Philadelphia Maritime Accident Lawyer
Were you or a loved one hurt off the coast of Philadelphia, PA? You may be entitled to damages for medical bills, lost wages, and more–but it isn’t always easy to get the full compensation you deserve. A Philadelphia maritime accident lawyer at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC can help.
We’ve worked to protect the rights of accident victims in Philadelphia since 1985. Our hard work has paid off. We’ve won millions in compensation for our clients over the years.
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How Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC Can Help After a Maritime Accident in Philadelphia
Maritime injury cases are notoriously complex. Unlike typical work injury claims, there are multiple laws and legal theories that might apply in your case. You might even be entitled to compensation under more than one statute.
If you were hurt on a dock, wharf, boat tug, cruise ship, fishing boat, cargo boat, or any other type of vessel, maritime law may apply. A Philadelphia personal injury lawyer can help you understand which laws apply and fight for the compensation you deserve.
When you hire Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, our attorneys will:
- Investigate to identify all responsible parties
- Identify the relevant maritime laws
- Negotiate with insurance companies who might try to pay less than you deserve
- Protect you if your employer or the insurer pressures you into returning to work before you’re healed
Our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys have over 80 years of combined experience handling complex claims like yours. Call or contact us online to speak with a lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, who can help.
How Common Are Maritime Accidents in Philadelphia?
Philadelphia has been a key port for commercial activities in the U.S. since the 1800s. Delaware River port activity in the Greater Philadelphia area is a $2.4 billion dollar industry.
Maritime industry workers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have dangerous jobs. They risk injury from fires and explosions, fall accidents, and even falling cargo containers. Nearly 3,175 maritime casualties and incidents were reported across the country for 2018. These accidents involved 3,515 ships and injured 941 people. Tragically, 53 lost their lives.
What is Maritime Law?
Maritime law is unique to the maritime industry. It governs a broad range of issues, including maritime accident and injury cases.
Technically, federal courts have jurisdiction over maritime cases. However, a maritime injury case can be handled in either federal or state court. A number of different laws and legal concepts can be useful in recovering compensation if you were hurt in a maritime accident.
Those might include:
The Jones Act
The Jones Act is a federal law that applies to workers who do most of their work on a vessel. To recover compensation under the Jones Act, the seaman must prove that their employer was at least partly responsible for the boating accident.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Most maritime workers aren’t eligible for traditional Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides similar benefits for individuals who work on or in:
- Ship terminals
- Other areas adjacent to the water
Like traditional workers’ compensation, you don’t have to prove negligence to recover disability benefits.
Maintenance and Cure
Maintenance and Cure is a common law concept that provides compensation for injured merchant seamen and commercial fishermen. Injured workers remain eligible for maintenance and cure until they’ve reached maximum medical improvement–and there’s no need to prove that your employer was negligent.
Owners of vessels are generally required to maintain a safe working environment. The general maritime doctrine of unseaworthiness holds them accountable for any injuries that occur because the vessel isn’t seaworthy.
Maritime Personal Injury Laws
Maritime personal injury laws protect passengers who are hurt aboard a vessel. If you’re injured while on a fishing charter, cruise ship, river tour, or other vessel, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible.
What is My Philadelphia Maritime Accident Case Worth?
You’ve already taken a physical and financial hit if you were injured on the job. You deserve to get the full compensation available while you recover.
Some factors that insurance companies consider when putting a value on your claim include:
- The severity of your injury
- How long you’ll be off the job
- The cost of your medical care
- The circumstances surrounding the accident
- The likely future impact of your injury
Our attorneys at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC can fight to recover the full compensation available under state, federal, and maritime laws.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Maritime Accident Victims?
Maritime accident victims have a number of different options for recovering damages. The types of damages available in your personal injury case will depend upon the legal basis used to recover compensation.
The Jones Act
That means you may be able to recover damages for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- And more
If you can establish that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you may be entitled to the same types of damages available in a traditional personal injury case.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The LHWCA provides compensation for economic damages. If this law applies, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation if you can’t return to work.
If you lost a loved one, you may also be entitled to compensation for loss of inheritance, funeral and burial costs, and other damages for wrongful death.
Maintenance and Cure
If eligible for maintenance and cure, you can recover compensation for room and board, wages, and medical expenses until you’re able to return to work.
Unseaworthiness and General Maritime Laws
If you were hurt because a vessel was unseaworthy, you may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. That means you can recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. It’s also possible that punitive damages could be available if the ship owner’s actions amounted to gross negligence.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Maritime Accident in Pennsylvania?
Many maritime laws don’t require the accident victim to establish negligence. In other words, you can recover compensation even if you were partly to blame.
In cases involving general personal injury law concepts, your damages award can be reduced in proportion to your share of the blame under Pennsylvania state comparative negligence laws.
We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Maritime Accident Injuries
Maritime accidents in Philadelphia can leave victims suffering from any number of injuries.
Common maritime accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Back injuries
- Burn injuries
- Crush injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Head and neck injuries
- Organ damage
- Traumatic amputations
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death
Our attorneys at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC will fight to recover full compensation for all of your maritime accident injuries–regardless of how big or small. If you were hurt, contact our law offices today to learn more about your legal right to compensation.
What Causes Most Maritime Accidents in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?
Some of the most common causes of maritime accidents include:
- Failure to follow marine industry safety regulations
- Defective work equipment
- Lack of proper protective safety equipment
- Worker fatigue
- Failure to properly train and supervise employees (negligent hiring practices)
- Drug or alcohol use
- Unsafe working conditions
- Defective ship design
- Slip and falls
- Fires and explosions
If you have questions about your rights under the Jones Act or general maritime laws, don’t hesitate to call our law firm to schedule a free case review today.
How Do I Prove Negligence After a Maritime Accident in Pennsylvania?
Injured maritime workers don’t always have to prove negligence to recover compensation.
In almost all maritime injury cases, you’ll have to prove:
- Where the accident happened (onshore or offshore, or on the vessel)
- Whether you were a seaman, harbor worker, passenger, etc.
To recover compensation under the Jones Act or general injury principles, you will have to prove that your employer or someone else was negligent.
That means establishing:
- A duty of care
- Breach of that duty
- That the breach caused your injuries
Proving negligence isn’t always a simple task. Our Philadelphia maritime accident attorneys are here to help. To learn more, give us a call for legal advice today.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Maritime Accident in Pennsylvania?
Accident victims generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit under Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations.
You could have more or less time depending upon the legal basis for your claim.
Contact a Philadelphia Maritime Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Were you hurt in a maritime accident near Philadelphia? Establishing an attorney client relationship can be key to recovering the fair compensation you need. Call a Philadelphia maritime accident lawyer at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options today.