Protecting Maritime Workers
Created in 1920, the Jones Act serves as governing legislation for regulating commerce in the waterways. Under this law, maritime workers are protected should they become injured while on the job. However, the Jones Act is not designed to be workers' compensation, and these employees can instead pursue civil or personal injury litigation for their injuries.
What Falls Under the Jones Act?
The Jones Act specifically serves seamen on ships, barges, fishing boats, or other vessels and includes everyone from the captain to the cook. This means that any crew member performing their job function may receive compensation for an injury sustained aboard.
How This Differs From Workers’ Compensation
Although this law protects injured workers, it does not explicitly provide workers' compensation coverage. Instead, vessel owners have a duty to uphold maintenance and safety or can otherwise have legal action brought against them. Under the Jones Act, a worker is able to bring a civil suit against their employer for their injury or unsafe conditions, which is not legally allowed under workers' compensation.
Because of this legal distinction, maritime workers should understand their rights when injured and how they can obtain the appropriate compensation to cover their medical costs and lost wages.
Filing a Jones Act Claim
When filing a Jones Act claim, your injury must have been reported to the supervisor within seven days of the accident, although it's better to do it right away. During this reporting process, you may also be asked to sign an accident report or give a detailed account of what happened in writing. Before doing so, you may want to speak with an attorney so that you know how to convey your side of the story accurately.
Kentucky Maritime Law Attorneys
Pursuing legal action under the Jones Act can be a complicated process if you try to do it alone. That's why our Paducah maritime lawyers work tirelessly from start to finish to help you get the outcome you deserve.
If you or a loved one was injured aboard a vessel during work activity, call (270) 778-0020 or fill out this form to get in touch with a member of our team.