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Things to Consider Before Engaging an Offshore Injury Lawyer

by Zachary Oakes

If you want to hire an offshore injury attorney, there are things you must pay attention to. That’s because some attorneys who offer legal support to offshore injury victims do not have prior experience, and therefore they may not represent you well.

The best offshore injury lawyer must be well experienced and well-informed about the law for them to offer you all the support you need. Read on to learn all the factors to consider.

What’s the Meaning of the Jones Act?

Jones Act, also referred to as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, falls under federal law presiding in maritime commerce, boats, and shipping operations maintenance requirements as well as crew member’s rights.

According to the act, you can make a negligence claim if the sustained injuries result from the negligence behavior of an employer or co-workers. Besides, ship owners are held responsible if an accident happens due to an unsafe vessel state.

The act aims at protecting crew workers in case they get injured while serving. It safeguards the rights of crew members on diving vessels, cargo ships, tugboats, towboats, fishing vessels, chemical ships, dredges, and more. The crew works in dangerous environments, making them prone to accidents and injuries.  Some even experience fatal accidents that lead to death. Therefore, it’s critical that you utilize the Jones act considering your working circumstances.

Offshore Accident

Several accidents are likely to happen offshore due to the nature of the environment. Some of the common accidents include;

  •         Deck accidents
  •         Equipment malfunction
  •         Explosion and fires
  •         Overuse (accidents that result from repetitive activities)
  •         Blindness, electrocution, broken/lost limbs, internal injuries, hypothermia, and more.

If you sustain any of these injuries, federal law allows you to make a claim. But you will need a competent offshore injury attorney to get reasonable compensation.

What Rights to Compensation Do You Have?

After sustaining an offshore injury, you are entitled to get compensation according to federal law as you recover. The compensation involves footing your medical bills plus your living expenses. You can claim the following under the Jones Act;

  •         Medical costs
  •         Pain and suffering
  •         Emotional trauma
  •         Lost wages
  •         Disfigurement
  •         Vocational rehabilitation

The DOHSA (Death on the High Seas Act) plays a crucial role in easing the financial stress resulting from losing a crew member following an offshore accident.

Why You Need an Offshore Injury Attorney

Not every other lawyer can handle offshore-related cases. You need someone who is well-conversant with maritime law. You must understand that maritime law is complex and therefore having legal knowledge of the field is critical. With a skilled attorney, you maximize the chances of getting reasonable compensation for your damages.

You should hire one who can answer the question you have and is willing to discuss your legal rights. Also, such an attorney will guide you on which legal action to take so that everything can work out to your advantage. Without an attorney, you are likely not to go through with your compensation claim.

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