Most workers who are in danger of being injured or sickened in the office know that workers’ compensation laws in their state will help them recover. But what if you don’t know what state you were in when you were injured? What if you weren’t in a state at all?
This can be the case when people are hurt on the interstate trade lanes of America’s rivers and lakes, as well as the deepwater routes off the Gulf Coast and in the Atlantic Ocean. Fortunately, the government in Washington has its own version of workers’ compensation laws to cover workers on the waves.
Many stretches of the Mississippi River are shared between states, which could confuse jurisdiction for legal issues. Workplace injuries on ships and boats in the river are often covered by admiralty law. This set of regulations covers U.S. workers at sea or engaged in trade on the waters within the country’s borders.
Two barges recently crashed into the bridge carrying Interstate 10 over the San Jacinto River. If the barges had been crewed and members were injured in the collision, admiralty laws may have covered compensation for the recovery period. The same is true for traffic on Sabine Lake and other open water in Louisiana and its borders with other states.
Anyone who has suffered injury in a workplace on the water or dealing with maritime business has the right to make a claim under admiralty laws. An attorney can help determine if these laws apply to a specific case and build a claim that moves towards the benefits that injured workers need.