Maritime Jobs and Injuries: Understanding Your Rights at Sea
The global demand for maritime workers has increased by 24.1%. However, the risks associated with the industry have led to a decrease in available, qualified workers.
Before you consider a job in the maritime industry, make sure you know your rights. Knowing these rights can help put your mind at ease and assure you that you’ll be covered in the event of an accident.
Read on to learn about your rights to compensation when working maritime jobs!
The United States’ Protections for Maritime Workers
The US has several laws in place that cover maritime worker injuries. These laws include:
The Jones Act
The Jones Act provides compensation if you are injured on the job as a result of someone else’s negligence. The act covers damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages, future loss of wages, and disfigurement.
The Jones Act will hold your employer liable for the following situations:
- Failure to provide safe equipment, such as failing to ensure that equipment is in proper working condition.
- Failure to provide safety training or job-specific training.
- Assault by a co-worker.
- Unsafe working conditions, such as oil spills on the deck that result in injury.
- Unsafe working expectations, such as working employees overtime resulting in fatigue.
- Failure to ensure that warning signs are appropriately placed and legible.
Maintenance and Cure
Maintenance and Cure entitle you to benefits regardless of what accident happened, how it happened or when it happened, as long as the accident occurred while you were at your maritime job.
Maintenance will cover your food, mortgage or rent, and utilities while you recuperate. Cure will cover your medical bills associated with the accident.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
The LHWCA provides compensation to workers injured while working on navigable waters. Essentially, this means that if you hole a maritime job, you’re likely covered by this act.
If you qualify for other state benefits, you cannot also be compensated by LHWCA.
LHWCA provides the following benefits:
- 66.66% percent of your expected weekly income while you are recovering
- Compensation for disfigurement and disability for the loss of future wages
- Compensation to your widow equal to 50% of your pay in the event of death.
Death on High Seas Act
The Death on High Seas Act compensates the spouse, child, dependents or other relatives of a maritime worker who is killed in an accident that occurs over 3 miles from US shores, and as a result of negligence.
Know the Risks of Maritime Jobs
While there has been a global increase in demand for maritime jobs, the risks associated with the industry are high. Be sure you know how to receive fair compensation for your injuries that result from on-the-job accidents.
Knowing you are covered by US law goes a long way toward peace of mind on the open oceans.
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