FORT LAUDERDALE JONES ACT LAWYER
The Jones Act is a federal act designed to protect maritime workers from unsafe work environments. As with any workers in high risk careers, maritime workers are entitled to compensation for injuries resulting from an employer’s negligence or failure to provide a safe working environment.
Any person defined as a seaman can receive Jones Act workers compensation from their employer for injuries sustained while at sea. Like workers’ compensation claims, the Jones Act requires the injured worker to prove that the employer was negligent. However, the amount of negligence does not have to be in any way substantial in order to have a claim..
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR COMPENSATION UNDER THE JONES ACT?
The Jones Act applies to any person who can be considered a “seaman.” A seaman is a person who spends a significant amount of his or her time working as a crew member or captain on a vessel. Crew members are workers or laborers that work on a ship. This can include workers such as cruise ship entertainers or on-board chefs.
The vessel these employees work on must also be “in navigation.” This means that the vessel must be afloat, in operation, capable of moving and on navigable waters. There are many broad concepts in the Jones Act and many may seem open to interpretation. In order to fully understand the many aspects of the Jones Act, it is important to speak with a experienced maritime personal injury lawyer.
WHO CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR INJURIES UNDER THE JONES ACT?
An injured seaman is entitled to sue his or her employer for negligence under the Jones Act. Maritime employers are required to provide employees with a reasonably safe work environment and to use ordinary care under the circumstances in order to maintain and keep the vessel in reasonably safe condition. Breach of this duty can result in a negligence claim under the Jones Act, and an employee does not need to offer a lot in the way of proof in order to have a valid claim. In fact, even if the employers negligence was just 1% at fault, the employee can still collect damages.
Additionally, an injured seaman is entitled to sue the owner of the vessel on which he or she was injured for damages under the federal maritime doctrine of unseaworthiness. Basically, an unseaworthy vessel is a vessel, or any part of a vessel, that is unfit for its intended purpose. An owner can be liable if a vessel does not provide a safe working environment and suitable equipment with which to perform work..
An injured seaman is also entitled to receive what is called maintenance and cure, regardless of whose fault the injury was. Maintenance and cure is meant to provide for a maritime employee after an injury. Maintenance refers to room and board while recovering from injury as well as expenses like mortgages, rent, utilities, property taxes, food and homeowner’s insurance.
Cure refers to the injured seaman’s medical expenses. An employer must pay cure until the inured party reaches a point of maximum medical improvement.
FORT LAUDERDALE MARITIME PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
The Jones Act can be complicated and those who are injured while working at sea deserve to have their rights protected. Maritime workers in Florida should contact the Fort Lauderdale Jones Act Attorneys from the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato for more information regarding compensation after an injury.