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Houston Jones Act Lawyer

The Jones Act sets up an alternative system to traditional workers’ compensation for maritime workers who work primarily on active vessels out in navigable waters. This is similar to how the Federal Employers Liability Act provides special benefits to railroad workers who get hurt in work-related accidents or become ill from work-related conditions. However, getting the most out of a claim filed under the Jones Act can be a complicated process, especially if you have never been involved in a claim before.

A Houston Jones Act lawyer could help you achieve the compensation you deserve. Whether you just need assistance getting maintenance and care or you want to recover for additional damages based on your employer’s negligence, a seasoned maritime injury attorney could guide you toward securing a favorable final case result.

The Basics of Houston Jones Act Claims

The Jones Act replaces state-level workers’ compensation for every worker classified as a “seaman.” To be categorized this way, a person must perform a substantial amount of their job—typically at least 30 percent—aboard a maritime vessel. Maritime workers who primarily work on land, such as longshoremen and harbor workers, are usually entitled to seek restitution under a different piece of federal legislation called the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

Under the Jones Act, employers are almost always liable to pay for reasonable daily expenses and medical bills of any seaman who gets hurt or severely sick as a direct result of their work. This is known as “maintenance and cure.” This applies no matter how exactly they got hurt or whether anyone can specifically be proven at fault for the injury. Injured seamen can recover for further damages, though, if they can establish negligence by their employer.

The Burden of Proof

Notably, there is a much lower “burden of proof” for Jones Act claimants than there is for people filing traditional personal injury claims. Rather than proving that their employer’s negligence was the main cause of their injury, a Jones Act claimant must only prove that their employer’s negligence contributed in some way to causing their accident. A Jones Act attorney in Houston could provide vital assistance with collecting evidence of employer negligence and incorporating it into a claim.

What Damages Could Be Recoverable?

A Jones Act claimant who can successfully prove negligence on the part of their employer can recover for numerous economic and non-economic damages, including:

  • All past medical expenses for care already received
  • All expected future costs of medical care, including rehabilitative therapy and prescription medications
  • Lost work income and future earning ability
  • Lost employment-related benefits
  • Physical pain and suffering

It is worth emphasizing that someone who has already received compensation through a “maintenance and cure” claim for their medical bills and lost wages cannot recover again for those same losses in a full Jones Act claim. That said, a Jones Act lawyer in Houston could still help push for compensation through a claim for future medical bills and wage losses that are not covered by maintenance and cure.

Get in Touch with a Houston Jones Act Attorney

The Jones Act provides rights to workers on maritime vessels that most workers in other industries do not have access to. Enforcing those rights is an important part of protecting yourself after a serious accident in this line of work. Without support from seasoned legal counsel, you may have difficulty getting any compensation whatsoever, let alone the amount you should be entitled to.

A knowledgeable Houston Jones Act lawyer could provide the custom-tailored support you need to recover from your injury on the job. Call today to learn more from Schechter Shaffer & Harris, LLC.

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Houston, TX 77006
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