Maritime injuries are common in the state of Alaska due to the many fishing boats and ships that pass through the region on a daily basis. And when one of those crewmembers becomes seriously injured or even dies due to a mishap that's not their fault, plenty of legal rights are available to the crew or family members. In maritime law, you have both federal laws and a state fund working in tandem that can help you gain maximum compensation for wrongful death or injury.
Employing Federal Laws
If you've ever done in any seafaring, then you know about the federalJones Act that was established over 93 years ago in the United States. It helped seamen be able to gain compensation for injuries due to negligence on their vessel. This could be from something the captain does wrong to perhaps mechanical failure that was never addressed.
The Jones Act has helped many people in sea careers gain compensation from maritime accidents. Its only fault is that the word "seaman" is still loosely defined and can sometimes be contested when it applies to a tourist or guest rather than a true crewmember.
If you've been injured in a martime accident, your personal injury lawyer will immediately employ the Jones Act in your case.
Death on the High Seas Act
This federal law was enacted in the same year as the Jones Act (1920) by U.S. Congress. However, the Death on the High Seas Act compensates families who've had a crewmember die on a ship at least 3 nautical miles off a U.S. coast. This mostly pays for the costs of burial for the deceased crewmember or the lost benefit of wages incurred by the surviving family.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act
Yet another federal law gives compensation to those who might have been injured or affected by disease on a ship off any navigable waters of the United States. Utilizing this plus the Jones Act gives you a double punch if you can prove extreme negligence and that injuries were extremely severe. Payments are sometimes done through an insurer or through a direct fund that's put together by the division that manages this federal act.
Workers' Compensation Fishermen's Fund
The Workers' Compensation Fishermen's Fund can help in compensating injuries at a local level. Be sure your personal injury lawyer understands this fund, because it can be tapped right away for immediate financial relief. While it doesn't provide the larger amounts you could potentially get in a lawsuit settlement, the fund has been around for over 60 years and helped countless injured ship crew with compensation on their medical costs.
In all, you're going to need a personal injury lawyer who's had experience in maritime accidents. Consider Power and Brown, LLC as your main source for all personal injury cases in Alaska. With extensive experience and millions of dollars won in personal injury cases, including many Maritime Cases, you won't find a law firm as committed as we are. Contact us if you've recently been in a maritime accident and we'll put federal and state law to work on your side.