If you or a loved one have been injured at sea and want to pursue legal action under The Jones Act, there are a few things you must know. The Jones Act allows injured seamen to sue their employers for personal injury damages since seamen are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under state or federal law. In order to pursue legal action under the Jones Act, the person must be considered a seaman. Seamen are employees either crewmembers or captions who spend at least 30% of their time working on a vessel. The Jones Act gives seamen three years after the date of the injury to file a claim. To determine if you qualify to file a claim under The Jones Act, contact an experienced Jones Act attorney.
To have a successful case, a seaman’s employer must have been negligent and failed to provide the seaman with a safe place to work which resulted in an injury to the seaman. Examples of unsafe conditions are as followed:
- Grease or oil on the deck
- Improperly maintained equipment
- Unsafe work methods
- Negligence of co-workers
- Improper training
The Federal maritime law requires injured seamen to report their injury to a supervisor within seven days from the time of the injury. Many insurance companies believe that if an accident wasn’t reported immediately, then the seaman was not really hurt. Company’s normally require injured seamen to then fill out an accident report about what happened. It is vital to seek medical attention after an injury and before filing a claim to ensure you get compensated fully for all medical treatment after your injury.