Jones Act Claims
Personal Injury Representation for Seamen
The Jones Act is formally known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. This is a body of federal regulations that dictates what is known as "cabotage" or the transportation of goods between ports throughout the United States. Most important about the Jones Act for workers are the provisions dealing with seaman's rights in the workplace. The Jones Act is similar in some ways to workers' compensation. It protects injured seaman and allows them to recover financial damages for injuries that they suffer in conjunction with their job duties. If you work in the maritime or offshore industry and you were injured on the job, you may have a Jones Act claim. To learn more about your right to representation, get in touch with a Houston personal injury attorney at the firm.
To qualify for protection under the Jones Act, one must meet the qualifications of a Jones Act seaman. There are three basic requirements:
- A seaman must work on a U.S. flagged (Jones Act) ship
- A seaman must spend a considerable amount of time on said ship
- A seaman must be integral to the ship's operation
If you are unsure about your status as a seaman, you can seek legal counsel from Stern Law Group. Should you qualify as a seaman, you are entitled to rights under the Jones Act, which could include filing a Jones Act claim after a work-related injury or illness. According to 46 U.S.C. § 688(a), "Any sailor who shall suffer personal injury in the course of his employment may, at his election, maintain an action for damages at law, with the right to trial by jury."
Dangers of Working in the Offshore Industry
The offshore and maritime industry is one of the most physically-grueling and dangerous occupations in the United States. Workers are often asked to deal with heavy equipment such as drilling rigs, heavy piping and cranes, all of which have the potential to cause serious damage and even death. When ships are not properly maintained, and an injury results, workers could be entitled to compensation due to a claim of unseaworthiness. In other words, if a ship did not meet the standards of "seaworthiness" and as a result a seaman was injured, the seaman could recover compensation in a claim against its employer.
Another possible area of compensation could come by way of a maintenance and cure claim. With this type of claim, a worker could recover compensation from their employer in the total amount that would cover a seaman's day-to-day living expenses in addition to medical costs. Until the injured worker is fully restored so that they can return to work, the employer will have to continue to pay maintenance and cure benefits.
Call Stern Law Group's Houston maritime injury lawyers today!
If you would like to learn more about the Jones Act and your possible right to compensation under it, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Stern Law Group. An accident and ensuing injury may have rendered you unable to work for some time. You may be wondering who is going to pay for your medical expenses? How are you going to provide for your family while you are out of work? These and other questions can be found by discussing your case with a firm skilled in admiralty law. Again, for answers to questions about Jones Act claims, discuss your case with our firm.