Seamen/Jones Act

Being a crewmember on an ocean going or river vessel is very dangerous work — it is physically and mentally demanding. The work constantly surrounds employees with equipment weighing several thousand tons. Equipment that is unforgiving and deadly if not operated correctly or properly maintained. Many crewmembers have died or been severely injured because equipment was improperly operated or maintained. In addition, crewmembers are required to work in all kinds of weather at all times of the day and night. All while being miles from land. If something happens to the vessel or a hazardous condition arises, the crewmember cannot walk away from the danger. Often, they cannot leave the area to get to safety. Frequently, crewmembers work miles from any type of help or medical assistance other than first aid.

Most importantly, seafarers and crewmembers employees do not have nor are they entitled to receive any type of Worker’s Compensation benefits. Just because a crewmember gets hurt on the job, does not mean that the crewmember is automatically entitled to compensation. Instead, the crewmember must prove that their employer was negligent, i.e., it did something that it should not have done or failed to do something that it should have done. Additionally, one of the defenses to a Jones Act claim is that the injured employee was at fault. The employer can offer any evidence that the injured worker/crewmember did something they were not supposed to do or failed to do something that they were supposed to do.

We also understand what happens if a crewmember is injured while working on a vessel. Vessel owners, charterers and other Jones Act employers have very sophisticated claims departments. Their sole job is to save the company money. It is not to help the injured crewmember.

This is not the time to go it alone. The Jones Act can be tricky to apply and having the wrong attorney, especially an attorney unfamiliar with the Jones Act or who has never handled a Jones Act case can cost you dearly. If you have been injured while working on a vessel, boat or cruise line, call us and we will help you understand your rights.

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What is an Injury Accident Plan?

No one likes to think about the unthinkable. It is not pleasant to consider what might happen if you or a family member were involved in an incident and were rendered unconscious or incapacitated. Worse yet, what if you were killed? Unfortunately, the unthinkable happens to someone each day. Disaster can and will strike.

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