MARITIME LAW


Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer Reviewing Cases for injured plaintiffs in Ohio and Nationwide
Nationwide Success

Protecting The Wrongfully Injured

The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal maritime law that provides compensation, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation services to employees disabled from workplace injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States.

Ohio Maritime law also covers workers in adjoining areas like docks and jetties used in the loading, unloading, repairing, or building of boats, barges or other vessels. The law may provide compensation for survivors and employee dependents if a workplace injury causes an employee’s death.

These benefits are typically paid by the responsible employer, though in court will require legal expertise and an experienced attorney to recover the rightful compensation for injuries, occupational diseases, or illnesses.

Joe Lyon is an experienced harbor, shipyard and longshoreman injury attorney well-versed in Ohio maritime law and the economic impact injuries and illnesses have on a victim and their family.


The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act


The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act covers employees in traditional maritime jobs such as longshoremen, ship maintenance crew, shipbuilders, and many harbor workers.

However, injuries sustained by workers must occur on the navigable waters of the United States or occur in adjoining areas, which may include piers, docks, terminals, wharves, and other areas used to loading and unload vessels. Non-maritime workers may also be covered while they perform work on navigable water and are injured on the job.

The LHWCA excludes from its coverage crew members of any vessel. Rather, crew members are covered under a different law called the Jones Act. The Jones Act provides workers comp suffered under different categories of maritime employees.

It is not necessary that an employee aid in navigation or contribute to the transportation of the vessel in order to be covered under the Jones Act, but the employee must be performing work that contributes to the function of the vessel or the accomplishment of its task at hand. Contact an experienced attorney to distinguish between complex Ohio maritime law.


Jones Act Injury Claims


The Jones Act is a law that provides a safety net for any maritime worker injured while performing work duties on a vessel on America’s navigable waters. To be eligible for Jones Act compensation an injured employee must prove their injury was caused by the negligence of an employer, a fellow crew member, or by unsafe conditions on the work vessel.

The protective law covers the entire network of rivers, lakes, and canals used to transport raw materials and good from state to state. The Act sets environmental standards, and carefully measures the liability of an employer, and proper workplace safety standards of American-owned vessels and assigned waterway crews.

Jones Act coverage supports a wide range of American industries, including cargo and materials shipping on navigable waters, including inland waterways like the Great Lakes and the Ohio River.

A recent estimate from the Department of Labor found over 73,000 American jobs were directly attributable to the Jones Act. These jobs include the crewing of vessels, shore-side management, as well as building, maintaining, and repairing such transport vessels.

Under the Jones Act, workers have the right to file civil lawsuits against employers, with the right to recover any personal damages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity.


Ohio Shipyard Injury Lawsuits


If you are injured at an Ohio workplace, notify your supervisor or employer immediately as soon as possible and seek medical attention. You have the right to select a physician of your choice to treat your injury.

While you are able, ask your employer for a Request for Examination and/or Treatment form, which authorizes medical treatment. Of course in a medical emergency, you may request authorization from your employer after obtaining emergency attention.

After treatment of an injury, you are required to give a written notice of the injury to the employer within 30 days of the incident, or in the case of an occupational disease, within 30 days of when you become aware that you have an illness or disability related to the job.

Compensation benefits may be in jeopardy if you fail to report the injury within the required time frame. 


The Difference between Disability Claims


A disability is considered “temporary” if an injured employee is unable to return to work for medical reasons while recovering from a work injury.

A medical doctor must write a report that says the employee is unable to work. A “permanent” disability describes an employee’s medical condition as stable and not expected to improve.

A disability is labeled “total” when an injured employee cannot perform any work due to a work-related injury. A disability is called “partial” if an injured employee cannot perform the same work he was doing at the time of the injury, though is able to work in a modified role with the same or a different employer.


Ohio Maritime Lawsuits


Employers are often responsible for injuries sustained at the workplace. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment, which also encompasses the long-term health of an employee.

You may receive compensation and medical benefits if an injury or illness is related to workplace exposure to harmful conditions or substances. You may also be entitled to benefits for an occupational disease where your symptoms do not occur until after you have retired from work.

If an employer refuses to compensate you for injuries or illnesses related to the workplace, it is prudent to contact a legal professional to review your case and file a claim against your former company.

Even if both the responsible employer and its insurance carrier are insolvent or bankrupt, there may be other channels to compensate injured workers. In the event of an employee’s death, the eligible survivors and family members may file a claim on their behalf and seek compensation for wrongful death, lost wages, and incurred medical expenses.


Ohio River Accident Lawsuits


The Ohio River is a crucial shipping waterway in the Midwest with more than 50 million tons of cargo passing through annually. Thousands of workers are employed to assist in the transport of goods, and to ensure safe travel of boats and barges up and down the Ohio.

However, due to the crumbling Ohio river infrastructure of existing dams, locks, river piers, platforms and docks, many workers are at risk of serious injury at the workplace.

Each year portions of the Ohio River are closed to barge traffic when dams and locks fail to function, or keep up with the huge amount of shipping traffic. Overloading issues and overworked transport staff may lead to injuries and workplace deaths.

When dams and locks and other equipment is damaged, employees find themselves at a heightened risk of injury. With some of the dams and locks almost 100 years old, this is becoming more of a common occurrence with each passing year.

The Army Corps of Engineers officials routinely warn that much of the Ohio River infrastructure is at risk of failure. Barge operators also say this continuing problem is caused by a lack of funding.

A lack of federal funding means old dams and locks break down and require more frequent servicing, disrupting river traffic, and raises the risk of workplace injury. Recreational boaters may also be affected, and find the river less safe as a result of disrupted commercial traffic.

Large transport companies and government institutions have a responsibility to provide workers with safe working environments. When they fail to protect workers, they must compensate employees and families for the damage they have caused.

Workers at Ohio River dams and locks, and other river workplaces who have been injured or developed health issues may have claims against their former or current employers. Do not hesitate to seek medical and professional legal assistance regarding Ohio Maritime law.


Great Lake Accidents


Working conditions on large transport vessels and on docks and piers can be particularly dangerous, and each year on Lake Erie and the Ohio River many serious injuries occur. Injuries may result from defective machinery, large equipment malfunction, poor management, a negligent crew, or an unsafe work environment.

Ohio waterway-related injuries occurring with institutions and companies on Lake Erie and the Ohio River may be covered under state workers’ compensation systems, but by filing a state-based claim, a worker may be denied federal coverage under larger and more beneficial protections under the Jones Act and Longshore Act.

Longshore Act compensation frequently provides benefits that exceed what is available under state workers comp systems. The Longshore Act more frequently favors injured workers. Any injured worker should contact a local lawyer to discuss compensation options after an accident.

Longshoremen and stevedores working on dry docks or piers, who are injured while loading, unloading, maintaining, or cleaning river barges or Great Lakes vessels, may file a federal claim under the Longshore Act. Longshore Act coverage may be extended to injured workers such as truck drivers moving ship parts or a mechanic working around a harbor.

Jones Act protections, however, are more geared toward seamen and crew members who are injured while on the water. Whether a worker is on shore or on the water, an injury due to employer or crew negligence may warrant a claim against an employer.


Maritime Injury Settlements


With the help of employee protections in place and an experienced attorney, victims of maritime and longshoreman injuries are able to recover the huge costs of an accident.

The Lyon Firm is fully committed to helping injured workers and their families recoup rightful financial compensation from negligent employers. Costs that may be recovered from worker injuries can include the following:

  • Hospital expenses
  • Long-term rehabilitation
  • Home medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Future earning capacity
  • Future health complications
  • Pain and suffering
  • Vocational rehabilitation

There may be several channels available to compensate injured Ohio longshoremen and harbor workers. Contact an Ohio maritime attorney to discuss.

In the event of a fatality, the survivors and family members of a victim may file a claim and seek compensation for wrongful death, lost wages, and incurred medical expenses.

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A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.

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Questions about Personal Injury Cases

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Any kind of negligence by an individual or company that causes injury or harm can lead to filing a personal injury lawsuit. The amount a plaintiff is entitled to depends on several factors, particularly how egregious the act and how serious the injury.

Personal injury attorneys generally only will take cases on a confidential and contingency fee basis, which means your lawyer will only get paid if he or she is able to reach a settlement or positive verdict. The Lyon Firm will review your case for free and assess what compensation any plaintiff can expect through litigation.

Personal Injury cases can range from minor auto accidents to complex lawsuits filed against large corporations. The Lyon Firm has handled both with equal care. Severe injury requires legal action on occasion, no matter if the injury is the result of a vehicle accident, a dog bite, a boating accident, workplace injury, defective consumer products, medical malpractice, or toxic exposure.

What is the Process?

Pre-Suit Investigation and Negotiations: Personal injury lawsuits are unique and require a thorough investigation before a lawsuit is filed. An initial investigation involves gathering all relevant medical records, accident reports, and interviews with available witnesses.  Preservation letters are drafted to notify the defendant of the case. The duty to preserve electronic evidence is critical in most cases to prevent spoliation.

Filing a Lawsuit in Cincinnati: If pre-suit negotiations are unsuccessful, then a lawsuit must be filed to preserve the statute of limitations.  Filing a lawsuit early in the process is often necessary to begin gathering evidence while the witnesses memories are fresh and documents remain available.

Once suit is filed by your personal injury lawyer, the court will set a case management schedule and the parties will begin exchanging information in the formal process of discovery. Depositions will be taken to preserve testimony for trial and to understand what certain witnesses are likely to say at trial.

Proving Negligence, Causation and Damages: In addition to lay witness testimony and other documentary evidence, personal injury claims rely upon medical and scientific evidence to prove negligence, causation and damages. The chosen expert in a case must have a reliable and sound basis in science and in the facts of the case or his opinion may not be admissible under the rules of evidence.

In the areas of Toxic and Environmental Torts, the admission of expert testimony may be scrutinized harder than in other areas simply because the subject may not have been as widely tested and may rest on novel scientific theories.

Are there any limits to what I can recover?

Each state will vary. Under Ohio law, an injured party may recover damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, loss of enjoyment of life, past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, and punitive damages. The numerical limits are as such:

  1. Non-Catastrophic Injury:   The non-economic award is limited to $250,000 per plaintiff, or three times the economic loss, up to $350,000 per plaintiff. A maximum of $500,000 for each “occurrence.”
  2. Catastrophic Injury: No limits.

The Lyon Firm may be able to file injury claims and recover rightful compensation for clients for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings and long-term disability.

Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters.   Personal Injury lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury.  Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence casesThe cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world.

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against negligent individuals or companies to obtain just compensation under the law. 

$1,000,000

WRONGFUL DEATH: DISTRACTED DRIVER

(Brown County, Kentucky):   The Lyon Firm was second chair a case involving a driver texting and driving when he crossed the median, killing a father of four. The case was resolved once discovery confirmed the cell phone records proved the texting-related incident. The settlement will pay for the surviving childrens’ education. The driver was likely facing additional criminal charges at the time of the settlement.

$495,000

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT

(Cincinnati, Ohio):  The Lyon Firm was lead counsel in a $495,000 settlement. This case involved a motorcycle operator who sustained fractures of the calcaneus, talus, medial cuneiform, tarsal bones, and tarsometatarsal when a car ignored its driving lane and crossed into his right-of-way. Settlement provided repayment of medical bills of $20,000 and funds for future education to re-enter the work force in a less physically-demanding job.

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