Working in an offshore or maritime industry, such as oil or gas drilling, shipping, commercial fishing, and numerous others, carries significant risk. The regular offshore excursions these workers take makes an accident possible in numerous different ways, and in many cases these accidents can result in potentially devastating and life-impacting injuries.
Because of this, companies with maritime operations often have extremely high expenses when it comes to paying for workers’ compensation insurance, safety equipment, permits, and other operating expenses. Even despite these preventative measures, workers are unfortunately discriminated against and in some cases unjustly lose their jobs after they are injured in an accident while working.
To make matters worse, in many cases these accidents are caused by negligence on behalf of companies, ship owners, operators, or other high-ranking personnel tasked with ensuring the safety of their crew. These individuals have a duty to protect their workers and reduce the risks as much as possible, and there are many ways in which they can neglect or avoid doing so, such as utilizing an aging or unsafe fleet in need of a serious repair, not installing or using the proper safety equipment, or knowingly ignoring safety regulations or best practices.
So how do you protect your rights to compensation as a worker? It is highly illegal for a company to terminate an employee because of an injury, but it still happens, so what can you do? Fortunately, there is an important piece of legislation in place to help protect you and your loved ones. The Jones Act says that all seamen are entitled to maintenance and benefits if they are injured.
The first thing you should do after you are hurt is immediately seek the necessary medical attention you need. Then, once you are able to do so, file a claim with your company’s workers’ compensation firm. This will at least get the process started. Your company will probably move quickly to dismiss you to attempt to avoid having to pay this claim, and will frequently attempt to justify it by claiming you were at fault for the accident. By doing so, they believe they can justify not providing you coverage for the injury that occurred while you were on the job under their employment.
For this reason, your next phone call should be to an experienced Corpus Christi personal injury attorney. At Brunkenhoefer, P.C. Injury Attorneys, we have more than 70 years of legal practice experience protecting workers who have been injured on the job, including seamen in maritime positions. We are highly qualified in providing counsel for maritime law cases, and we will work hard to not only protect your right to work, but ensure you receive the financial relief you need after your injury.Call Brunkenhoefer, P.C. Injury Attorneys today at 361-730-1190 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.