While there are inherent risks to every type of job, maritime workers face exceptionally dangerous conditions on the water. For mariners, work-related accidents on a vessel are not covered by the usual workers’ compensation laws. Congress enacted the Jones Act to protect the rights of mariners in the event of an accident caused by negligence or dangerous vessel conditions.
The Jones Act is a federal statute that gives injured seamen the right to sue their employer for work-related injuries. Under the Jones Act, a maritime employer is liable for any negligence on their vessel.
Unfortunately, it can be challenging to know what your rights are as an injured maritime worker. When you suffer an injury in a maritime accident, discuss your claim with an experienced Bangor Jones Act lawyer. From filing a claim to representing you in court, the attorneys of Gideon Asen, LLC can confidently guide you from start to finish of your legal endeavors.
Types of Maritime Accidents
Working onboard a vessel has inherent risks. Inclement weather, rough seas, and other dangerous conditions can lead to disasters aboard a ship. Maritime accidents can also happen in ports and offshore maritime facilities.
Maritime workers face many potential injuries at sea or on land. For example, defective marine products can cause injuries on the job. The Jones Act would cover a claim involving a dangerous or poorly designed product that caused an injury to a seaman aboard a vessel on navigable waters. Similarly, docks and piers are dangerous job sites, and maritime workers are at risk of catastrophic injury. Inadequate training and unseaworthy vessels can also cause severe injuries to maritime workers. Maritime workers who are unsure of whether they may qualify for compensation should discuss their incident with a seasoned Bangor Jones Act attorney.
Claims Process Under the Jones Act
There are specific legal qualifications an injured maritime worker must meet to bring a claim under the Jones Act. When filing a claim, the injured person must be considered a seaman (or have an employment-related connection with a specific ship or shipping company) and spend at least thirty percent of their time onboard a vessel. This can include anyone from the captain to deckhands or kitchen staff. The Jones Act also requires that the injury occurred while the vessel was in navigation. If the vessel is in port or dock, the injury will qualify if the boat was in operation, afloat, and capable of transportation on the water.
Qualified seamen under the Jones Act that are injured on the job due to negligence by the vessel’s owner, employer, or manufacturer are entitled to file a claim for compensation. Federal law mandates that injured maritime workers file their Jones Act claims within seven days of the injury. After suffering an injury on the water, it is crucial to report the incident and seek medical attention immediately.
Maritime employers will refer the claim to their workers’ compensation office, which will then contact their insurer. In many cases, the insurance company will attempt to settle with the injured mariner. Discussing the claim with a Bangor Jones Act attorney before accepting any settlement offer is a good idea. The insurance adjuster will do their best to minimize the value of a claim, but an experienced maritime lawyer can negotiate with the employer’s insurance on behalf of the injured worker to ensure fair compensation.
Discuss Compensation With a Bangor Jones Act Lawyer
If you are a seaman who was hurt while working on the water, discuss compensation with an Auburn Jones Act lawyer. The attorneys of Gideon Asen, LLC understand the applicable maritime laws and can assist you with filing a Jones Act claim. If your employer’s negligence caused your injury, you are entitled to compensation for medical treatment, lost wages, and other related expenses. Contact our office today to discuss your legal rights and options under the Jones Act.