Maritime workers in Alaska often face dangers that increase the likelihood of work-related accidents and injuries. If you are a maritime worker that has suffered an injury or illness related to your work, you may recover compensation by filing a maritime claim. A worker who qualifies as a seaman may be entitled to benefits under the Jones Act.
What are some common types of maritime accidents?
Maritime worker injuries and illnesses are often caused by the following:
- Slip-and-falls: The deck of a vessel can be slippery, causing workers without the necessary training and safety gear and equipment to slip and fall while walking around.
- Chemical exposure: Maritime workers are often exposed to hazardous chemicals stored on the ship due to improper storage or improper transferring of the materials.
- Equipment malfunction: Cranes, forklifts, and other equipment should be inspected regularly and receive the maintenance necessary. Without these inspections and maintenance, the equipment may malfunction and cause injuries to workers on the vessel.
- Cargo handling: Cargo that has been handled improperly and has not been properly secured my fall on top of a worker and cause serious injury.
- Collisions: A vessel crashing into the dock, or another vessel can result in serious injuries to workers at shore and on board.
What damages can I recover under the Jones Act?
If you qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act (e.g., deckhands), you may recover maintenance and cure, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. These benefits include medical treatment and living expenses until you can return to work or reach what is known as Maximum Medical Improvement, as determined by a physician.
If your employer’s negligence contributed to your accident, you may also recover damages for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering.