Jones Act Lawyers Explain How Federal Law for Seamen Differs from Workers Compensation

If seamen or maritime workers sustain injuries because of slip and falls, line breaks or other accidents resulting from employer’s negligence while working on a vessel, the Jones Act and general maritime law allows these individuals to pursue compensation that can be more substantial than workers’ compensation. The Jones Act and general maritime law not only allows workers injured at sea to recover damages for past and future lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering, but the law also provides the family with wrongful death and survival actions if the injury kills the seaman.

While many traditional workers on land must use workers’ compensation to secure benefits for injuries sustained on the job, workers at sea have a legal right to maintenance and cure regardless of whether the employer was at fault.  Maintenance and cure is the payment of medical bills and treatment and a daily stipend until the injured party reaches maximum medical improvement.

While the Jones Act has the potential to provide a much greater chance of recovery than workers’ compensation, this federal statute is not without its complications.  In order to receive damages for past and future lost wages and past and future pain and suffering, you must prove either negligence or unseaworthiness under the law.  Thus, unlike workers compensation where you receive a portion of your salary while you are recuperating, under the Jones Act or general maritime law, you do not receive your wages until your case settles or it goes to trial and damages are awarde.  Additionally, another complication is the time period to file a claim under the Jones Act or general maritime law which is generally 3 years but can be sooner if  the vessel injured on whether owned by the United States or by an individual state.

The bottom line with Jones Act or general maritime claims  you need to act as quickly as possible if you or a loved one is a seamen who was injured at sea and speak to an attorney to answer any questions that you may have. Latti & Anderson LLP has secured several multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for clients under the Jones Act.  Our firm has over 50 years of experience representing injured maritime workers and families who lost loved ones in maritime accidents.

We have additional information about the Jones Act on our website. If you or a loved one sustained a catastrophic injury while working at sea, you should contact our firm today at (800) 392-6072 or use the form on this page to have our Jones Act attorneys review your case.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Jones Act lawyers