Abbott Clay & Reed

How Does the Jones Act Protect Me?

In Jones Act Law on May 18, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Many individuals support their families with the money that they make working on the rivers, lakes, oceans, and bays within our country. Obviously, a job on any waterway can be a dangerous one. It doesn’t matter if you are a captain, deckhand, fisherman, or cook – a job on a boat has its downfalls. Slippery decks cause several injuries; however, negligence of other crew members is one of the more common causes of injury on the water.

There is a reason for every law and the Jones Act is no different. Had it not been for the courts refusing to recognize the rights of maritime workers and dig further into the cases that they attempted to file against negligent employers, the Jones Act would not exist.

Think about it. How many vessel owners think that they can get “one more trip” out of their boat before they have to make that repair? The Jones Act protects maritime workers from employers like this. It was created in order to allow injured maritime workers the opportunity to file suit against their employer when an injury has been sustained due to negligence on behalf of a crew member, captain, or vessel owner (employer) himself. The Jones Act also enables family members of deceased maritime workers to file suit if it is suspected that negligence was involved in, and ultimately caused, the death of their loved one.

The Jones Act does have some similarities when compared to Workers’ Compensation laws; however, there are very specific differences between the two. For instance, the Jones Act governs maritime workers only. In fact, with the Jones Act, workers are usually entitled to much more than what Workers’ Comp laws would provide to an injured worker. With the Jones Act, maritime workers are able to be compensated for their injury, their time off of work, and their medical bills – even future medical bills that occur due to this single injury. Of course, speaking with an attorney who specializes in this area would be your wisest decision if you are an injured maritime worker.

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