APRIL 26, 2011 by Bill Abbott

The Jones Act is an act that provides certain protections for seamen.  The act is comparable to regular workers’ compensations for other industries on land.  When a seaman suffers an injury on the water, he can file a claim under the Jones Act for financial compensation.  The Jones Act also requires the employer to provide certain financial support known as maintenance and cure.  Without the Jones Act, thousands of injured seamen would be left without legal help to ensure they receive compensation.

One example of the Jones Act providing protection is in a recent case of an injured deckhand.  The deckhand was working aboard a vessel when the captain of the vessel suddenly accelerated.  Since the deckhand had no warning of the sudden burst of speed, his leg became tangled in a rope.  He suffered various injuries from the accident.  The deckhand hired a Jones Act attorney to handle his claim against his employer.

The employer in this case tried to blame the accident on the deckhand.  However, the experience of the deckhand’s lawyer was vast.  The Jones Act attorney was able to show that the deckhand had not been sufficiently trained.  The attorney also showed that the employer was negligent in the way he operated the vessel, causing the injury.  Ultimately, the case was settled for $925,000.  Without the legal assistance of his maritime attorney, the deckhand probably would not have received such a generous settlement.

When it comes to the Jones Act, knowledge is the key – you must have an attorney that is educated in maritime law, preferably one that specializes in the industry.  If you, or someone you know, have been injured on a vessel, contact an experienced law firm for advice.  Depending on the situation surrounding the injury, you may have a Jones Act claim to file.


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