Maritime and Jones Act Cases
Offshore workers and seamen face one of the most difficult jobs in the United States. Due to the dangerous work conditions inherent to this line of work, it comes as little surprise that these jobs present a near-constant threat of injury. The constant dangers consistently place maritime work as one of the most dangerous forms of employment in America.
Injuries that occur to workers on ships by other seagoing vessels are covered under maritime law, also known as admiralty law. Maritime law differs from traditional land-based liability laws because legal violations are often handled in federal court.
If you have suffered a serious maritime injury or have lost a loved one in a maritime accident, contact a Mississippi maritime lawyer to discuss the facts of your case.
Who Is Entitled to File a Claim for a Maritime Injury?
Broadly speaking, any Mississippi worker who suffers an injury while working offshore or aboard a Mississippi vessel has the ability to file a workers’ compensation or negligence claim for their injuries. Regarding workers’ compensation claims, injured victims or their loved ones may file a claim under state or federal law to receive their benefits and/or medical treatment.
Additionally, injured workers may wish to file a negligence claim against an employer, a boating insurance company or any other legally relevant third party. In a negligence case, the plaintiff must show that the negligent act of another directly led to the injuries sustained.
If you are unsure whether or not you may be entitled to workers’ compensation or a negligence claim, a Mississippi maritime attorney will help you go over your case and determine your legal rights.
What Is the Jones Act?
The Jones Act is a complex area of federal law and a subsection of the 1920 Merchant Marine Act. This statute has protected seamen who were injured on the job for decades. While some individuals continue to call for abandoning this statute, understand that the Jones Act remains a critically important way to receive compensation for injuries suffered at sea. To qualify for protection under the Jones Act, the seaman in question must spend at least 30% of their time on the job on a specific boat or with a specific fleet.
One key benefit of the Jones Act is that no matter how dangerous the seaman’s occupation is, that seaman is entitled to a reasonably safe working environment under the law. The law has expanded over the years, and it now provides a cause of action for any seaman who is injured in the course of his employment, provided that the vessel was navigating when the injury took place.
Regardless of fault, injured coworkers are entitled to immediate medical treatment as a result of an injury or disease. Further, a Jones Act eligible worker may also file a claim against the negligent employer or the ship vessel’s owner if said vessel was not seaworthy.
Despite these benefits, and eligible worker under this statute must still file their claim in a timely fashion. Additionally, the injured party must show that another party was at fault for the injuries sustained. If this can be proven, damages may be recovered as a result when the vessel in question is shown to be unseaworthy.
The complex intertwining of federal, state and local laws demand a maritime lawyer in Jackson, MS who understands the nuances of these laws. Maggio Thompson, LLP’s team of maritime and Jones Act attorneys provide injured workers and their loved ones with the legal counsel needed to receive compensation for their injuries. Our team of lawyers will help injured workers and their families walk through the steps needed to file a claim, depending on the specifics of their case. Contact our team for a legal consultation to discuss your maritime injury and take the first step toward obtaining the legal representation you need.