While they are not directly responsible for navigating ships through waterways, deckhands still serve vital roles aboard all kinds of vessels traveling in and out of the area. Unfortunately, because of how much manual labor they perform and the heavy machinery and cargo they often end up handling, on-the-job injuries are prevalent for deckhands in the commercial maritime industry.
If you were injured while working as a deckhand, you might have options for seeking financial compensation with the assistance of a Mount Pleasant deckhand injury lawyer. Retaining a skilled maritime injury attorney to help with your claim may be crucial to boosting your odds of a favorable outcome.
Are Deckhands Covered by the Jones Act?
Unlike most land-based workers, employees who work on the water are covered by The Jones Act. Under the Jones Act, which applies to everyone from deckhands to captains working aboard a commercial ship, employees who sustain injuries while working away from land can hold their employers directly liable for negligence leading to their injuries.
Employer Liability Under Maritime Law
The owners and operators of commercial vessels owe a duty to their employees not only to keep their ship in good working order but to ensure that working conditions on board are reasonably safe. If a deckhand suffers an injury due to unsafe conditions on a ship, like standing water in a working area or improperly secured cargo, they have the right to hold their employer responsible for allowing those conditions to persist.
However, a Jones Act claimant must have evidence proving that their injuries stemmed directly from some form of negligence to recover compensation under this piece of federal legislation. A well-versed attorney in Mount Pleasant could clarify how this law works and what impact it might have on potential recovery in a deckhand injury case.
Recoverable Damages in Mount Pleasant
Having to prove negligence makes Jones Act injury claims substantially more complicated than a traditional workers’ compensation claim, but there are fewer limitations on the types of damages a successful Jones Act claimant could demand restitution for. In other words, successful claimants could recover for the total value of both economic and non-economic forms of harm stemming from their accident rather than for some losses limited to medical expenses, a portion of lost wages, and more.
A dedicated lawyer could help an injured deckhand in Mount Pleasant demand restitution for the following:
- Past and future medical bills
- 100 percent of lost wages, including lost future earning capacity
- Room and board expenses while away from work
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of personal hobbies and opportunities
Importantly, however, most Jones Act workers’ comp claims are subject to a three-year statutory filing period that begins when the injured party first discovers they were hurt due to on-the-job negligence. Therefore, an injured party must act fast to avoid losing the compensation they are entitled to.
Reach Out to a Mount Pleasant Deckhand Injury Attorney Today
It might be challenging to decide on a proactive course of action after a severe injury at your job. With the guidance of a knowledgeable legal professional, though, you could more effectively and quickly pursue fair compensation for your injury.
A knowledgeable Mount Pleasant deckhand injury lawyer could discuss your legal options in detail during a private consultation. Schedule yours by calling today.