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Hitchcock Jones Act Lawyer

Due to its location near so many ports, a large number of Hitchcock residents are employed in the maritime industry. The area’s waterways provide lots of different employment opportunities on docks, shipyards, oil rigs, warehouses, marinas, and various kinds of ships. However, many of these jobs are more hazardous than work on dry land.

If you or someone in your family experienced injuries while at sea, you might be eligible to collect financial compensation under the Jones Act. A Hitchcock Jones Act lawyer with a deep understanding of local, state, and federal maritime laws could help you seek damages from your employer.

Jones Act Compared to Traditional Workers’ Compensation Plans

Traditional workers’ compensation plans do not apply to seamen. When most people experience workplace injuries, they have the right to collect benefits under their employer’s federal workers’ compensation insurance plan. These benefits provide injured workers with a quick remedy. Injured workers do not generally need to show fault, which means they do not need to prove that their employer did something to cause their accident.

How The Jones Act Works

Because federal and state workers’ compensation programs exclude people who work at sea from collecting benefits, the Jones Act provides them with a remedy. People injured at sea have the right to file suits against their employers for workplace injuries and fatalities.

Unlike with typical workers’ compensation benefits, compensation under the Jones Act is not “no-fault.” To prevail in a claim, an injured worker must prove their employer was somehow negligent. However, unlike with most personal injury claims, injured seamen do not need to prove their employer’s negligence caused the accident. They just need to prove that the employer’s negligence played a contributory role in the accident. For instance, a worker could prove the working conditions were not safe by showing the following:

  • There were not enough crew members, causing people to perform their jobs carelessly
  • The crew did not receive adequate training
  • The crew did not have the right kind of equipment
  • The vessel did not have sufficient safety rails
  • The vessel’s decks were too slippery
  • The vessel did not have sufficient emergency prevention items, such as fire extinguishers and safety vests

In addition, if the maritime worker was partly to blame for their own accident, they could still be eligible to collect compensation. However, a court would reduce their compensation in proportion to the seaman’s percentage of fault.

Experienced Hitchcock attorneys could explain how the Jones Act might apply to an individual case, using their skills and knowledge to help an injured sea worker pursue a claim.

Relevant Time Limitations

Injured sea workers do not have unlimited time to bring legal claims. In most cases, people only have three years from the date of their accident to file a lawsuit for damages. It can be beneficial to meet with an attorney and begin work on a claim as soon as possible after an accident in order to preserve evidence and ensure witnesses have fresh memories.

Talk to a Hitchcock Jones Act Attorney

People who work on ships, docks, and floating oil rigs are at an increased risk of suffering serious work injuries. The Jones Act gives injured maritime workers the right to pursue compensation from their employers. One of our Hitchcock Jones Act lawyers could review the details of your accident and answer your questions about the legal process.

Talk to the Schechter, Shaffer & Harris team today about seeking justice and accountability for what you have endured.

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