The growing volume of watercrafts in Staten Island and New York as a whole makes its port one of the busiest and dangerous in the world. Although commercial shipping plays a very vital role in the economy of New York, it can also cause a lot of accidents and injuries.
Maritime Laws Protecting Maritime Workers
It is important to note that there are federal laws that protect our hardworking maritime workers. The first one is the Jones Act, which protects seamen and crewmembers of commercial vessels in navigable waters. This law covers crewmembers on tugboats, barges, boats, cruise ships, ferries, tour boats, and tankers. It provides benefits for future lost wages, medical bills and costs related to injuries incurred in the sea.
Another law that protects maritime workers is the Longshore Harbor Worker Act that covers docks and shipyard workers. Spouses, children as well as dependent family members are also protected by the Death on the High Seas Act. This law allows the dependents to recover damages after the seaman is killed in international waters.
Types of Maritime Accidents
There are different types of maritime accidents that can happen to all maritime and shipyard workers. It is crucial to know the various types of accidents so that you would know how to properly file a claim for maritime injury suits.
- Slips and falls: One of the most common maritime accidents that can be covered by a maritime injury claim are slips and falls. All structures in the port and boats should have safety equipment installed to prevent slips and falls. If investigations can pinpoint that the cause of the slip and fall is due to failure of the owners and operators to provide the necessary safety equipment, then maritime injury claims can be made.
- Crane accidents: Crane accidents involve accidentally dropping the load or getting detached on a worker. Again, when such incidents occur because of negligence, legal recourse can be taken.
- Fire explosion: A ship on fire can be a very devastating thing to happen. Laws require people to have adequate equipment on board so that the crew can deal with fire quickly.
Why You Need to Consult with A Lawyer
The thing is, there are so many causes of maritime fatalities and injuries. Aside from negligence, they can be a result of poor training, fatigue, alcohol use, reckless behavior, poor maintenance, bad design, and so on. Whatever the reason, it is to your best advantage to consult with an accident lawyer Staten Island who understands the special laws governing the maritime industry of the area.
Hiring an accident lawyer Staten Island who is knowledgeable in maritime laws will help you tread the difficult waters when it comes to making a claim. In fact, different maritime laws have different statute of limitations. For instance, the Jones Act and the Death on High Seas both have a statute of limitation of three years while the Longshore Harbor and Worker’s Compensation Acts only have a year from the time of the accident. By hiring a knowledgeable attorney, he or she can efficiently handle your claim and successfully navigate the confusing and painstaking processes altogether.