What Is a Seaman?
The term "seaman" is used to define a person who works on a vessel in navigation. To be considered a seaman under maritime law, a person must be assigned to work on a vessel or a fleet of vessels, must spend at least 30% of their time aboard the vessel, and must contribute to the vessel's function in some way. The vessel must be in operation in navigable waters, meaning it must not be permanently moored or dry-docked. Seamen may work on vessels in inland waters, such as lakes and rivers, or in the open sea.
Some of the official titles of seamen include:
- Assistant cook
- Second officer
- Marine rigger
- Supply officer
- Chief mate
Seamen may work on the following types of vessels:
- Cruise ships
- Offshore rigs
- Cargo ships
- Commercial fishing vessels
- Tug boats
The jobs that seamen perform every day have the potential to be hazardous because of the heavy machinery onboard and the unruly nature of the open waters. For this reason, it is important for seamen to be aware of the laws that were created to protect them in the case of injury.
Maritime Law & Seamen Injuries
You may be unaware of the high number of offshore injuries that occur every year on board vessels such as tugboats, crew boats, and supply boats. Maritime workers throughout the Gulf of Mexico and on the high seas are subject to offshore accidents that can negate their ability to work and earn a living. Far too often, injured seamen are left with high medical bills without a primary source of income to pay them.
At Arnold & Itkin, our lawyers are passionate about helping offshore workers claim the rights available to them under maritime law. Our top-rated seaman injury attorneys can provide you with insightful counsel to help you recover from your accident physically, financially, and emotionally. Our experience has given us a comprehensive look at what it takes to fully recover from serious injuries, especially ones requiring long-term rehabilitation.
With the help of our legal team, you can file an injury claim for your accident and seek protection under the Jones Act.
Maintenance & Cure
Seamen are entitled to maintenance and cure for any on-the-job injuries. Maritime employers are required to pay injured seamen maintenance (general living expenses) to replace lost wages and cure (medical expenses) to cover medical treatment associated with their injuries. Maintenance and cure is provided on a no-fault basis, which means that the seaman does not need to prove that their injuries were caused by another's negligence. Because maintenance and cure benefits are limited, it's important to consider other sources of compensation.
Additional Compensation for Injured Seamen
In addition to maintenance and cure, an injured seaman may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act or other applicable maritime laws. The Jones Act specifically addresses compensation for negligence and unseaworthy vessels, and if an injured seaman can prove either of those, they may be entitled to damages.
The following compensation may be available for an injured seaman under the Jones Act:
- Lost earnings
- Medical expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
These damages go a bit further than straight maintenance and cure, and recovering a fair settlement or award can make all the difference as an injured seaman works to rebuild and move on.
Call (888) 493-1629 for a Free Consultation with Our Seaman Injury Law Firm
There are long-term costs associated with a serious injury. Hospitalization, long-term rehabilitation, in-home care, medication, emotional counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and future physical or emotional health complications are a few of the continuing costs that may plague injured seamen and his family. The attorneys from our firm have helped countless clients with life-changing injuries that must live every day with ongoing costs.
We understand the importance of every injury claim and how our work directly impacts the future of our clients. Armed with this mindset, our firm is dedicated to recovering the maximum amount of compensation available for each injury case that we take on. If you have been seriously injured working on an offshore vessel, seek help from the best personal injury lawyer right away. We will give you honest answers to your tough questions and exceptional legal support when you choose our firm to handle your case.
Contact Arnold & Itkin today for your free, confidential consultation. We fight for what's right, no matter what.