Alabama Maritime Attorneys
Billions Won by Maritime Accident Lawyers in Alabama
Offshore work has a long and proud history in Alabama. From oil rigs to fishing, Alabamians have ventured out over open water and add significantly to the state’s economy. In fact, Alabama’s shrimp fishing industry netted $57 million in 2014, making it one of the state’s most valuable industries. Each day, these hardworking Americans face the dangers of working offshore to make an honest living and push the economy along—and the dangers they face are very real. Commercial fishing remains one of the most dangerous occupations in the US.
Our Alabama maritime accident lawyers help offshore workers hold their employers accountable for negligence that results in an accident. When people are injured offshore, they deserve protection for their family and their future. In most cases, that means providing for their medical care, replacing their lost wages, and ensuring that they have enough to take care of themselves if they’re not able to work. We help clients throughout the state of Alabama in places such as Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham, Andalusia, Red Level, Brantley, and more.
Speak with our Alabama maritime attorneys today. Call (888) 493-1629 or use our short online form to reach us.
Exposing Negligence & Wrongdoing by Maritime Employers
An employer fails to protect their employees when they fail to use safe practices. To save money, many employers do not execute basic upkeep and allow their vessels and equipment to fall into dangerous disrepair. Lack of maintenance is a common cause of injuries at sea. When an employer is not held accountable for their negligence, employees will be the only ones who continue to pay for their mistakes. When you get injured at work, maritime law provides you with ways to pay for your medical bills and other hardships. Regardless of your protections, employers are responsible for protecting employees from the hazards of working on an oil rig or vessel. When an employer fails to do this, their negligence is to blame, and they must be held accountable.
Common offshore injuries include:
- Diving accidents
- Crane failures
- Vessel collisions
- Dangerous equipment
- Lift accidents
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
The Laws Protecting U.S. Offshore Workers
To fix some of the gaps and shortcomings of traditional maritime law, Congress has passed four major statutes in US history. These four statutes govern trade and workers’ rights on America’s waterways, between U.S. ports, and on American merchant marine vessels.
These laws are the following:
The jONES aCT
The Jones Act, also known as The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, was created to govern and support American sea trade. Since offshore work is often more dangerous than most industries, the Jones Act makes special provisions for the sake of maritime workers. One of its most important stipulations makes vessel owners responsible for the state of their vessels and the safety of their crew. Most importantly, the Jones Act allows workers to file claims when they’re injured due to employer negligence or unseaworthiness. This part of the law was created to offer relief to injured offshore workers and ensure they receive appropriate compensation for their losses. For workers who suffer serious injuries, Jones Act claims may be their only chance for a financially stable future.
Jones Act claims can include compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Medical care
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Cost of living during recovery
For offshore workers, the Jones Act works like workers’ compensation does for land workers in that it exists to provide relief when an employee is injured. There are two crucial differences, however. One, Jones Act claims tend to be worth more. Workers’ comp covers only basic medical care and a portion of missing wages, but Jones Act claims cover far more. Two, Jones Act claims require claimants to prove negligence on the part of the employer. Worker’s comp does not require anyone to be found at fault. The higher awards offered by the Jones Act also demand a higher burden of proof, which is why injured crews need Alabama Jones Act lawyers.
Under the Jones Act, you have a right to:
- A reasonably safe work environment
- Make a legal claim if injured as a result of negligence
- Maintenance and cure related to the injury or illness
- Additional compensation if the vessel or crew is deemed unseaworthy
- Punitive damages if an employer refused to pay maintenance and cure
The Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act
The offshore industry relies on the longshoremen and harbor workers who use heavy equipment and complex machinery to keep our ports functioning. Because the harbor work is often physical and is filled with hazards, injuries in the industry are not uncommon. Often, workers suffer serious injuries after being exposed to harmful chemical or suffer because of equipment failure. In other instances, employers don’t provide them with the right tools, causing them to attempt work that they should be handling unassisted.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that provides compensation to workers injured in areas used for loading, unloading, building, and repairing vessels. Importantly, this law protect workers who are land-based as well as those who are on navigable waters within the United States.
Before the LHWCA, workers were subject to maritime laws that didn’t compensate them adequately for accidents caused by the negligence of others. With the LHWCA, workers can secure compensation for all aspects of their injuries so they can reach full recovery. The LHWCA can help injured harbor workers as well as those in shipyards and offsite buildings and repair areas. Workers covered by the LHWCA include longshore workers and operators, harbor workers, ship builders, ship repairmen, ship breakers, and more.
Maritime Accident FAQ
What ARe My Rights as a Maritime Worker?
As a seaman, you have the right to a reasonably safe workplace, just like any worker. Maritime work is inherently dangerous, but this does not excuse overlooked safety standards, defective equipment, or acts of negligence that jeopardize your well-being. If you're injured at sea, you have the right to seek financial compensation for your medical treatment, lost earnings, and more. Because there are different maritime laws that apply to various types of workers and offshore injuries, we recommend discussing your case with an Alabama maritime lawyer as soon as possible. You can get the information you need to make the right choices.
What Workers Are Protected by Maritime Law?
Virtually any maritime or offshore worker will be protected by some type of maritime law. Whether it is the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, or the LHWCA, injured workers have the right to seek compensation if they're injured at sea or on shore. Because these cases are complex and most fall under federal jurisdiction, it is crucial to involve a firm that has extensive experience in maritime law.
Is the LHWCA the Same as the Jones Act?
No. While they have similar goals for the workers that they cover, the Jones Act and the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Acts are not the same. They cover different sets of workers. The Jones Act covers maritime workers who contribute to the function or mission of a vessel. The LHWCA covers workers who do not directly aid the mission of a vessel but still work on or with them. It’s an important law that helps fill in the gaps of the Jones Act for harbor workers and other offshore professionals. Workers not covered by the LHWCA include seamen, intoxicated employees, workers covered under workers’ compensation, and government employees.
How Much Does Hiring an alabama Maritime Attorney Cost?
Hiring an Alabama maritime injury lawyer from Arnold & Itkin LLP costs nothing up front. We work on something called a contingency fee. This means we cover all costs associated with a case and only collect a payment if we secure results. Working this way makes services our record-setting law firm attainable for anyone.
Our Alabama Maritime Injury Attorneys Fight for Results. No Matter What.
Lasting physical pain, mental trauma, and financial insecurity are things that no one should have to face alone. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what most injured workers are facing when they suffer an accident at sea. The Alabama maritime lawyers at Arnold & Itkin are dedicated to fight for workers who have been unfairly injured.
Our lawyers have a long history of results for maritime workers. We fought for the over one-third of the crew of the Deepwater Horizon after an explosion left 11 dead and dozens injured. Our team represented four families who lost their husbands in the sinking of the El Faro. We also won a settlement for a shrimp boat worker when he sustained a serious back injury due to the carelessness of his employer. All told, our firm has won billions of dollars.
If you've suffered during an offshore accident, our Alabama maritime law firm is ready to fight for your recovery!