​New Smyrna Beach Maritime Work Injury Lawyer

March 27, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman

If you sustained injuries in the course of your job as a maritime worker in New Smyrna Beach or elsewhere, you likely have a right to compensation. But unlike people who work in other industries, you may not be covered by ordinary workers’ compensation insurance. Instead, your right to payment for your losses may stem from a complicated body of laws that govern maritime worker injuries.

As a result, obtaining your compensation takes more than simply filing an insurance claim. Chances are you’ll need an experienced maritime work injury lawyer to pursue payment by taking legal action on your behalf. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can help you explore your options.

Our Maritime Work Injury Team

At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we spend our days fighting to secure compensation for people who have suffered accidental injuries. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial devastation an injury can usher into someone’s life.

Our mission is to get our clients as much money as possible to help them pay their bills and plan for the future, no matter what challenges it may hold. We’ve earned a stellar reputation as a team that can secure top-dollar results in even those most difficult cases.

Advocating for injured maritime workers constitutes an important part of our law practice. Our team includes experienced maritime lawyers who understand the intricacies of pursuing claims on behalf of people who get hurt at work on or near the water. Connect with our ​New Smyrna Beach personal lawyers today to learn how we can help after a maritime work injury disrupts your life.

​New Smyrna Beach Maritime Work Injury Lawyer

Sample Maritime Work Injury Cases We Can Handle

Our team at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, is prepared to handle many maritime work injury cases.

For example:

  • Slip and fall injuries aboard a vessel, whether docked or at-sea
  • Drownings and near drownings
  • Injuries sustained while loading, unloading, or transferring cargo, whether on board a vessel or pier-side
  • Burns from a fire or explosion aboard or adjacent to a vessel
  • Illnesses due to acute or long-term toxic exposure to hazardous materials or chemicals aboard a vessel
  • Injuries caused by machinery, tackle, and other equipment on or below deck, or pier-side
  • Injuries suffered in a vessel collision or sinking
  • Injuries while serving as a diving or fishing guide

This isn’t a complete list, of course. Maritime workers can sustain injuries in innumerable ways. No matter how you got hurt while working in a maritime job, the team at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, invites you to connect with us to learn about your rights to seek compensation.

Your Rights to Compensation for a Maritime Work Injury

Workers in the maritime industry—which covers most commercial activities connected with vessels that operate in navigable waters—face constant risks on the job. Decks and docks are slippery. Waves and weather make footing tricky. Complex machinery moves heavy cargo. Accidents happen, and sometimes workers get badly hurt.

If you or someone you love sustained serious injuries or developed an illness due to conditions at a maritime industry job, it’s critical to understand the rights you have to claim compensation and why hiring an experienced maritime attorney like a team member at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, is your safest option for getting the money you need. Here’s an overview of how your rights may work.

Rights of Injured Seamen

Maritime workers, known as seamen, have rights to receive money from their employers after suffering a work-related injury or illness.

Under maritime laws, a seaman:

  • Works on a vessel in navigation
  • Does work that contributes to the function of the vessel or to accomplishing its mission; and
  • Does work that has a substantial connection to the vessel, both nature and duration.

If you fit this description and get hurt or sick while doing your job, you likely have the absolute right to receive payments known as “maintenance and cure,” and you may have the right to sue your employer (or other parties) for additional damages. Here’s an overview of each type of compensation.

Maintenance and Cure

As a seaman, you have a virtually absolute right to receive maintenance and cure payments after getting hurt or sick in connection with your maritime job. Maintenance is your daily cost of living, calculated according to what it would cost you to live on land while healing from your injury. Cure is the medical expense of treating your injury or illness, up to the point that you can return to work or that additional treatments will not improve your condition.

Maintenance and cure is a basic right of seafaring work dating back centuries. It serves roughly the same function as workers’ compensation insurance for non-maritime workers. You generally have the right to receive maintenance and cure regardless of who was at fault for your injury or illness, even if you were to blame.

At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we can represent injured or ill seamen whose employers have failed to pay them maintenance and cure as required by maritime law.

Jones Act Negligence Claims

Under a federal law known as the Jones Act, seamen also have the right to sue their employers for additional damages in certain circumstances.

If, while working as a seaman, you got hurt or sick due in part—no matter how small—to your employer’s or a co-worker’s negligence, you can take legal action for monetary damages such as:

  • Past and future medical expenses not covered by maintenance and cure;
  • Other costs of living with or adapting to your injury or illness;
  • Past lost earnings and job benefits due to your maritime work injury or illness
  • Future lost earnings and job benefits if you’re unable to work long-term
  • Your physical pain and emotional suffering
  • Your diminished quality of life and daily inconvenience
  • In some cases, punitive damages that serve to punish your employer

The damages potentially recoverable in a Jones Act claim go far beyond what a non-maritime worker could typically claim from workers’ comp. But to get those damages, seamen typically need to pursue legal action with the help of an experienced maritime work injury attorney.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, understands the ins and outs of Jones Act claims and has the skill and resources to win them.

Claims Against Others

Injured seamen may, in some cases, also have the right to sue other individuals or entities after getting hurt or sick on the job. For example, you may have a claim against the manufacturer of defective safety equipment on board a vessel that caused you to get hurt. The damages recoverable in a case against another party are similar to those available in a Jones Act negligence case.

At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we dig deep into the facts of maritime work injuries to identify every party who may owe damages to our client.

Rights of Spouses/Families of Deceased Seamen

In the event of a seaman’s accidental death involving a private maritime employer’s or co-worker’s negligence, the victim’s surviving spouse or family members generally have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim against the employer under the Jones Act.

Damages recoverable include:

  • Loss of the seaman’s income, financial support, and services
  • Loss of the seaman’s guidance and companionship
  • Medical and other expenses related to the condition that caused the seaman’s death
  • The seaman’s pain and suffering before death
  • Funeral and burial expenses.

If a seaman died due to an accident that occurred more than three miles offshore, a separate federal law called the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) entitles the victim’s next of kin to pursue a lawsuit against anyone at fault (not just the seaman’s employer). Only pecuniary (or monetary) damages are recoverable in a DOHSA case, however—there is no claim under the act for the seaman’s pain and suffering.

At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we’re prepared to pursue justice and fair compensation when an accident takes the life of a seaman. Contact our compassionate, knowledgeable team to learn about your rights in a free consultation.

Rights of Injured Longshoremen and Oil Rig Workers

Longshoremen who work on docks loading and unloading cargo, and workers on oil drilling rigs, generally have rights under federal law to receive benefits similar to workers’ compensation when they get hurt or sick on the job.

The Longshoreman & Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides those benefits to longshoremen and other non-seamen who work in commercial harbor-related roles (such as shipbuilding or repair). The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) extends benefits to workers on the outer continental shelf area of the United States—principally oil rig workers who do not qualify as Jones Act seamen.

Both acts provide for the payment of benefits such as:

  • Medical expenses to treat a job-related injury
  • Disability benefits to replace a portion of a worker’s lost income on a temporary or permanent basis
  • Wage-replacement death benefits in the event of a loss of life
  • Vocational rehabilitation/job retraining benefits

Similar to non-maritime workers’ comp, LHWCA and OCSLA benefits are paid on a no-fault basis, meaning that workers are entitled to receive them regardless of who or what caused the accident or condition that harmed them.

In addition to LHWCA and OCSLA claims, injured longshoremen and oil rig workers may also have the right to sue third parties (someone other than their employer) for damages related to their job-related injury or illness. Damages recoverable in those actions are similar to those available to seamen in a Jones Act negligence case (see above).

The maritime attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, work tirelessly to secure fair compensation for injured longshoremen and oil rig workers. Time is often short to pursue a claim, however, so connect with our team today to learn about your options after getting hurt in a maritime job.

How We Can Help With a Maritime Work Injury Case in New Smyrna Beach

​New Smyrna Beach Maritime Work Injury Lawyer

At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we take maritime workers’ rights seriously. If you got hurt or sick in connection with a maritime injury job—whether as a Jones Act seaman, longshoreman, oil rig worker, or other employee in the maritime industry—we want to help you understand your rights and explore your options for pursuing compensation.

Every maritime work injury claim we handle differs. But no matter what a case throws our way, we’re prepared to handle it with the skill and sophistication necessary to come out on top.

Our team can:

  • Investigate maritime work injuries to determine their causes and identify parties at fault
  • Pinpoint the location of an accident and determine the maritime law that might apply
  • Evaluate ownership of vessels and the commercial relationships among parties potentially liable for our client’s losses
  • Analyze insurance coverage that may pay for our client’s care and losses
  • Answer our client’s questions and advise them about critical life decisions that may affect their rights
  • Submit claims to insurance companies, maritime employers, and courts demanding compensation for our client’s losses
  • Negotiate settlements of our client’s claims when possible
  • Go to court to prove our client’s claims to a judge, jury, or arbitrator
  • Collect and disburse the money owed to our client

Our team understands the financial strain a maritime work injury can cause the victim and their family. For that reason, we strive to make our services affordable by working on a contingent fee basis. We do not charge our clients upfront or hourly fees. Instead, we only get paid out of money we succeed in securing on our client’s behalf. We only receive a fee, in other words, if we win for you.

Contact Our New Smyrna Beach Maritime Work Injury Lawyers Today

As a worker who got hurt or sick while doing your job in the maritime industry, you have potentially valuable rights to compensation that can pay your expenses and assist you in healing. But obtaining that money won’t necessarily be easy. The most reliable way to get the funds you need is to work with an experienced, resourceful maritime law attorney.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, wants to help. Our maritime work injury team can evaluate your claim and explain your legal options. Contact us today at 833-552-7274 for your free consultation.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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