Maritime workers and seamen face a high risk of on-the-job injuries. When you are out at sea, it is also much more difficult to get medical attention. If you are a maritime worker, you must know your legal rights, as the law offers several remedies to make sure you receive the appropriate care and compensation after a work-related injury. Whether you are an officer, technician, oil worker, harbor pilot or work on a tugboat, ship, or drilling rig, if you are injured on or near the water, it is important to consult with an experienced maritime attorney as soon as possible.
What is the Jones Act?
The Jones Act, officially the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, offers injured seaman a remedy against employers for injuries that result from negligence on the part of the employer during the course of employment on a vessel. The Act states that any sailor injured at sea is entitled to “maintenance and cure,” which means the sailor’s employer must pay a daily stipend and offer medical care for the injury. Sailors also have the right to sue for damages if the injury was caused by the employer’s or ship owner’s negligence.
An example of such negligence is forcing sailors to work on unseaworthy vessels. Families of deceased maritime workers also have the legal right to seek compensation for wrongful death in these cases. In some cases, when an injury is caused by a co-worker or an independent contractor aboard the vessel, it may be possible to pursue a third-party claim in addition to making a claim under the Jones Act.
Consult with an Attorney
Do not make the mistake of assuming Maritime Law cases are workers’ compensation cases. Workers’ compensation laws are passed by the state and offer relatively low cash settlements. The Jones Act is a federal law that may involve high cash settlements. If you have been injured, it is vital that you consult with a maritime lawyer as soon as possible, preferably before you make a claim. Injured workers covered under the Jones Act must be careful about making claims under the Long Shore-Harbor Worker Act or workers’ compensation, as it is possible to lose rights by opting for benefits under another law.
Jones Act cases can be very complex. Some employers attempt to discourage workers from learning about their legal rights and encourage workers to file for claims under workers’ compensation rather than the Jones Act. This is why you need experienced legal counsel on your side to protect your rights. If you were injured at sea due to the negligence of your employer, contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC, for a free consultation.
We are a Chicago injury law firm representing individuals and families who have suffered an injury under the Jones Act. Agruss Law Firm, LLC, will handle your case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you.
Lastly, Agruss Law Firm, LLC, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-¬fee promise is that simple. Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire us–just the opportunity to seek justice.