When South Carolina maritime and offshore workers get injured on the job, they often have several questions:
- How do I apply for financial compensation?
- What expenses can I be compensated for?
- Can I sue my employer for causing my injury?
- Can I sue the owner of my vessel if it was unsafe?
- When should I talk to a lawyer?
We can help you begin planning for your injury recovery in a free consultation.
Our experienced maritime injury lawyers can help you secure the maximum financial compensation you’re entitled to.
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South Carolina’s ports are a major economic force in the region. The South Carolina Port Authority is responsible for 1 in 11 jobs in the state, and these jobs pay about 40 percent higher than South Carolina’s average wage. In total, over 187 thousand residents make a living through a port-affiliated job.
While these jobs provide economic security for individuals and help drive the economic activity of the state, maritime and offshore work can be dangerous. Maritime and offshore injuries are fairly common, and may require long periods of missed work along with painful and expensive recoveries. For South Carolina offshore workers who find themselves in this position, it’s important to be aware of the right to financial compensation.
If you’ve been injured as an offshore or maritime worker, you may be eligible for financial compensation under the Jones Act or other maritime laws. An experienced maritime lawyer can help you better understand your options in a free consultation.
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Federal Maritime Injury Laws
In the event of a work-related injury, South Carolina maritime workers may be covered by one of two federal laws:
- Jones Act – The Jones Act covers workers who meet the definition of a “seaman”, which is defined as anyone who spends at least 30% of their work time in the service of a vessel on navigable waters. These workers immediately qualify for maintenance and cure benefits, which provide compensation for living expenses and medical bills. Workers who have been injured due to some form of negligence in their workplace may also have the option to seek additional damages by suing their employer and/or the owner of their work vessel.
- Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) – If you don’t meet the requirements of the Jones Act, you may still recover financial compensation by filing a LHWCA claim. These claims do not consider negligence but provide no-fault compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation services, and death benefits for family members.
South Carolina’s Most Significant Ports
South Carolina has a couple of ports which generate the largest economic impacts:
Port of Charleston
The Port of Charleston is a large seaport which spans three different municipalities, including Charleston, North Charleston, and Mount Pleasant. The port’s facilities handle containers, motor vehicles and other rolling stock, non-containerized goods and project cargo, cruise ship operations. This port contains five public terminals, in addition to privately owned and operated facilities which handle commodities such as petroleum, coal, and steel.
Port of Georgetown
Just 60 miles north of Charleston, the Port of Georgetown specializes in breakbulk and bulk cargo transportation. The top commodities passing through this port include steel, cement, aggregates, and forest products. Facilities in this port are owned and operated by a combination of the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA), the US government, and private businesses which include seafood and paper companies.
Seeking The Compensation You Deserve
After suffering a serious maritime or offshore injury, it can be difficult to recover the full financial compensation you’re entitled to on your own. These injury claims involve the complex statutes of maritime law and it’s common to face resistance from employers and insurance companies.
In order to make sure you recover the financial compensation you need and deserve after an injury, it’s usually wise to ask for guidance from an experienced maritime lawyer. The right lawyer can help you understand your rights and represent you through all aspects of the legal process, including negotiations with insurance companies. You can learn more about your options in a free consultation, and will only be asked for payment if and when you receive financial compensation.