Cargo ships and the workers who staff them are incredibly important and necessary to keeping the global economy going. Your work ensures that important supplies and products make their way to the market and keep the international economy functioning. However, there are dangers to the job that can leave you severely injured. Maritime workers risk their health and lives in many ways every day to get their job done.
An experienced Pearland cargo ship accident lawyer has a firm grasp on the federal laws that may affect your case. Our maritime accident attorneys know how to hold shipping companies accountable for their negligence and could effectively seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
How Cargo Ship Accidents Occur
Many factors could lead to a cargo ship accident. Potential causes of a cargo ship accidents near Pearland include, but are not limited to:
- Lack of training or support from employers
- Defective products or equipment failures
- Chemical exposure or electrical shock
- Fires and other hot surfaces
- Worker fatigue or overexertion
- Negligence of third parties or other employees
- Getting knocked overboard
These types of accidents show just how dangerous a cargo ship job can be when an employer, co-worker, or another involved party is negligent.
Federal Protections for Injured Cargo Ship Employees
An injured cargo ship worker has a higher chance of winning compensation for their injuries when they are represented by skilled legal counsel. The federal maritime laws that apply to cargo ship workers differ from state personal injury laws, meaning injured maritime workers must go through a different filing process to recover damages.
Which law applies will depend on the worker’s employment status and how much time they spend onboard the ship versus the time they spend ashore. A Pearland attorney who understands how to make this determination could be key to the success of a cargo ship accident claim.
The Jones Act
A cargo ship worker involved in an accident may be able to make a claim under the Jones Act, codified under United States Code §30104. This law applies when the worker spends at least 30 percent of their time onboard a ship and their work contributes to the mission of the ship.
Under this Act, the injured party may sue when the employer’s negligence is the cause of the cargo ship accident. Proving negligence requires significant proof but also means that the full scope of damages is available to the injured cargo ship worker, including compensation for pain and suffering.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) applies to cargo ship workers who spend less than 30 percent of their time onboard the ship. This law can apply to workers who spend their time in the shipyard or dock but load cargo ships on a daily basis.
Making a claim under the LHWCA requires following the procedural steps set out by the law, which can be incredibly complicated for an inexperienced person. Instead, an injured cargo ship worker should rely on the knowledge and experience of a trained lawyer.
Consult a Cargo Ship Accident Attorney in Pearland
After suffering injuries in a cargo ship accident, you may need the assistance of a qualified attorney to make the most of your claim. You must determine which laws apply to your case and seek appropriate compensation for your injuries. To get started, reach out to a dedicated Pearland cargo ship accident lawyer today for help.