The Jones Act is a federal law that protects seaman and other workers that are injured while working on or near the navigable waters. In order for the Jones Act to apply to the injured worker, they must be under a class known as the seaman. This is the term of art that is used by a large body of the law. Statutory law can determine whether or not a worker would be categorized as a seaman.
If you have been seriously hurt while working on a ship, barge, or another vessel, it is important to contact an experienced maritime attorney immediately. A knowledgeable Charleston Jones Act lawyer can help you navigate the ins and outs of the law to assist in maximizing your recovery in your claim.
Utilizing the Jones Act
Many workers who think that they are not seaman, might be for purposes of the law and that’s a good thing because the Jones Act is a good body of law for an injured person to be working under and offers a lot of advantages to someone that is not available if the injured worker is not under the Jones Act. There is no cap on damages, for example, for disability damages that would be in place if the person is deemed to be a longshoreman instead of a Jones Act seaman.
In order to be deemed a seaman, the injured worker must have a substantial connection to a single vessel or fleet of vessels and again all of these terms like seaman or terms of art that have a great body of law, help determine what the injured worker status is. It’s another good reason while the injured worker should seek an experienced maritime lawyer right away to make sure that the insurance company is not trying to categorize them in the wrong category, or limiting the benefits and damages available to them unlawfully.
Any injured worker should not assume that they are not a seaman and should get experienced legal advice to determine what category he or she falls under because the amount of money damages and the type of medical treatment he or she is able to get can vary greatly depending on how he or she is categorized. A person wants someone to look at the situation on his or her behalf and to help figure out what category he or she fits into, and also if he or she will get the best benefit. That’s why the injured worker should call an experienced maritime attorney to evaluate his or her case at the very beginning.
Any worker who spends at least thirty percent of their time working on a ship or on the water by other ways will likely be considered a Jones Act Seaman and entitled to the full benefits under that law that are provided to these injured workers.
The Jones Act covers those that are deemed to be a seaman. If a person falls into this category, then they will seek discovery for their damages from their accident under the Jones Act. The law allows a person to recover past and future wages, past and future medical care and treatment, as well as other general damages for their injury. A knowledgeable Jones Act lawyer in Charleston can help an individual discover whether they are eligible to file a claim.
The general damages available in a Jones Act case would include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, permanent impairment, and loss of consortium. Such damages can be best pursued by a Charleston Jones Act lawyer who understands the dynamics of the case.
It also allows the individual to move for maintenance and cure, which is important because other maritime injuries do not allow a worker to move for maintenance. This means the insurance company and employer have to pay for shelter and food that would have been available on the vessel. This is to be supplied in reasonable amounts, every day, until the injured worker has reached the maximum care, which is the date of which the doctor released the person from their medical care and treatment. This allows the injured worker to choose their own doctor and permits the individual to bring the claim for unseaworthiness against the vessel owner.
Filing a Jones Act Claim
Injuries on a ship or other vessel can be caused by and occur in many ways, including a defective condition on the ship that the owner of the ship knew about or should have known about, or by a dangerous condition that has been created or ignored by a captain or other member of the crew.
The purpose of the Jones Act is to provide medical treatment and money damages that the injured worker would like to recover from their work-related injury, and also they may hold the money provided to compensate them for their work-related injuries.
Whether an individual has suffered personal injury or damage to personal property, they are likely entitled to seek money damages to reimburse them for what they have lost. When an individual brings their injury claim to a Charleston Jones Act lawyer, they can help them make a recovery as fast as possible.
Consult With a Lawyer
A Charleston Jones Act lawyer can help you in many ways, including helping to file a case in either federal or state court, help you decide which venue is best for you and your claim, and help you decide whether you should file for a bench trial in front of a judge or move for a jury trial.
You may have a case against your captain, the ship owner, a member of your crew, or even a combination of these potential parties who may have caused or contributed to your accident. An experienced Jones Act attorney in Charleston can help you pursue your claim and assist in recovering any just compensation.