Courts have long recognized the dangerous nature of the work of seamen. When seamen are injured, the Jones Act protects them. Under the Jones Act, injured seamen or their family may be entitled to compensation when the seaman is injured or killed.
How Are Employers Liable for Maritime Injuries?
Employers have certain duties under the law. Every employer has a duty to provide its employees with a reasonably safe work environment and work equipment. When an employer fails to satisfy their duty and someone is injured, then the employer may be liable for monetary damages, medical treatment, and maintenance and cure.
A maritime lawsuit can arise from a number of different scenarios, including:
- Failing to Provide a Safe Workplace
- Maintaining an Unseaworthy or Hazardous Vessel
- Failing to Rescue or Search For an Overboard Seaman
- Violating a Safety Statute
- Employing an Incompetent Crew
- Crewmember Negligence or Assault
Who May File a Jones Act Lawsuit?
A Jones Act lawsuit must be filed by a seaman. A “seaman” is a master or member of a crew of any vessel. To qualify for seaman status, the employee’s job duties must contribute to the function of the vessel or the accomplishment of the vessel’s mission. Also, the seaman must have a substantial connection to a vessel in navigation (or a group of vessels).
What Are the Elements of a Jones Act Lawsuit?
To successfully establish a Jones Act negligence claim, the plaintiff has the burden of proof. The plaintiff must establish the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence:
- The Plaintiff Was a Seaman;
- The Defendant Was Negligent; and
- The Defendant’s Negligence Was a Cause of the Injury or Damage to the Plaintiff.
What Damages Are Available in a Jones Act Lawsuit?
An injured seaman may be entitled to significant monetary compensation for:
- Pain, Suffering, and Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Mental Anguish
- Lost Wages and Loss of Future Earning Capacity
- Medical or Assisted Living Expenses
- Pre-Judgment and Post-Judgment Interest in Certain Cases
- Punitive Damages in Certain Cases
If the seaman was killed as a result of his accident, his family may be entitled to:
- Loss of Support
- Loss of Services of the Deceased
- Loss of Nurture, Guidance, Care, and Instruction
- Loss of Inheritance
- Funeral Expenses
What Should You Do if You Suffer a Jones Act Injury?
No one can ever guarantee your success in a Jones Act negligence lawsuit. But there are steps you can take to help your cause:
- Report the Injury As Soon As Possible
- Seek Medical Treatment From a Reputable Doctor
- Follow Your Doctor’s Advice and Don’t Miss Appointments
- Talk to a Lawyer Before Accepting a Quick Settlement
Contact Strongpoint Law Firm Today!
If you or a loved one suffered a maritime injury, then contact Jon Robinson at Strongpoint Law Firm today for a free legal consultation.
Jon can be reached at (985) 246-3194, or you can fill out the contact form and let Jon contact you for a free case evaluation.