If you are a maritime worker, then you know that worker’s compensation will not work for you if you get injured. There are a set of specific federal laws that crew members, deck hands, seamen etc can make use of to claim damages in case they land up in the hospital due to a workplace injury. By workplace we mean maritime injuries sustained on and near navigable waters.
That is where the Jones Act comes into play along with Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and Longshore Act.
To understand these federal regulations, you have to understand what a maritime worker actually is. There are basically two types – the first group are classified as seamen and the second are the rest of the workers who work on or near the open water. The compensation maritime workers receive depends on which of these groups they belong to.
Seamen and the injury compensations they receive
Generally speaking, a seaman is any maritime worker who spends most of his/her time working as a crewmember of a ship or as a captain of a vessel. This can be any kind of ship or boat which navigates on the sea.
Unlike other workers, if seamen are injured or have maritime injuries they cannot file a typical worker’s benefit claim. However, they can sue their employer for negligence under the Jones Act and they can also do the same under federal law if they were injured on a vessel that was not seaworthy. An injured seaman can also receive compensation for maintenance and cure irrespective of who was at fault for their predicament.
Negligence and the Jones Act
Under the Jones Act a seaman who is injured on the job can sue his/her employer for negligence. In order to prevent this lawsuit, maritime employers have to ensure that the workplace is safe for their employees by ensuring that the vessel they are working on is sea worthy. The requirements are quite strict since almost anything can lead to liability under this act. Plus, this act is not kind to employers and if a seaman proves he/she was injured due to negligence on their part with the smallest of evidences, their case will be entertained.
This is quite different from car accident cases in which the plaintiff has to prove that their injuries were the direct result of the defendant’s negligence. Under the Jones Act even a 1% cause of injury is sufficient for a lawsuit against a maritime employer.
Maritime Injuries? Call Attorney Javier Marcos
If you need a personal injury attorney to fight your maritime case in or out of court, Attorney Javier Marcos can help. Whether you were injured onshore or off, we can help you get the damages you deserve from your employer who should have known better. We have extensive experience backing clients who suffered injuries at work, in stores, on the road etc and can help you get the claim you deserve and is rightfully yours. Call us for a free consultation today 713.999.4444. Open 24 hours.