Filing a Jones Act Claim for a Maritime Injury
If you have sustained an injury while at sea, you may already have heard of the Jones Act, a federal law that allows workers who are injured offshore while on the job to make claims against their employer, particularly when negligence has occurred.
The Act was created in 1920 to protect seamen who are subjected to the particularly harsh conditions of maritime work. To date, it is one of few workplace injury laws that favor employees, making it easy for qualified workers to sue their employers for workplace-related injuries.
Who Is Covered Under the Act?
Workers covered by the Jones Act typically spend 30% or more of their time at work on a vessel and perform a role that is directly related to the purpose of the ship. Those who do not qualify for Jones Act claims include contract workers who are employed by a third party.
Workers covered under the Jones Act may be entitled to recoveries for:
- Work-related injuries and medical bills
- Permanent disfigurement
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Living expenses
The Jones Act covers the full spectrum of maritime injuries for seamen whose work is bound to a vessel.
Filing a Jones Act Claim
Injured seamen legally have seven days to report an injury, but injuries that are reported in a timely manner—and are treated immediately—tend to contribute to stronger cases. Following an injury, your employer is required to provide you with initial care. To maintain the strength of your claim, it is highly beneficial to attend all scheduled doctor appointments and follow-up visits, and to follow the doctors’ orders precisely.
Be wary of providing recorded statements to anyone—especially an insurance claims adjuster. If you are asked to provide a written account of a maritime work injury, it is recommended that you contact an attorney to advise you on your legal obligations and guide you through the process.
Injured seamen who face challenging cases can enlist the support of an experienced Houston Jones Act attorney to recover the maintenance, cure and other care they deserve. To learn more, call maritime law attorney Steve Lee at 800-232-3711.