Our experienced maritime injury lawyers can help guide you through the claims process and help you secure the compensation you deserve.
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In Connecticut, the various sectors of the maritime industry provide nearly 40,000 state residents with jobs and contribute billions of dollars to the state’s economy. Workers in commercial fishing, seafood packaging, ship building/repairing, boat building, water transportation, sightseeing, and recreation all work hard at their jobs to support their families and keep their communities running. While the work may be rewarding, many offshore workers in Connecticut suffer serious injuries on the job.
Fortunately, there are federal maritime laws that protect offshore and maritime workers when they get hurt on the job. Offshore workers may recover financial compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other damages in a Jones Act claim. Other maritime workers who are not covered by the Jones Act may seek compensation through another maritime law called the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
The Port of Bridgeport is located in Connecticut’s largest city and is it’s second-busiest port, with approximately 5 million tons of cargo moving through its waters each year. Transportation methods include water vessels, barges, and large trucks.
Top cargoes handled include:
Port of New Haven
The Port of New Haven is the busiest port between Boston and New York City and the largest deep-water port in Connecticut. This port handles approximately 18 million tons of cargo each year, including nearly all of Connecticut’s locally-manufactured goods.
The top cargoes transported through this port include:
Paper and wood pulp
Port of New London
The Port of New London is in a good location, but the facilities have been neglected over the years. However, there is currently legislation being proposed which would provide a large investment of federal money to upgrade the port’s facilities. The hope is that this investment will lead to more jobs and an uptick in businesses surrounding the port.
Compensation Available For Injured Port and Offshore Workers
Depending on the nature of work duties, injured Connecticut maritime and offshore workers may seek financial compensation under either the Jones Act or Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).
The Jones Act covers seamen, ship crew members, and other workers who spend at least 30% of their work hours contributing to the function of an eligible vessel on navigable waters. There are two forms of benefits under this Act. Maintenance and cure benefits provide financial assistance for daily living expenses and medical bills until a doctor determines full recovery has been achieved. Jones Act workers also have the option to sue their employers and/or vessel owners for additional damages if negligence or the unseaworthiness of the vessel played a part in their injuries.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act covers virtually every other maritime worker who isn’t covered by the Jones Act. These claims only involve no-fault benefits for lost wages, medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation services, and death benefits for family members of fatal accident victims. This benefits system does not consider how negligence may have played a role in an injury.
Determining which system you’re covered under is not always easy, but an experienced maritime lawyer can help you better understand your options in a free consultation.
Navigating Maritime Law
In any American industry, it’s common for injured workers to struggle to receive the financial compensation they deserve. This is especially true in the maritime industry, since these workers are covered by unique federal maritime laws. Jones Act claims which involve negligence are even more complex, since you must establish that some form of negligence was a contributing factor in your injury.
In order to get through the complexities of the claims process and deal with insurance companies who specialize in denying claims, it’s often necessary to have an experienced maritime injury lawyer by your side. Workers with legal representation are much more likely to recover the full compensation they deserve. To find out more about your rights, contact us today for a free consultation.