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Why Maritime Workers Should Get Familiar with Jones Act Lawsuit Process

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The maritime industry is the industry with high injury rates that features a highly dangerous work environment. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that maritime workers often get injured in their workplace.

Obtaining an appropriate compensation is very important for injured maritime workers. It helps them reimburse for their pain and injuries, which usually implies costly rehabilitation and a number of medical bills. This is why they should understand Jones Act claim process.

What is the Jones Act?

The Jones Act is meant to protect maritime workers who are injured in the workplace, allowing them to sue their employers for injury damages. This law was originally created by the United States Congress in 1917. It was known as the Jones–Shafroth Act or Jones Act of Puerto Rico.

In fact, this act has largely been shaped based on the FELA statute with a goal to entitle crew members and seamen to bring claims against unseaworthiness of their bosses. This way it lets people working aboard a ship or boat seek the fair compensation for any work-related injury caused by their employers’ negligence.

What is the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?

The Longshore Act (also referred to as the “LHWCA”) is a federal act that determines compensation for injured maritime workers. In many circumstances, this federal law extends to job-related damages suffered ashore. It also covers other employees who are not seamen but work near or on the water, such as harbor workers, longshoremen, and the majority of employees working in shipyards, shipping terminals, or on docks.

Who is Not Covered by the Jones Act and the Longshore Act?

Those working in shipping, offshore drilling, or longshore related occupations make a minority of people using the water. Other water users are covered neither by the Jones Act nor the Longshore Act. These people include:

  • Fishers

  • Recreational sailors

  • River workers

  • Members of a scientific expedition

  • Crew members and passengers on cruise ships

  • First responders

Why are the Maritime Workers Different from Other Workers?

When an injury occurs, ship workers have the legal right to bring a personal injury claim against the employer and seek a compensation. Note that this is not the same type of recompense that applies to other land-based workers when getting injured on the job. Other workers (except railroad workers who are protected under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act) can only get compensation from their employer.

By contrast, the injured seamen are entitled to different types of damages and/or compensation under federal law. They can sue their employer under one of the following three laws:

  1. Jones Act – in case of employer’s negligence

  2. Federal maritime doctrine – for employer’s unseaworthiness

  3. Maintenance and cure – no matter who was at fault for the injury

If you’re injured as a harbor worker, sailor, offshore worker, or longshoreman, keep in mind that you have a legal right to seek a full compensation. That reimbursement should at least cover expenses for your medical care and treatment, as well as two-thirds of your wage on a weekly basis while you’re unable to work.

As you already know, bringing a lawsuit against the employer takes a lot of time and money. This where Jones Act lawsuit loans come in. An easy and fast Jones Act lawsuit loan can help plaintiffs, actually injured maritime workers, pursue their case until they obtain a compensation they deserve.

 

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