Working on and around ships is dangerous, and often results in serious injuries. In recognition of both the danger and importance of working with ships, the Jones Act provides vigorous protection for seamen. Although it is required that you show negligence on the part of your employer when filing a Jones Act claim for your injuries, your employers' responsibility to provide a safe working environment is very high, and you can receive significant compensation for your maritime injuries.
If you have been injured working on or around ships, you may be eligible for compensation under the Jones Act. To find out whether your injuries fall under the Jones Act, please contact an experienced maritime attorney at Long & Long by calling (251) 432-2277 for a free consultation.
Maritime Injuries Covered by the Jones Act
Under the Jones Act, a seaman can seek compensation for any injury associated with employment onboard ocean or freshwater vessel navigating Alabama's lakes and rivers. Although these may be described as "maritime injuries," they do not have to occur when the boat is at sea. These injuries may occur:
- On vessel
- On a different vessel owned by another employer, if so assigned
- On docks and wharves
- During transportation to and from vessel
- At training facilities
The injury may have happened in many different places, but if the person injured is a Jones Act Employee and the injury may be connected to negligence on the part of the employer, then the employee may be eligible for compensation under the Jones Act.
Standard of Negligence for Jones Act Claims
Although you must show your employer's negligence before you can be compensated for maritime injuries under the Jones Act, the standard for negligence under the Jones Act is different from many other types of lawsuits. According to maritime tradition and the intent and interpretation of the Jones Act, the vessel owner owes his seamen an obligation of fostering protection. This means that ship owners and maritime employers have a higher duty of care toward their employees, and negligence for the purposes of Jones Act claims may be comparatively slight.
Types of negligence that may justify compensation during a Jones Act claim:
- Faulty or defective equipment
- Missing or inadequate safety equipment
- Inadequate training
- Demanding an overlong workday
- Emphasizing productivity or speed over safety
- Negligence or assault by a fellow crew member
- Improper or understaffing of vessel
- Unsafe or inappropriate protocols
- Navigational errors
- Failure to provide timely medical treatment or evacuation of injured crew
These and many other related types of negligence may also be sufficient to justify compensation under a Jones Act claim. In addition, just because the negligence was actually due to a person or entity other than your employer does not mean you cannot file a Jones Act claim, as long as you suffered injury as part of your employment duties. The responsibility to provide a safe working environment cannot be ignored or delegated by your employer, so although other people may also be responsible, your employer remains a party to the maritime injury claim.
Experienced Maritime Injury Lawyers
If you have suffered a maritime injury, you need an experienced and knowledgeable maritime attorney to help you pursue your Jones Act claim. At Long & Long, we have helped many people get compensation for their maritime injuries and may be able to help you. Please call (251) 432-2277 or email us today for a free consultation.