The Jones Act law was enacted primarily to protect seamen employees who had been harmed on the job. All sailors are entitled to cure and maintenance, but sometimes the employer or the employer’s insurance company may try to deny the injured worker what he or she is entitled to, even if the employer was clearly culpable in the accident that caused the damage.
If you were injured while working on a ship, you might deserve more than your employer is willing to pay. To determine if you are eligible to file a claim, you must first determine whether you qualify. Before you decide to file a claim, you should be aware of certain Jones Act requirements.
Am I Covered Under the Jones Act?
The Merchant Marine includes private sailors who are involved in the import or export of goods, primarily for business purposes. Laws like workers’ compensation laws, do not apply to employees at sea. The Jones Act allows seafaring personnel to sue their employers for injuries. Masters, captains, officers, and crew members who spend at least 30% of their work time on a “vessel in navigation” or group of vessels under common ownership are protected by the Jones Act. A navigational vessel is one that is afloat, functioning, and capable of moving in navigable seas. A ship moored at a dock, for example, would be regarded as “in navigation.”
What Is The Purpose Of The Jones Act?
The Jones Act allows a seaman who has been hurt on the job to sue his or her employer for negligence. To claim damages from the employer, the seaman must show that the vessel’s owner, captain, and/or crew were negligent, and that their carelessness was a contributing factor in the seaman’s injuries.
Why Hire a Maritime Lawyer?
You have a right to maintenance and cure from your employer if you are a Jones Act Seaman who is wounded at sea. The seaman’s everyday living expenses are known as maintenance, while his medical expenses are known as a cure. You must be a Seaman in order to file a claim under the Jones Act. It is frequently difficult for marine workers to identify their status as a Jones Act sailor on their own, which is why you should consult a Jones Act lawyer.
Some companies will try to deter workers from learning about their legal rights by urging them to file claims under workers’ compensation or longshore harbor worker legislation rather than the Jones Act. If an employer refuses to appropriately compensate employees, a lawsuit for damages can be filed in federal district court or state court. The majority of lawsuits are settled before going to trial. Competent marine attorneys can help.
- On your behalf, communicate with your employer and insurance company.
- Make certain that your future medical expenses are covered.
- If you can’t do your old work, be sure you’ve been properly retrained.
- Make sure you don’t lose your home, car, or other valuables.
- Obtain the monetary compensation that you are entitled to.