Accidents suffered by longshoremen are covered under the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act of 1927 (sometimes referred to simply as “Longshore Act.”) The Longshore Act extends the provisions of the Jones Act, that was enacted to protect the rights of sailors, marine workers, dockworkers, etc.
Among other things, the LHWCA requires dock management to pay two-thirds of an injured longshoreman’s wages while he recuperates (whether or not management was at fault for the accident), and also allows an injured dockworker (or a deceased dockworker’s relatives) to collect damages for gross negligence or recklessness.
If your injury is caused by an unsafe condition aboard ship, a defective product, or a negligent subcontractor, then you may file a lawsuit against the responsible third party, including the Navy. Shipyard workers commonly sue vessel owners for accidents caused by slippery decks, gangways, and ladders. There have been numerous shipyard crane accidents where shipyard workers filed lawsuits against crane manufacturers for not having required safety devices on cranes.
Seamen fall under the Jones Act which allows them to sue their employers for negligence and seek damages for wage loss, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Workers’ Compensation does not pay for pain and suffering. Shipyard workers assigned to vessels owned by their employers such as tugboats, workboats, barges, and floating cranes, can claim seaman status and sue their employers directly.
This right was affirmed in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case known as Southwest Marine. Inc. v. Gizoni, a San Diego case that was handled by attorney Preston Easley. Gizoni was a rigging foreman who was injured when he fell through a hole in the deck of a work barge.
You have three years from the date of injury to file a Jones Act lawsuit against an employer.
If you have a work related medical condition, you should seek competent legal advice immediately. Under most circumstances, you must notify your employer within 30 days of any injury (there are some exceptions). Often a shipyard will promise a light duty job to an injured worker to keep him from filing a claim. When the light duty job does not materialize and the worker contacts an attorney, quite often it is too late to do anything. Do not gamble with you health and your future.
Preston Easley is an experienced maritime lawyer with considerable expertise in handling federal and state cases in the field of maritime and admiralty law. We will aggressively seek the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to receive. Preston Easley is a seasoned trial lawyer who has the qualifications, experience, and resources to take your case to court if a fair settlement cannot be obtained for you. Email our law firm or call us today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Law Offices of Preston Easley
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San Pedro, California 90731
Phone: (310) 832-5315
FAX: (310) 832-7730
San Diego, CA (619) 699-4884
Ventura, CA (805) 289-1551
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