If you've been injured while on the water or in a marine activity including a catamaran, contact a qualified and experienced Honolulu maritime lawyer.
The Law Offices of Jan M. Weinberg in Honolulu can help to ensure that you receive the care and maximum compensation you are due.
As an attorney with more than three decades of experience serving the people of Hawaii, I represent victims of maritime accidents, including passengers on commercial tours as well as seamen or fishermen injured while working on vessels.
Jones Act Protections For Injured Seamen
Seamen are covered under general maritime law and under a Federal statute known as the Jones Act (46 U.S.C. sec.688 et seq.) The rights of seamen injured while working onboard vessels are discussed briefly below.
Other injuries on the water, for example, cases involving passengers on cruise ships and on catamaran tours are governed by State tort law and maritime law. I have successfully represented clients in maritime and in Jones Act cases and will aggressively represent you case to a just settlement or through trial.
What Is Needed To Recover Under The Jones Act
To recover under the Jones Act, a seaman injured in the course of performing his job, must prove that the negligence was responsible for injuries. The Jones Act is more favorable to seamen than the law is for victims of other accidents, as the standard to prove negligence and cause of injury under the Jones Act is much broader.
Negligence includes, for example:
- Failure to provide a safe workplace
- Failure to maintain equipment in a safe condition or having defective equipment.
- Incompetent crew
- Failure to inspect
- Inadequate training
- Inadequate safety equipment
- Failure to warn of dangerous conditions
Damages For Injured Seamen
A seaman injured in the course of performing his duties is entitled to sue the employer and to recover damages for pain and suffering, medical bills, and earnings loss. In addition the seaman is entitled to benefits known as maintenance and cure. "Maintenance" is the payment by the employer of the cost of food and lodging to cover daily costs of living. The amount paid by employers for maintenance can be as low as $30 per day, which falls short of what is needed in today's times. I will negotiate the daily rate paid by your employer to obtain a more favorable payment by the employer.
Seamen Have The Right To Choose Their Own Medical Provider
Unfortunately, many employers of seamen are harsh in treatment of their injured employees. It is common for employers to refer injured seamen for medical treatment or evaluations, ironically known as "independent" medical examinations, which are frequently performed by "hired guns" loyal to the employers. Injured seamen have the right to be treated by a physicians they choose. If you are an injured seaman and your employer is forcing you to seek medical treatment with a physician it has chosen, you should call me, attorney Jan Weinberg, for assistance. I am knowledgeable about physicians who are qualified to treat your injuries.
What Seamen Should Do Following A Serious Workplace Injury
If a seaman is injured seriously at work it is imperative to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Often, employers will attempt to obtain statements from injured employees not represented by legal counsel. The employees can make statements which are damaging to their cases, especially when in severe pain and under the effects of medication. Your employer may also pressure you to alter your report to favor the company. You need an attorney who can address your concerns and protect your legal rights.
Injured seamen are also entitled to "cure", or medical treatment for the injuries suffered in the accident. The choice of health care provider is up to the employee. "Cure" also pays for prescription drugs, mileage costs to and from medical visits, and parking. A good record of receipts should be kept by the injured client and provided to the employer on a regular basis
What To Do If You Have Been Denied Maintenance And Cure Benefits
A recent United States Supreme Court decision has empowered injured seamen to fight back against employers who attempt to deprive them of the maintenance and cure benefits to which they are entitled. In Townsend v. Atlantic Sounding, the U.S. Supreme Court held that if an employer intentionally fails to pay proper maintenance and cure, injured seamen can sue for punitive damages.
Time Limits For Filing A Jones Act Claim
The Jones Act requires that suit be filed within three years. The statute of limitations of three years under the Jones Act does not apply if the employer is a governmental entity. The statute of limitations two years or even less. If you have been injured as a seaman while at work, call me in order to fully protect your rights.
This doctrine enables an injured seaman to recover damages where the vessel on which work is being performed is not reasonably fit for its intended purpose. If a vessel is found to be "unseaworthy," strict liability is imposed on the vessel owner. Examples of unseaworthiness include:
- Failure to have appropriate safety procedures and practices
- Equipment which is defective or failure to have appropriate equipment
- Violation of Federal regulations
- Inadequate or incompetent crew
I will represent injured seamen on a contingency fee basis. Call The Law Offices of Jan Weinberg for a FREE initial evaluation.
Passenger Injuries On Recreational Tours
The beautiful islands of Hawaii offer a multitude of activities on the ocean, attracting many thousands of tourists and residents. Unfortunately, accidents occur.
If a vessel owner or operator's negligence results in injuries to a passenger or to a non- passenger (boat strikes a snorkeler), then maritime law applies.
With more than 30 years of maritime law experience I have successfully recovered compensation for passengers injured onboard catamarans, zodiacs, and cruise vessels. I recently settled two cases involving passengers injured on the bow of one company's catamaran in separate incidents. The cause of these incidents was the failure of the captains and crew to properly anticipate ocean conditions and to properly warn and protect the passengers from being injured.
In one case, a young woman was instructed to stand on the bow of a catamaran which soon entered heavy seas. She was thrown high off the deck and crashed down, suffering compound ankle fractures. Her settlement was $965,000.
In the second case, an older woman suffered a fractured ankle while standing on the bow of the catamaran when it navigated in an unsafe manner, causing her to be tossed off the deck. The second case was settled for $375,000.
In another case involving recreational boating, there was a 1 million dollar settlement for a 62- year-old man who suffered a back injury in a Zodiac vessel while whale watching.
If you are injured on a recreational tour or while onboard a cruise ship, call me, Jan Weinberg at 808-523-9477to discuss your rights. Even if you have signed a release prior to your trip, under Hawaii law the tour provider cannot escape liability for negligence. Maritime law can also apply to jet skiers and snorkelers/scuba divers.
I am experienced in litigating maritime and Jones Act cases. Contact Jan Weinberg for a FREE consultation.
As a Harvard Law graduate with more than three decades of experience practicing law, I represent workers and passengers injured on:
- Cruise boats
Recovering Compensation For Your Injuries Or Loss
Working on an oil refinery, barge, supply boat or ship can be dangerous work. However, it is the employer's responsibility to provide a safe environment for workers. When representing clients in maritime injury claims, we focus on negligence of the employer or other party which may have contributed to the serious accident. Such negligence may involve:
- Inadequate safety equipment
- Poor or unsafe work conditions
- Inadequate training
- Defective equipment
At the Law Offices of Jan Weinberg I guide clients through the process of obtaining full compensation. I represent clients who have suffered serious injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, loss of a limb or other catastrophic injuries and wrongful death cases.
Contact An Experienced Maritime Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured at sea, consult an experienced lawyer who can guide you through this difficult time. Call The Law Offices of Jan M. Weinberg at 808-523-9477 or fill out this online form and I will promptly respond to you. I will provide you with personal attention and guidance while vigorously pursuing maximum compensation on your behalf. I offer FREE initial case evaluations.