The Jones Act: protecting injured mariners

| Nov 14, 2019 | Maritime Law |

When you work out on the Gulf of Mexico, you may worry about an injury preventing you from working. Employment on a boat or an offshore rig comes with many dangers. And if you can’t work, you can’t pay to feed your family.

Under maritime law, your employer doesn’t have to offer you workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you get an injury because of unsafe conditions while out to sea, the Jones Act lets you file a personal injury lawsuit.

Covering your lost wages

The Jones Act, formally known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, gives rights to mariners who can’t collect workers’ compensation. If the conditions on a ship are unsafe and cause an injury, the injured worker can sue the employer. This lawsuit helps injured workers pay for medical bills and covers lost wages.

Proving your employer’s responsibility

When you file a lawsuit under the Jones Act, you must only prove that your employer is at least partly responsible for your injury. Whether the equipment was not maintained well, or the employees weren’t properly trained, you can win your lawsuit if your employer’s action or inaction led to your injury.

Even if you are partly responsible for the injury, the Jones Act only requires you to prove your employer’s negligence.

Helping you continue supporting your family

You work hard to support your family. But one injury can take away your ability to provide. When you can’t work, you may not be able to afford housing, food, utilities and more. And if you need medical treatment for your injury, you can rack up expensive hospital bills.

With the Jones Act, you can receive a settlement that makes sure you can pay your bills and still provide for your family.