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Boat sinking into the water

What to Know After a River Construction Site Accident

February 19, 2016

There were thankfully no injuries today after a crane on the banks of an Ohio River construction site collapsed into the water. However, it’s important for workers on the East End Bridge and other construction projects on or around Louisville’s waterways to know that they have the right to compensation for injuries they suffer on a job site. In many cases, though, qualified representation by an experienced maritime injury lawyer is essential for claimants to recover the damages they need.

Workers whose duties take place on a water vessel 30 percent of the time or more may be eligible for compensation under the Merchant Marine Act, more commonly known as the Jones Act. Some workers on the shore might also be eligible for Jones Act benefits in the event of an accident, but those who aren’t might be covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).

Qualified maritime workers could recover the following forms of compensation under the Jones Act:

  • Medical costs and rehabilitation expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages and diminished earning ability

Longshore and harbor workers, meanwhile, have access under LHWCA to benefits for total or partial disability on a permanent or temporary basis.

Much like state workers’ compensation claims, applying for benefits under the Jones Act or LHWCA isn’t simply a matter of filling out a form and instantly receiving the benefits to which you are entitled. These are complex laws, and applicants must meet a number of conditions to be deemed eligible. Furthermore, claimants must go through the federal government to recover damages, which usually proves frustrating and confusing for injured workers.

In Louisville, many workers are hired to work on or around the Ohio River at sites such as the East End Bridge. Many maritime workers who suffer injury or illness on the job are unsure where to turn. This is why it’s so important to contact an attorney with experience pursuing federal benefits after a maritime job site injury.