What Washington’s Maritime Workers Should do if Injured on the Job

Washington’s maritime sector encompasses 2,300 companies that employ over 69,500 workers. Unfortunately, people working in the maritime industry suffer from work-related accidents all of the time. The fortunate news, though, is that injury victims can seek compensation for the losses they incur because of these accidents. It’s critical for these parties to seek the help of an experienced maritime attorney to ensure that they maximize their payouts.

Seek Medical Help Immediately After an Accident

The most important thing you should do if injured on the job is to seek medical attention for your injuries. This is true even if you believe your injuries are only mild. Sometimes serious medical conditions can develop with only minor symptoms. You should receive medical treatment from an emergency care provider, an urgent care clinic, or your primary care physician.

Your health should be your number one priority after an accident. You should only worry about the legal ramifications of your incident after you have protected your health and safety. No exceptions to this rule apply.

Types of Maritime Workers

There are two main types of maritime workers in Washington. These include longshoremen and seamen. Longshoreman and those workers who manage the state’s ports and waterways to help prevent accidents from occurring. Examples of longshoreman related jobs include:

  • Shipbreakers,
  • Ship repairmen,
  • Marine construction workers,
  • Ship engineers, and
  • Harbor laborers.

Seamen are generally workers employed as crew members on a vessel. They can often work under dangerous conditions, including severe weather. Seamen can include any of the following:

  • Captains,
  • Deck Officers,
  • Mates,
  • Boatswains, and
  • Deck Cadets.

The following are common sources of maritime accidents for both longshoremen and seamen:

  • Inadequate safety equipment,
  • Lack of proper training to prevent an injury,
  • Unsafe work surfaces (e.g., slippery or icy decks),
  • Improperly performed lifting and crane operations,
  • Exposures to toxic chemicals or gases,
  • Workers failing to follow safety protocols.

Compensation Under Federal Law

Land-based employees can often seek compensation for a work-related industry by filing a workers’ compensation claim with either their employer’s insurer or with the state’s Department of Labor & Industries.  However, different rules apply to injured maritime workers. To receive compensation for their injuries, they will have to file a claim under either the:

The facts of an accident, and the exact type of maritime worker an injury victim is, will determine which act the injured party files a claim under. Claims under either act will allow injured workers to receive compensation for:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Lost wages,
  • Future economic loss,
  • Rehabilitation costs, and
  • Pain and suffering.

Note, though, that the best way to maximize your compensation is by contacting an experienced maritime attorney or skilled personal injury attorney for help.

Contact Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC

Please know that Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC is here to help if you were injured in a maritime related accident. Our attorneys provide free consultations to all our potential clients. Further, the attorneys at our law firm have over 120 years of combined experience representing injured maritime workers and helping them file injury claims to get the compensation they deserve. Do yourself a favor and contact them now for the quality legal assistance you deserve.