Virginia Maritime And Longshore Injury Lawyers

Employees in the maritime industry who are injured or killed on the job do not use the same workers’ compensation system that applies to most other workers in the United States. Instead, an injured worker or the family of a deceased worker may file a claim through either the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) or the Jones Act.

The LHWCA and the Jones Act are mutually exclusive federal laws that provide compensation for different kinds of maritime employees. The Jones Act applies to seamen, masters, or crew members. The LHWCA covers people who are not crew members but whose injuries occur on navigable waters of the United States. It also applies to adjoining areas such as terminals, piers, wharves, docks, and areas used for loading and unloading vessels.

Did you suffer catastrophic injuries, or did your loved one die in a maritime or longshore accident in Virginia? If so, you will want to retain legal counsel right away. An experienced attorney can immediately assist in dealing with several entities that may contact you about your case.

The Virginia maritime and longshore injury attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for thousands of clients. We can explore your legal options when you call (703) 538-1138 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

Table Of Contents

    Do I Need A Maritime And Longshore Injury Lawyer?

    It is usually beneficial for a person to hire an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. Other involved parties will inevitably contact them. For example, the owner of a vessel may try to discourage a person from filing a claim.

    Similarly, an insurance company for a negligent party may also reach out to discuss your accident. You should always refuse any offer to provide a recorded statement to an insurer or its claims adjuster.

    In some cases, the insurance company may be unknowingly attempting to get you to accept fault for certain aspects of your accident. The insurer could use your negligence to reduce or deny your injury claim.

    In other cases, an insurer may offer you what seems like a large lump sum settlement. You should know that these amounts are usually not enough to cover all of the future costs victims will incur, and a lawyer will be able to determine what your case is worth and then fight to recover as much of that amount as possible.

    Virginia Maritime And Longshore Injury Lawyers 2Why Choose CHASENBOSCOLO To Handle My Case?

    CHASENBOSCOLO has made taking care of our clients our top priority since our founding in 1986. We have grown from our founding partners to a team of 25 lawyers and more than 90 professionals with over 100 years of combined legal experience.

    Our staff is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You will never have to worry about calling us too late or too early, as we can address your concerns anytime.

    Barry M. Chasen received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell and was named the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers in 2013. Benjamin T. Boscolo also received an AV Preeminent rating and has been a workers compensation panelist for the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA).

    When you choose CHASENBOSCOLO, you will also receive the No Fee Guarantee® that eliminates your need to pay for anything unless you receive a monetary award. We will seek a just settlement to your case and file a lawsuit if an insurance company does not make an acceptable offer.

    Types Of Maritime And Longshore Injury Cases We Handle

    Maritime workers can suffer a wide range of injuries that may include, but are not limited to:

    • Soft Tissue Injuries
    • Head Injuries
    • Neck Injuries
    • Paralysis
    • Fractures
    • Sprains
    • Muscle Strains
    • Lacerations
    • Nerve Damage
    • Internal Organ Damage

    In some cases, workers may suffer fatal injuries. In many cases, the families of workers killed by the negligence of other parties can recover compensation from those parties.

    The accidents that may injure people can vary depending on the vessel and other circumstances. Some of the most common kinds of maritime and longshore injury cases we handle include, but are not limited to:

    • Fishing Accidents
    • Offshore Oil Rig Accidents
    • Dock, Pier, and Shipyard Accidents
    • Commercial Fishing Accidents
    • Oil Tanker and Cargo Ship Accidents
    • Recreational Boating Accidents
    • Cruise Ship Accidents
    • Ferry Accidents
    • Tugboat and Barge Accidents
    • Crane Accidents
    • Dredging Accidents
    • Crab Boat Accidents
    • Shipping Accidents
    • Container Ship Accidents

    The LHWCA covers employees in traditional maritime occupations such as:

    • Harbor construction workers
    • Shipbuilders
    • Ship-breakers
    • Ship-repairers
    • Longshore workers

    It can also cover non-maritime employees who work on and their injuries occur on navigable water. The LHWCA includes other types of employees under such Congressional extensions as:

    • The Defense Base Act (DBA)
    • Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA)
    • Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act (NAFIA)

    The LHWCA specifically excludes seamen or the masters or members of a crew of any vessel. The Jones Act covers these individuals. The LHWCA also excludes employees of the federal or any state or foreign government, employees injured by their intoxication, and employees injured because of their willful intention to harm themselves or others. The LHWCA also excludes certain individuals covered by state workers’ compensation law.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What should I do if I am involved in a maritime or longshore accident?

    You should always receive immediate medical care after any maritime or longshore accident. You are free to choose the doctor you want to treat you. Still, be sure to visit some hospital to ensure you did not suffer an injury that may involve delayed symptoms. Use your cell phone or an actual camera to take pictures of everything related to your accident. Get the names and phone numbers of any people who witnessed your accident. Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Do not discuss your accident with anybody until you have a lawyer. Be especially careful not to discuss your accident on a social media account.

    What is unseaworthiness?

    Unseaworthiness is a separate element from negligence, although it is very similar. A vessel may be unseaworthy if it has any part, piece of equipment, or even a crew member that does not provide seamen with a safe and suitable workplace. The owner of a vessel must provide all employees with a seaworthy vessel. An injured worker only needs to prove that some element of the vessel made it unseaworthy and caused their injuries.

    What is maintenance and cure?

    Employers must provide for the maintenance and cure of injured employees. Maintenance refers to food, lodging, and an employee’s daily living expenses, while cure applies to medical costs. Many employers pay much less maintenance than is necessary to cover rent costs. An attorney will help make sure you are receiving adequate medical payments. Similarly, some employers may demand that employees undergo independent medical examinations (IMEs) for treatment. You should again seek a lawyer’s help in navigating these issues.

    What is the Jones Act?

    Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act is a federal statute that regulates maritime commerce in United States waters and ports. Seamen covered by the Jones Act who are working in the service of vessels may be able to recover compensation related to their medical care and cost of living expenses.

    Determining if you are a seaman covered under the Jones Act can be difficult without the help of an experienced maritime attorney. CHASENBOSCOLO’s legal team is familiar with the stipulations and laws in the Jones Act, and we can help protect your rights.

    What is maritime law?

    Maritime law, often called admiralty law, is a federal law. It governs domestic and international activities (such as shipping) and vessels that operate on- and offshore. Attorneys can use these “laws of the sea” to enforce fair treatment and just payment of benefits to seamen and civilians injured while engaging in maritime-related activities.

    Longshore And Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) Benefits

    The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) protects workers like you who suffer injuries while working on U.S. waterways, harbors, or docks. Benefits provided by the LHWCA include:

    • Wage Replacement – If your injury leaves you unable to work, you may be eligible to receive up to 66.7 percent of your average weekly wage for as long as your injury prevents you from returning to your job.
    • Medical Expenses – The LHWCA entitles you to medical care and treatments paid for by your employer through their LHWCA or self-provided insurance.
    • Job Protection – The LHWCA says your employer cannot fire or discriminate against you if you file a compensation claim.

    The LHWCA also covers required safety notices at job sites, recordkeeping, incident reporting, penalties, sanctions, etc. At CHASENBOSCOLO, we are familiar with the guidelines of the LHWCA. Our Virginia longshore & harbor injury lawyers can investigate if your employer broke its rules.

    Maritime And Longshore Injury Statistics

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported over 3,700 marine terminals and 1,400 inter-modal connections in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the following about maritime and longshore industries:

    • Port and harbor operations: Employs about 7,700 workers as of December 2022. In 2021, there were 5.3 total recordable cases of injury, 3.3 cases requiring time off work, and 1.6 cases requiring transfer or restriction (per 100 workers).
    • Marine cargo handling: Employs about 66,000 workers as of December 2022. In 2021, there were 3.3 total recordable cases of injury, 1.8 cases requiring time off work, and 0.4 cases requiring transfer or restriction (per 100 workers).
    • Navigational services to shipping: Employs about 16,000 workers as of December 2022. In 2021, there were 3.2 total recordable cases of injury, 2.5 cases requiring time off work, and 0.3 cases requiring transfer or restriction (per 100 workers).
    • Ship and boat building: Employs about 152,000 workers as of December 2022. In 2021, there were 6.4 total recordable cases of injury, 3.4 cases requiring time off work, and 1.4 cases requiring transfer or restriction (per 100 workers).
    • Support activities for water transportation: Employs about 98,000 workers as of December 2022. In 2021, there were 3.3 total recordable cases of injury, 2,0 cases requiring time off work, and 0.4 cases requiring transfer or restriction (per 100 workers).

    Additionally, about 28,500 people worked as sailors or marine oilers.

    According to the CDC, over 400,000 people across the country work in the maritime industry. The fatality rate for the water transportation industry is 4.7 times higher than that for all American workers, and commercial fishing has a fatality rate 29 times higher than the national average.

    The CDC also reports that commercial fishing is one of the nation’s most dangerous occupations, with a workplace fatality rate about 40 times greater than the average.

    In the two decades from 2000 to 2019:

    • 878 commercial fishers died, an average of 43 per year
    • 47% of these deaths happened after a vessel disaster
    • 30% were due to falls overboard
    • 14% were due to onboard injuries
    • 9% happened because of offboard or diving injuries

    Contact A Maritime And Longshore Injury Attorney In Virginia

    Did you sustain serious injuries, or was your loved one killed in a maritime or longshore accident in Virginia? Do not wait to seek legal representation to obtain all the compensation you need and deserve.

    CHASENBOSCOLO understands the complexities of maritime law and can fight to hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries. Call (703) 538-1138 or contact us online for a free consultation.