When an injury happens on land, you can call the police immediately to investigate. You may have a smart phone to take pictures and you can gather witness contact information and expect that most of those individuals who can help with your injury case live locally.
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If you were working at the time, you may be entitled to make a workers’ compensation claim and should have to do nothing to get benefits except report your injury. If you were not working but someone else was responsible for the harm, you may be able to quickly and easily settle your case with that individual or company’s U.S- based insurer.
When an injury happens at sea, however, things are much more complicated. Accessing law enforcement and conducting an immediate investigation may be impossible when you are hurt on a boat off the coast of South Carolina.
Witnesses may live all around the world and may not always be available to testify about how you got hurt. If you are working on an offshore vessel, you may not make a workers’ comp claim but instead may need to file a claim under the Jones Act. This could mean you have to prove negligence or unseaworthiness of the vessel.
The ship’s owner and/or your employer may be located outside the United States and there may be no U.S. insurance company standing ready to make a settlement deal to get the case to go away.
While injuries at sea raise many more complications than injuries on land do, it is important for victims to understand the legal options available to them. Often, injuries that occur while on a boat or offshore vessel are more serious than those on land because of the delay in getting medical help or the conditions under which the injury occurred. As a result, it is imperative for those who have been harmed to speak with a maritime lawyer about the options they have under the law.
Offshore Injuries and Maritime Law
Maritime and admiralty laws apply in situations where injuries occur in connection with sea navigation and marine commerce. Workers on offshore oil rigs, as well as workers who are on land but working in the service of a vessel, may all be surprised to find that their injury claim arises under maritime laws like the Jones Act rather than traditional workers’ compensation. Cruise ship passengers may also be shocked to discover that their tickets contain fine print that affects when, where and how they can pursue damage claims if they are the victims of sexual assault on the ship or other accidents aboard.
A lawyer with experience in maritime cases knows that many victims of offshore injuries don’t know where to turn and don’t have any idea of the laws that protect their interests. Fortunately, Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. attorneys know maritime and admiralty laws inside and out. We can advise you, guide you and fight for you as you make a claim for compensation. Our published scholars and skilled legal professionals are ready to offer you personalized legal advice after your injury, so give us a call today at 877-233-1238 or contact us online to learn more.