Abbott Clay & Reed

Posts Tagged ‘negligence’

My Boss Told Me That if I File a Claim, I’ll Lose My Job

In Jones Act Law, Legal Representation on June 20, 2009 at 7:46 AM

Unfortunately, after the unfortunate circumstances of getting injured on the job, you are not likely to receive a lot of support from your employer. It can become very clear, very quickly, that they are in fact a company and, even if you get along well with a manager or immediate superior, if you are injured, the situation will quickly become a case of the company as an entity trying to protect their assets. That usually means hanging you out to dry.

As soon as a company has an employee at sea injured who would be covered under the Jones Act, the first thing they do is tell their lawyers. Those lawyers are immediately going to want to do two things: 1.) talk to you, and 2.) have you sign certain documents. These discussions and forms will often be used by the company’s attorneys in order to try entrapping you into a lie if your story varies even a tiny bit at some time in the future. They can sometimes even be up to worse things than that with the statements and documents they are requesting from you, such as signing away any responsibility of the company whatsoever. The most important thing you can do is to do absolutely nothing; not until you have talked to a Jones Act or maritime law lawyer.

If you refuse to give a statement or sign anything, you will quite often be threatened with termination. This, again, just emphasizes the need for you to get in contact with a lawyer. If they, at any time, threaten you with termination while trying to get you to perform any action after you have been injured on their sea going vessel, the best thing you can do is to refuse to have any further dialogues with them at all until you have an attorney present. That does mean ANY dialogue at all, because even the most innocuous sounding remark can be used against you in the future.


My Husband Died While Working On the River and I Believe Negligence Was Involved

In Jones Act History, Jones Act Law on June 18, 2009 at 7:44 AM

When someone dies while working on a boat or a ship of any kind, there are typically two laws which might apply. There is the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. The Death on the High Seas Act, however, would not apply to someone working on a River, so if, as an example, a woman’s husband were to die while working on a river, the law they would want to pursue would be the Jones Act, which also covers navigable waterways, such as large rivers. The Jones Act also covers injuries sustained while a vessel is docked and not just ships working more than three nautical miles out from shore like the Death on the High Seas Act.

Benefits from the Jones Act are not only payable to the person who is injured while on the vessel. If this were the case, there would be no recourse for the spouse of someone who was killed while working on a vessel, but the truth is that if someone does die while employed on a boat or ship, their spouse does retain the right to file a claim under the Jones Act.

When negligence is suspected in the case of the death of an employee of a boat or a ship, there are other statutes which also come into play, such as the General Maritime Law. Negligence is a very serious charge and, if true, can also entitle you to additional benefits; however, this is a very complicated area of the law. If you have reason to suspect negligence, or for that matter have any need to make a death claim regarding maritime law or the Jones Act, it is very important for you to hire a maritime lawyer or Jones Act specialist in order to ensure that you are treated fairly and that you actually receive the compensation that you are due.

The Origination of the Jones Act

In Jones Act Law on April 22, 2009 at 9:55 AM

Many of our nation’s individuals make their living working on the boats and ships that travel our oceans and waterways. The unfortunate fact is that so many of these individuals are not aware of the laws that have been enacted to protect them. The Jones Act was established to protect maritime workers when they are injured or killed on the job if negligence can be established.

The Jones Act was signed into federal law in 1920 because of the growing negligence of the employers of the time. The law enables maritime workers who are hurt while completing their duties to sue their employers to be properly compensated for their injury. However, the Act can only be enforceable if the injury was caused due to the negligence of an employer to properly maintain the vessel or if the injury could have been prevented if the captain or another crew member had not been negligent. However, the truth is that many individuals are injured for exactly those reasons.

Prior to the Jones Act being established, seamen had no chance of suing their employer and winning. The main reason for this was because, at that time, they had to prove negligence of the owner of the ship and not the negligence of another crew member or shipmaster. When the law was examined more closely, specifically between the years of 1903-1918 when the law was challenged, it was decided by Congress that something had to be done to change what was already in place.

Although some minor adjustments and more clearly defining insertions have been made since this time, the Jones Act that was set into law in 1920 is the one that still governs the rights of injured seamen today. If you are a maritime employee, you should become familiar with the Jones Act. This law could quite possibly provide for you and your family if you should ever become injured while performing your maritime duties.