What is the Jones Act?

The Jones Act is a law put into legislation in 1929 and it focuses on regulating issues pertaining to the shipment of goods and people on coastal waterways in the United States. This law also gives rights to seamen (sailors) to seek damages in the event they are injured while at sea or because of their employment on a navigable vessel.

If You’ve Been Injured, You’re Entitled to Benefits

In addition to governing criminal offenses and cargo issues that take place on “vessels,” one of the most important aspects of the Jones Act is that it lays out the seaman’s rights and protects seamen legally in a similar way to workers’ compensation laws.

When a seaman is injured, he or she has a right to file a claim and recover compensation, particularly if negligence was involved in the accident.

The threshold for negligence on a vessel is very low in comparison to other types of injury cases. It’s expected that a vessel be well maintained at all times, as the nature of work aboard a moving vessel is considered dangerous.

The following are some of the types of benefits an injured seaman can receive when a claim is approved:

  • Payment of all related medical expenses and future medical costs
  • Lost income and future lost income
  • Compensation for the pain and suffering of the experience

Maintenance and Cure May Be Able to Help You

Even if you can’t prove negligence under the Jones Act, you can still receive some benefits while you’re recovering from your work-related injuries as a seaman. This is due to maintenance and cure. Your employer is expected to provide you with enough monetary compensation to pay your living expenses and your medical bills.

If You Still Aren’t Sure What to Do after Being Hurt

When you’ve been hurt in an accident and you work aboard a vessel then you have rights under the Jones Act. If you believe that some negligence was involved in your accident then you probably can receive compensation for your injuries and suffering.

For example, if your injury was caused by some equipment that was left in the middle of the deck, causing you to fall and break your leg, then you should be able to prove that negligence was the cause. A few more examples of negligent accidents aboard a vessel are as follows:

  • Grease spills on the deck
  • Poorly maintained equipment
  • Inadequate training of employees
  • Failure to enforce safety procedures

If you believe you’re owed damages for your accident you may consider getting help from maritime injury attorneys Braud & Gallagher. Attorneys will be able to examine your case and help to determine if you are owed compensation for your experience and your injuries.

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