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Nationally Recognized Attorneys

AVVO Rated Legal Help for Injured Deckhands Superlawyer Deckhand Injury Help New Orleans Deckhand Injuries Attorneys Attorneys for Injured Deckhands that are National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Deckhand Injury Claim Attorneys Injured Deckhand Claims Martindale Rated America 100 Top Attorneys
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Legal Rights of an Injured Deckhand Under Maritime Law

General Maritime Law and the Jones Act require maritime employers and vessel owner/operators to provide a safe work environment for deckhands. This includes a seaworthy vessel with appropriate, adequate, and functioning gear, appurtenances and crew.

When vessel owners fail to provide the necessary and/or adequate equipment to perform a job safely, and such failure results in injury, an injured deckhand may pursue a claim for negligence and/or unseaworthiness against the vessel owner. A deckhand may also be able to file a claim against their maritime employer for negligence, if the vessel owner and employer are separate entities.

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Compensation for Deckhands Injured at Work

Accident Lawyers for Deckhands
Deckhand Injury Attorneys under Maritime Law

Under maritime law, injured deckhands may seek compensation for maintenance (living expenses) and cure (medical expenses) regardless of who is at fault for the accident. If our deckhand injury attorneys can prove the injury was caused by negligent acts or an unseaworthy vessel, the deckhand may be entitled to additional damages, including but not limited to:

  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of earning capacity

The deckhand injury attorneys at The Lambert Firm have an impressive track record when it comes to securing maximum compensation for our clients who have been injured while on the job, including a recent settlement of $850,000.00 for a deckhand on a push boat who injured his back after being instructed to move a transfer hose by hand from one fuel barge to another.

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Maritime Laws that Protect Deckhands

The difference between maritime laws and remedies is important and can be complex. The Lambert Firm has been protecting the rights of injured deckhands and other maritime workers since the 1970s and can help you determine which laws apply to your case.

The Jones Act

Since the 1920s, the Jones Act has been one of the most important laws protecting maritime workers’ rights, including deckhands. It expands the rights of injured seamen under General Maritime Law and adds new rights and causes of action for injured workers to seek compensation for damages related to on-the-job injuries.

Learn More About Who Qualifies Under the Jones Act

Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA)

While most deckhands are are covered by the Jones Act, there are other federal maritime laws that offer protection to workers who don’t qualify as seamen. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or LHWCA, is one of these. It covers those injured while working in support of the maritime industry on any navigable waterway.

Learn More About Your Rights as a Longshoremen

General Maritime Law

Under general maritime law, deckhands and other crewmembers of a vessel have a legal right to seek compensation when they have been injured because of the unseaworthiness of a vessel. They also have the right to maintenance and cure payments.

Learn More About General Maritime Law

Maintenance & Cure

A deckhand who has been injured while working on a vessel has the right to maintenance and cure benefits. This is until reaching maximum medical improvement or returning to work.

Learn More About Maintenance and Cure

Deckhand Accident Lawyers and the Maritime Laws that Protect

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do Deckhands Qualify as Seaman?

The Jones Act only covers injured workers who qualify for the legal definition of a seaman. To determine whether a deckhand qualifies as a seaman, our attorneys consider:

  • Whether the deckhand works on a vessel that is in navigation.
  • Whether the workers’ duties contribute to the function or mission of the vessel.
  • Whether the deckhand has a substantial connection to a single vessel (spending at least 30 percent of  employment on it).

Read more about who qualifies as a Jones Act seaman

What Are the Most Common Types of Deckhand Accidents?

There are many different types of deckhand accidents. Some of the most common causes of injuries are:

  • Collisions
  • Allisions
  • Falling Overboard
  • Inadequate Railings
  • Defective or poorly maintained tools
  • Snapbacks
  • Fires and explosions
  • Chemical exposure
  • Bad weather
  • Falling objects
  • Failure to follow maritime rules and regulations
  • Undertrained, understaffed and/or overworked crews
How Long Does It Take for Deckhand Accident Cases to Settle?

Each case is different, so it’s difficult to give an estimate for how long a case might take. In most cases, it will take at least a few months but can take a year or longer depending on the complexity of the case.

How Much Will My Injury Case Be Worth?

We know this is an important question, but every deckhand injury case is different. The unique facts of your case and the legal issues involved will be the determining factors in the potential value of your accident case.

While we can’t give an accurate general answer, it may be helpful to read some of our case results. You can also schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced maritime lawyers to discuss the facts of your case.

If I File a Maritime Claim, Will I Be Blacklisted From Working in the Maritime Industry?

Maritime workers sometimes choose not to pursue legal action against the responsible party because of a fear of reprisal by their employers. They are concerned about finding themselves on a “blacklist” and unable to get employment in the maritime industry.

We can’t say for certain whether any “list” is floating around among maritime employers, but even if there is, we feel strongly that this should NOT be a deciding factor in pursuing a claim. There are laws that protect deckhands and other maritime workers from being blacklisted or otherwise retaliated against.

How Does Federal Law Apply to Deckhand Injuries?

Most workers who are injured on the job are protected by state workers compensation laws. However, deckhands and other maritime workers who suffer a work injury are typically protected by federal laws, including the Jones Act, general maritime law and the LHWCA.

What Can I Do If My Employer Ends Maintenance and Cure Too Soon?

The courts have little sympathy for an employer who is “arbitrary and capricious” or “willful or callous” in delaying, denying or terminating maintenance and cure benefits and allows the seaman to take legal action, including punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

Read more about your rights if an employer ends maintenance and cure too soon

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701 Magazine St, New Orleans LA 70130

FAX: (504) 529-2931


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