Abbott Clay & Reed

Posts Tagged ‘seaman injury’

What Types of Monetary Compensation Would My Family and I Be Able to Request if I was Injured While Performing My Duties at Sea?

In Jones Act Law, LHWCA, Maritime on July 17, 2009 at 7:44 PM

The Longshoremen’s and Harbors’ Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides adequate compensation for seaman who are injured in their line of work.  This coverage provides payments for medical treatment, travel costs related to medical treatment, and services or supplies which are needed to help the recovery or treatment process.  There is, of course, a lot of legality that comes into play and seeking the help of a professional maritime lawyer will always be a good first step to take.

The definition of disability in a longshoreman clause simply means the inability to perform work and receive pre-injury wages.  This covers any form of disability which will entitle you to receive a weekly compensation every two weeks and will be based from a percentage of your biweekly income before you were injured.  In 2006, it was estimated that the minimum compensation was $278.61 while the maximum was $1114.44.

The compensation for complete or short term disability is calculated at 2/3s the workers weekly average income.  This average is determined by combining the previous 52 weeks of income.  This, of course, could mean that your average might be considerably less if you suffered any periods of unemployment.

Temporary partial disability is compensated at 2/3s the weekly income loss and is based on the loss of earning potential.  Permanent partial disability compensation is intended to cover the injured employee for the loss of a body part or function.  This form of compensation is based on the payout schedule that is specified in the Longshoreman Act.  Basically this schedule appoints a specified timeline as to how long the injured employee may receive compensation.

The LHWCA has worked to get people the coverage they need when working at sea.  There are still a lot of uncovered issues surrounding these matters and you will need to speak with a maritime law professional to get the most compensation for your injury.

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Can I Represent Myself Under the Jones Act?

In Jones Act Law, Legal Representation on May 20, 2009 at 12:28 PM

If you are hurt during your employment on any water going vessel, your rights are protected under the Jones Act. Most feel that it is most wise to retain the services of an attorney when dealing with a case that falls under the Jones Act; however, some individuals would rather attempt to represent themselves – and that is perfectly fine, as long as you know full well what they are getting themselves into.

You see, the Jones Act entitles maritime workers to a specific set of rights by law; rights that normal Workers’ Comp laws either do not cover at all, or do not cover to a degree that is fit for a maritime worker. With these specific laws, there are also specific procedures and time frames that must be met in order for a claim to be valid. For instance, if there is not enough clear evidence, your case will likely be denied. Therefore, although it is completely possible for an individual to represent themselves under the Jones Act, it usually does not return the results that one might expect.

The number one reason that individuals choose to represent themselves is to attempt to retain the cash amount that the attorney would have received, which is usually between 10 – 20% of the settlement amount. What some individuals do not realize is that, without an attorney, the amount of the settlement will likely be much less. This is because an attorney who has represented individuals in such cases before will know exactly what expenses or monetary compensation you should be entitled to receive. Many individuals that choose to represent themselves do not realize the many different things that can be included in such a suit and, if they do, it’s likely that they do not know how much they can actually ask to be compensated for.

So, if you are a maritime worker who has been injured while performing your maritime tasks and you are thinking about representing yourself, take the time to review the law and make sure that you fully understand it before you attempt to take on such a feat without the help of an attorney.

Rescued American Ship Captain Arrives in Kenya

In Hijacking, Hostage, Jones Act Law, Pirates on April 16, 2009 at 9:57 AM

The Voice of America reports on Richard Phillip arriving in Kenya after being rescued by the U.S. Navy. Three Navy sharpshooters shot three of his captures just before his rescue.

As the Pirate attacks escalate in the region the Jones Act and it’s applicable laws we no doubt ably again be reviewed by our Justice System. It is interesting that these laws of the early 20th Century are still as necessary today for acts of Piracy as they certainly must have been during their penning.

We are curious to see if the Jones Act in it’s current form will be able to properly defend the rights of these seamen in international territories working for US based companies. It is our opinion that not only will it hold it’s own but in fact with further strengthen legal ramifications across all aspects of the shipping and maritime industries.