This is the next article in my series on the handling of Illinois cases involving injured longshoremen or claims under the Jones Act. My last article discussed the process of filing a LHWCA or Jones Act claim. It is important to understand that these cases fall outside of the normal workers’ compensation system. Having an attorney who is familiar with the process can be important to ensuring that your case is handled correctly. In this article I will discuss bringing a case against third-parties who may be liable for one’s damages. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Peoria lawyer.
Negligent third-parties may be sued when a maritime or longshore worker has been injured
Injuries suffered by maritime or longshore workers sometimes involve the negligence of third-parties. The law allows injured workers to seek compensation from such entities. In order to bring a claim against such a party it will be necessary to show a) that the person or entity was negligent in some way and b) that such negligence caused or helped cause the victim’s injuries. This is best explained by example. Suppose a third-party maintenance company is responsible for maintaining forklifts on a dock. One of this company’s mechanics fails to properly tighten the fuel line on a forklift and there is an explosion which seriously injures a worker. The worker would be able to seek damages for pain and suffering, etc. against the maintenance company.
The process for bringing suit against a third-party is different for maritime workers who fall under the Jones Act than it is for longshore workers who fall under the LHWCA. Injured maritime workers may directly file a suit against the third-party. Longshore workers, by contrast, can typically file ninety days after the accident if they choose to receive workplace compensation under the LHWCA. This permits the longshore worker’s employer to file a suit against the party on behalf of the worker. If the employer does not file suit, then the worker is free to do so. If a longshore worker forgoes compensation under the LHWCA then they are free to sue the third-party immediately.
Retain an experienced Illinois lawyer to assist with your maritime or longshore injury case
Bringing claims against third-parties can be complicated in any area of injury law. This is especially true in maritime and longshore injury cases as various laws and regulations add extra levels of complexity. Also, there may be more than one liable third-party. Failing to identify each possible defendant can result in you or a loved one not receiving the full amount of compensation which you deserve. Contacting an attorney who is familiar with the handling of such matters can be vital to your case.
If you are in need of assistance then contact my Peoria office today to speak with an Illinois longshore and maritime injury lawyer. My office is dedicated to protecting the rights of people over those of corporations and we strive to provide the highest level of service. We understand that this is a serious time in your life and we will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone to schedule an initial consultation.