Jones Act Claims for Injured Seamen
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, addresses a wide variety of issues pertaining to merchant marines. Of paramount importance is section 33, which grants seamen injured during the course of their employment the right to pursue claims for damages.
Different Than Workers’ Compensation Claims
Like workers’ compensation, Jones Act claims allow injured workers to get medical treatment and recover lost wages. However, the differences are dramatic.
The first key distinction is eligibility. In order to pursue a Jones Act claim, the injured party must spend at least 30 percent of their work hours aboard a vessel on navigable waterways. They must also do work that contributes to the vessel’s functionality. Additionally, the seamen must be able to show that the injury occurred during the course of employment.
The second key distinction is negligence. Workers’ compensation claims do not require the injured party to demonstrate negligence on the part of the employer or anyone else. Anyone hurt on-the-job can pursue workers’ compensation. In Jones Act Claims, the seaman must be able to prove that the employer was negligent or at least partially negligent. Examples of negligence may include unseaworthiness, failure to provide a safe work environment, or reckless actions on the part of the employer or other seamen onboard.
The third key distinction is the compensation available. Under workers’ compensation, a work injury victim may only get medical coverage and compensation for a portion of wages. Under the Jones Act, a maritime injury victim may be entitled to compensation for medical care, all lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Injured seamen are also eligible for maintenance and cure benefits. The financial recovery may be much greater for injured seamen.
Free Consultation About Your Jones Act Claim
If you believe you are eligible to file a Jones Act claim, you want to work with an attorney who knows this law and is experienced in recovering compensation for injured maritime workers.
At Johnson & Crew, helping offshore workers is the focus of our practice. From our law office in League City, our lawyers serve people in Galveston County, throughout Texas and nationwide who earn their living on the water. We will usher your case forward with care and effectiveness, standing by your side every step of the way. To schedule a free consultation, call 281-895-2410 or contact our office online.