Water vessels and seamen must be insured much like a vehicle and its passengers. There is general liability coverage that covers the ship itself and any tangible property that may be on it. There’s also protection and indemnity coverage that vessel operators must maintain to cover any seaman’s bodily injuries, though, as well. There are some basic coverage limits that all boat owners must maintain to lawfully operate here in New York’s waters.
Boat owners are generally required to take out hull insurance, which covers any physical damage to the ship, its contents and any other vessel that they may collide into. If a ship is regularly being used to push or tow another boat, then the owner will generally maintain towers liability coverage as well. This can be called upon to cover any damage to the towed boat.
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which is more commonly known as The Jones Act, allows seamen who become ill or injured on the job to file a liability lawsuit against their employer.
Employers are required to pay their injured seamen maintenance and cure up until the time in which a doctor designates them as either fit or permanently unfit to return to work. The maintenance portion of this doctrine covers daily living expenses the seamen may have. The cure part of this concept refers to the maritime worker’s medical expenses.
Dockside workers are covered by a special type of workers’ compensation program known as the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Most anyone hired on to make alterations or repairs to a water vessel would be covered under a Ship Repairers Liability that a boat owner would typically have.
Understanding how you’re classified and what piece of legislation applies to your incident isn’t the easiest thing to determine. An attorney can advise you of how you may be eligible for benefits for injured Jones Act workers here in Manhattan.