Crew members, maintenance workers, and seamen who spend time out on navigable waters on vessels face exposure to many occupational hazards. Many of these employees use heavy machinery, operate dangerous equipment, and withstand the elements on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, unlike most workers, seamen do not enjoy protection under state workers’ compensation laws. To collect compensation in the form of medical payments and lost wage reimbursement, these employees must sue their employers in court. An Ocean Springs Seaman Injury Lawyer could help boat crew members who have endured an injury while on their vessels seek compensation for their damages. This includes evaluating the facts that led to the injury and helping to measure a person’s losses to seek appropriate compensation. A skilled maritime injury attorney could advocate on your behalf and help you hold negligent employers accountable for their actions.
Members of the merchant marine, meaning boats that work to move goods to American ports on ships, face a high likelihood of suffering a workplace injury. Something as simple as a slip and fall on a wet deck can break bones, separate joints, or inflict traumatic brain injuries (TBI). If an injury happens while on the job, a seaman should not bear the burden of paying for medical care or losing out on essential income. Unfortunately, the methods for collecting compensation following a work injury can be complex.
Fortunately, Congress passed the Jones Act to regulate the United States’ merchant marine. According to 46 United States Code §30104, boat owners are directly liable for any workplace injuries that are the result of negligence. This means that seamen do not enjoy protection under workers’ compensation laws and must sue their bosses directly in a United States District Court to demand payment. An experienced Ocean Springs Seaman Injury Attorney could provide more information about the Jones Act and how it limits the options of injured crew members.
The Jones Act provides that seamen have the right to sue their employers in a federal court for their losses after an on-the-job injury. There is no direct definition of a seaman in the language of the statute. However, courts have provided a general rule where if a worker spends 30 percent or more of their working hours on a navigable vessel, they count as a seaman under the language of the law.
An Ocean Springs Seaman Injury Attorney could help to determine a person’s status as a seaman under the Jones Act and help maritime employees seek compensation for damages.
Suffering a workplace injury while performing your job as a seaman can be a devastating event. Not only could you require immediate medical attention, but the injury could affect your long-term health and your ability to earn a living in the future. Traditional workers’ compensation laws require an insurance company to cover these losses. However, seamen who spend most of their working hours on a vessel fall under the federal law known as the Jones Act.
An Ocean Springs Seaman Injury Lawyer could help to evaluate your status under the Jones Act and to determine which legal path is appropriate for you. They can then take the lead to file demand letters and lawsuits that work to bring you the compensation that you deserve. Discuss your case today.