What Is Maritime Negligence?
It is a shipowner’s most solemn responsibility to exercise reasonable care aboard their vessel to prevent injury, illness, or damage. Any failure or breach of this duty that results in harm being done to their crew is considered to be negligence under maritime law.
Whether through laziness, incompetence, or by cutting corners to make a quick profit, employer negligence can prove dangerous or fatal to employees. There is often no excuse for this negligence, and if it happens to you, justice can – and should – be sought after.
Does Maritime Law Cover Acts of Negligence?
Under the terms of the Jones Act, an injured seaman can bring up a claim of negligence against their employer (as opposed to the direct shipowner). Any act on behalf of the employer that contributes to the injury of an employee can be considered negligence under maritime law, and may be brought to court to seek compensation for medical bills and lost wages.
A common defense against claims of negligence is for the employer to try and argue that the employee contributed to their own injury through negligence or carelessness. This is referred to as comparative negligence and could have an impact on your potential judgment during the case. If proven, the court will reduce the award by a percentage amount equal to the comparative negligence decided by the court – for example, if the jury finds that the employee is 10% responsible for the injury, a financial settlement of $100,000 will be reduced by that 10% to a total of $90,000.
What Can I Do If I Am Injured By Employer Negligence?
Don’t lose out on what you’re entitled to. If you have been injured on the job through laziness or corner-cutting done by your employer, you need the help of a maritime lawyer to see you through the complicated waters of maritime law.
O’Bryan Law is an experienced team of Jones Act attorneys that will defend your rights, no matter where in the United States you were injured. We’ll help you in all legal matters, even in statements given to an insurance representative or company claims agent, and prevent you from accidentally absolving your employer of any responsibility for your injury. Shipowners and employers will happily hire all types of slick insurance men and so-called “investigators” to save them money but may prevent you from getting the justice and compensation you deserve. Their loyalties lie with the company dime – but O’Bryan’s loyalties lie with you. Contact us today and let us defend your rights.