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Dealing with illnesses and injuries as a seafaring worker

Working at sea comes with its own challenges. No matter whether you work on a cruise liner, oil tanker or fishing vessel, all seafaring workers are united in the challenges that they face.

Seafarers are often subject to high-pressure work with little room for error. The stress from their working environments takes a toll on their mental health. In addition to this, the lack of recreational activities available to those at sea can mean that workers can feel claustrophobic, homesick and sometimes depressed. There is also a significant risk of physical injury due to the demand for heavy labor.

If you are struggling with your mental or physical health while at sea, it is important that you understand how you may be able to get help for your condition and claim financial damages.

Getting help at sea

If you become unwell at sea, you may need a doctor to be brought in so that you can have a full medical examination. Medicines may need to be dispatched, or you may need to be sent to shore for hospitalization.

Claiming financial damages

As a worker at sea, you will likely not be covered by workers' compensation, but instead by the Jones Act. Unlike with worker's comp, in order to claim financial damages, you will need to show that your employer's negligence caused your injury. You may also eventually be able to sue your employer for the damages caused, another provision denied under worker's compensation.

If you are unfamiliar with your rights under the Jones Act and you have been injured as a worker at sea, it is important that you take swift action so you can take your first step toward making a claim for damages.

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