Waterways are vital to the the transit of goods into the ports, but they are prone to sediment buildup. Dredge ships keep these waterways open by dredging out the buildup with heavy equipment and removing it to another location. Dredge workers have to handle dangerous equipment and put their bodies at risk in order to get the job done. The work comes with a higher risk of injury and it’s not unusual for dredge workers to suffer an accident while on the job. It’s also not unusual for dredging company operators to try and avoid paying out workers compensation claims for their injured employees. This is where dredge worker injury lawyers come into play.
Maritime Law Covers Dredge Workers and Their Injuries Sustained on the Job
The Jones Act covers dredge workers who are injured or killed on the job. This act provides rights to dredge workers who fall under the employment category of seamen. Dredgers are classified as vessels under the Jones Act which means an injured individual may be able to claim compensation even though they’re not working as a seaman.
A dredge worker who received injuries while on duty can make a negligence claim through the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). The Jones Act provides the legal definition to qualify an individual as a seaman while the LHWCA enables a qualifying individual to claim for wage compensation, medical care and rehabilitation services to recover from injuries received while working on a dredger. Also of benefit to a dredge worker is the fact that the LHWCA has Longshore Act Extensions that cover private individuals working for the U.S. military. If you have suffered an injury while working on a dredger, and you’re not sure if you qualify under either act, you can talk to dredge worker injury lawyers for help with your case.
The Jones Act allows seamen to claim compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Food, housing and transportation costs
- Disability and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
Common Injuries Suffered by Dredge Workers
Dredge workers are at risk of specific types of injuries due to the nature of the work. Death is also a risk for dredge workers. Some of the common injuries that come from working on a dredger include:
- Ankle, leg or knee injuries
- Back injury
- Limb amputation
- Shoulder injury
- Head injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Wrist and hand injuries
- Lung injury
- Crush injuries
Sustaining any of these injuries while employed as a dredge worker can entitle an individual to make a claim under federal maritime laws. The family of a seaman who was killed while on duty can make a claim on behalf of their lost loved one. Dredge worker injury lawyers can help seamen understand how the laws can work to help them recover from their injuries.