What protects you if you get hurt at a maritime job?

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2023 | Personal Injury

Given the geographic location of Hawaii, it makes sense that thousands of people across the state work maritime jobs. A maritime profession may be exciting or well-compensated depending on someone’s career. It can also be dangerous.

People working out on the ocean can easily get hurt, whether they work for the entertainment industry providing parasailing adventures for tourists or they are professional fishermen. They could fall overboard and nearly drown, or they might get hurt by heavy equipment.

Most workers in Hawaii can simply file a workers’ compensation claim when they get hurt at work. However, maritime workers will not typically have that option. Workers injured out on the water typically file lawsuits.

How federal laws protect maritime professionals

Workers’ compensation benefits depend on jurisdiction. The laws that apply are state laws, so injuries that occur offshore will not qualify for standard benefits claims. The Jones Act is a very important federal statute that protects those who work on the ocean or on the navigable waterways of the continental United States because they do not have workers’ compensation coverage.

The Jones Act regulates many offshore industries and creates a system for injured workers to seek compensation after an incident at work. When a maritime worker suffers an injury on the job, they may be able to seek compensation by filing a civil lawsuit against their employer.

In scenarios involving either lawbreaking as a business or negligence, an injured worker may have a valid claim to compensation. Their lawsuit can help them cover their lost wages and medical expenses related to their injury.

A maritime injury could drastically alter your career

If you suffer a serious injury while working one day, you may never be able to return to the same career. Many injured workers have to change professions or sometimes may even need to retire early because their medical conditions prevent them from working full-time.

Although it may seem complicated or intimidating, pursuing a lawsuit under the Jones Act may be the best option for maritime workers hurt on the job. Learning more about your protections as a maritime employee will help you make use of the rules and systems that exists for your benefit, like the Jones Act.