Compensation and rights of marine workers
When marine workers get injured in their line of duty, they are less likely than other professionals to file an employee’s compensation claim. This is because there is a unique state and federal legislation created specifically for crew workers, seamen, deckhands, longshoremen, commercial fishermen, and anybody else who works in the marine industry under the Jones Act and the general maritime legislation.
There are various restrictions to safeguard people who operate in or near navigable waterways when people are hurt at work. If you, a close friend, or a family member works as a maritime industry worker, it’s crucial to understand your compensation options and rights. Below are the compensation and rights of marine workers.
Unseaworthiness compensation and rights
Whenever a vessel lacks the necessary safety features for marine workers to perform their duties safely, it is deemed unseaworthy. It’s important to remember that a vessel doesn’t have to be dysfunctional to be considered unseaworthy. Anything that can make a ship, ferry, or any other vessel dangerous, including a lack of safety gear or faulty products, might make it unfit to sail.
A vessel possessing faulty machine parts near walking paths, a damaged ladder step, or/and a lack of danger signs, for example, can all result in the vessel being termed unseaworthy. Employees may be eligible for compensation under the Jones Act and the ordinary maritime law if they are harmed on their job due to unseaworthiness.
Care and maintenance maritime rights
Cure and maintenance is an old feature of maritime law that compels a marine employer to care for injured sailors regardless of negligence.
Seamen can use cure and maintenance rights if they are injured at work, regardless of whether the injuries were caused by their fault or the carelessness of another person, for example, a vessel owner or an employee.
Cure and maintenance give a daily stipend and medical attention to the injured marine worker for the total duration of their injury. Before cure and maintenance can terminate, a medical professional must provide a signed and comprehensive health bill.
Seamen are entitled to missed earnings under the general maritime law and the Jones Act if they are hurt while performing their duties, provided it was the carelessness of another person that caused the accident.
Lost wages include the present earnings, which could have been earned if the seaman had stayed on the job, and the lost earning ability and future income, which include promotions and expected average wage increases, and the projected life expectancy of the job. All these are factors that determine the amount of compensation to be paid for lost future income.
Fishermen who have a limited entry permit or a commercial license may be eligible for a compensation fund expressly for people injured while working on the water. The fund is distinct from insurance settlements and other types of marine compensation funds. The Fishermen’s Fund has tight guidelines for eligibility, and it’s often used as the last choice after exhaustion of all other options for compensation.
If you are a marine worker, as we have seen above, you have rights if you are hurt on the job. If you believe your rights have been violated or if you require assistance, you should seek the help of professional maritime attorneys as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, report any accident that causes injury immediately if it occurs to your employer, no matter how slight or severe, complete the necessary paperwork, then seek medical attention right away. In the case that your rights have been violated, this will produce proof of injuries sustained while in your line of duty.