Jackson Jones Act Lawyers
We Fight for Injured Maritime Workers
Offshore workers and seamen face the most difficult jobs in the U.S. Due to the dangerous conditions inherent to this line of work, it comes as no surprise that these jobs present a near-constant threat of serious injury, even to experienced and cautious workers.
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.
What Is the Jones Act?
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, is a federal statute that protects U.S. citizens working as seamen who are injured while traversing navigable waters due to unseaworthiness or negligence. The Jones Act allows injured maritime workers to receive compensation for work-related injuries, regardless of fault. It is crucial to helping seamen and offshore workers – and their families – recover after catastrophic accidents and injuries.
Injured while sailing the dangerous waters of the Mississippi River, Gulf of Mexico, and other large body of water? Call (601) 265-6869 to speak with a lawyer at ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP. Your consultation is free!
Jones Act Eligibility
For decades, the Jones Act has protected injured seamen. 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 particular fleet.
Jones Act cases have three requirements:
- The worker must be assigned to a vessel in operation of a navigable waterway.
- The worker’s duties must contribute to the vessel’s function.
- The connection to the vessel must be substantial in both time and nature.
One key benefit of the Jones Act is that no matter how dangerous the occupation, a maritime worker is entitled to a reasonably safe working environment under the law. The law has expanded over the years and now provides a cause of action for any seaman who is injured in the course of his or her employment, provided that the vessel was navigating when the injury took place.
Benefits Are Provided Regardless of Fault
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, a qualified worker must still file a 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.
If you’ve been injured, you may be entitled to financial compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical expenses
What Rights Do You Have Under the Jones Act?
Qualifying seamen are afforded several rights under the Jones Act, including:
- The right to a reasonably safe work environment
- The right to file a maritime lawsuit if injured due to another party's negligence
- The right to maintenance and cure compensation related to illness or injury
- The right to additional compensation if the vessel is found to be unseaworthy
- The right to additional punitive damages if the payment of maintenance and cure was wrongfully withheld
Additionally, seaman families have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit under the Jones Act if their loved one died as a result of a work-related injury or illness.
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 can 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 you may be entitled to workers’ compensation or a negligence claim, a Jackson maritime injury attorney at ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP can help you go over your case and determine your legal rights.
Choose an Experienced Jones Act Attorney
The complex interweaving of federal, state, and local laws demand the attention of a seasoned attorney. Our team provides injured workers and their loved ones with the legal counsel needed to receive fair compensation for their injuries. We can guide you through the process of filing a claim and pursuing much-needed financial support – from all possible sources.
Contact us today for a free consultation and review of your case. We want to help you.
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