Maritime workers, including those who work directly on board ships or other vessels as well as boatbuilders, dock loaders and construction workers, have inherently dangerous jobs. Despite an employer’s focus on safety, serious accidents can occur resulting in catastrophic injuries or death. For those maritime workers who are not otherwise eligible for protection under traditional state workers’ compensation programs, the Jones Act and the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provide federal workers’ compensation coverage. If a party’s injuries or wrongful death were the result of a non-employer third party’s negligence, it may also be possible to pursue legal action against those parties. This area of law can involve complex legal theories and evidence. It is imperative, therefore, for victims and their families to retain an attorney with experience handling such matters. Damon Young is a Peoria personal injury lawyer who handles Longshoremen and Jones Act cases throughout central Illinois. If you need assistance, contact our office to schedule an appointment.
Peoria injury lawyer assisting maritime workers who have been injured on the job
Most employees who are injured during the course of their employment can file a claim for benefits through the state’s workers’ compensation system. Generally speaking, state workers’ comp programs do not cover the majority of maritime workers. In the early part of the twentieth century, federal lawmakers sought to close this gap by establishing the Jones Act to cover seamen who were injured on the job. A few years later, the LHWCA was enacted to extend protection to additional workers, such as dock loaders, harbor construction, and maintenance crews and shipbuilders. If a maritime worker is injured during work, they may recover medical bills or lost wages from their employer under one of these programs, regardless of who was at fault. The programs also extend certain survivors’ benefits if the accident results in the employee’s death. Similar to traditional workers’ compensation claims, the injured party’s exclusive right of recovery against the employer is under one of these two laws. The victim’s employer must receive notification of the injury within thirty days and claims must be filed within one year of the incident.
While the Jones Act and the LHWCA provide much needed relief from medical bills and lost wages after an injury, the types of damages that may be recovered through these programs are limited. When serious accidents such as explosions, fires, or construction accidents occur in a maritime setting, injuries may be catastrophic, including traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, broken bones or wrongful death. Damages can be significant and include extensive medical treatment, the loss of earning capacity in the future, pain and suffering, and damages to one’s family, such as funeral expenses and the loss of companionship. The Jones Act and LHWCA programs are the exclusive remedies against the injured worker’s employer. It is possible under some circumstances, however, to pursue legal action against third-party non-employers whose negligence or intentional misconduct caused the accident. For example, if an accident was caused by a vessel owner’s negligent maintenance of the vessel or a defective piece of equipment at the job site, those responsible may be held liable for their negligence. Victims and their families may recover damages through a traditional personal injury action. Maritime cases often involve a complicated number of defendants with different insurance companies varying degrees of responsibility. Complex legal theories and evidence along with serious physical injuries may require the involvement of multiple expert witnesses. It goes without saying that it is imperative to retain an experienced Longshoremen lawyer if you have been injured in such an event.
Damon Young is a Peoria maritime accident attorney who has been representing clients since 2003. Once he is retained to represent you, he will take prompt action to notify your employer and start your claim under the Jones Act or the LHWCA. In addition, he will work diligently to identify any other responsible parties to initiate third-party non-employer claims as appropriate. He will thoroughly investigate the incident and gather all relevant evidence available for purposes of proving responsibility and damages. Damon works directly with your physicians and other experts to understand how the injuries sustained have impacted your life. This allows him to accurately estimate the full amount of damages to which you and your family may be entitled. He knows that big companies, such as equipment manufacturers, oil companies, and shipbuilders, among others, vigorously defend against claims that they may have harmed another. Damon will not back down from large corporations and will aggressively negotiate settlement terms or take your case to trial. Contact us today for assistance.
Illinois Longshoremen accident attorney providing high-quality customer service while handling serious injury cases
At our office, we believe that every personal injury case should be given the attention it deserves. To be handled properly, maritime accident cases require an attorney who understands the Jones Act and LHWCA claims process. Any complex third-party claim requires a lawyer familiar with the settlement and litigation process. Damon is diligent and experienced in these types of matters. He maintains regular communication with his clients from the outset of the case through a conclusion. Damon will meet with you at your home or the hospital as needed while you focus on your recovery. He encourages clients to contact him on his cell phone with all medical or case related updates and strives to promptly answer client inquiries. His experience representing accident victims and their families is invaluable when negotiating settlements and litigating a case at trial. If you or a loved one has been injured during the course of maritime employment, contact us online or by telephone today to schedule a free initial consultation.
In addition to Peoria, our lawyer also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.