Jones Act Claims
The Jones Act protects seamen injured on the job and gives them the right to sue their employer for damages. Seamen aren’t entitled to workers’ compensation claims the same way other land-based professionals are. As a result, the only compensation they can receive for injuries sustained while working is through the Jones Act and other maritime laws.What is the Jones Act?
Originally penned as the "Merchant Marine Act of 1920," this acted as a regulation of maritime commerce in the United States on the waters throughout the world for any U.S. port.
Under 46 U.S.C. § 30104 it states:
A seaman injured in the course of employment or, if the seaman dies from the injury, the personal representative of the seaman may elect to bring a civil action at law, with the right of trial by jury, against the employer. Laws of the United States regulating recovery for personal injury to, or death of, a railway employee apply to an action under this section.
This law gives seaman the right to pursue legal action for their injury while working offshore or in the event of a wrongful death, a family may be able to seek financial recovery for the loss of their loved one.
What is Negligence Under the Jones Act?
If a worker wants to recover damages from their employer, they must be able to prove that the owner, captain, or crew of the ship was negligent, and that their negligence significantly contributed to the injury in question. Under the Jones Act, an employer must provide a reasonably safe workplace and keep up with maintenance and care of the vessel the seaman works on.
According to the Jones Act, an employer can be held liable for:
- Improper Maintenance of Equipment
- Unsafe Work Methods
- Failing to Provide Necessary Equipment for Job Duties
- Grease or Oil on the Deck
- Inadequate Training
- Assault by a Co-Worker
At Johnson Beard & Trueb, PC we understand that maritime employment is common in our state. For this reason, we want to offer our legal services to the community in the event of a Jones Act injury or wrongful death. Filing a Jones Act Claim may allow for the victim and/or family to receive recovery for:
- Pain and suffering
- The loss of income/future earning capacity
- All medical expenses (past and future)
- Pre-judgment interest
- Found (the financial value of the room and board that the victim would have received had the injury not occurred)
Standard injury cases must prove that the defendant’s negligence was a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury. Proximate cause usually means the defendant’s negligence was the main cause of the plaintiff’s injury. Criteria for proving the burden of proof is much lower under the Jones Act.
If you’ve been injured while working on a boat or ship, you might be entitled to financial compensation under the Jones Act. At Johnson Beard & Trueb, PC, we provide personally tailored representation for Alaskans who have suffered serious injuries while working. Our lawyers have deep roots in the Alaskan territory and are ready to fight for your legal rights
Contact our team of Alaska personal injury attorneys, or call (907) 277-0161 to get started on your case today!