Most workers in the United States are able to file for workers' compensation if they become injured on the job. However, a loophole in the law means that maritime workers cannot make a claim under workers' compensation.
However, there is still hope for injured maritime workers. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, makes it possible for workers injured on boats to get the damages they deserve.
How does the Merchant Marine Act help injured workers?
The act has legislation in place to ensure that injured workers on ships are protected financially, despite the fact that they are not eligible to collect workers' compensation. This means that injured seamen and river workers have the right to sue their employers after an injury.
What do I need to prove in order to successfully sue my employer?
Unlike workers' compensation claims, maritime workers who sue their employers must be able to show that their employer was negligent in some way and that this negligence caused their injury.
For example, you may be able to show that your injury occurred because the crew or captain was not adequately trained. Alternatively, you may want to argue that the adequate equipment was not provided or that the equipment on deck was not properly maintained.
What should I do after the injury?
You should report the injury within a week to your manager, and seek medical attention as soon as possible. By keeping medical records, you will be able to use them to validate your claim.
It is important to understand how to successfully sue your employer under the Jones Act if you have been injured as a marine worker.