time on an operational vessel in navigation.

Filing a claim

If you would like to file a claim against your employer for your injuries, you need to show that your employer's negligence played a role in the injury-causing incident. In many cases, accidents result due to negligence or unsafe conditions, such as:

  • Slippery deck conditions
  • Improperly maintained equipment
  • Lack of proper captain or crew training
  • Failure to provide needed equipment

If any of these factors or others contributed to your accident, you first need to report the injuries to your supervisor. Next, fill out an accident report detailing the party or parties at fault for the incident and record your official statement about your injuries. Of course, seeking medical treatment remains the top priority for serious injuries.

After completing these steps, you and your employer may come to a settlement regarding compensation, or if you and your employer cannot agree to terms, filing a claim may be your best bet toward pursuing needed compensation.

Because maritime accidents and merchant marine workers often fall under different injury laws and regulations, you may face some confusion regarding how to go about obtaining compensation. Luckily, experienced Louisiana attorneys could help you better understand your options and take the necessary steps toward filing any need claims.