CAPTAIN FALLS THROUGH OPEN HATCH AND INJURES BACK- By. Bill Ogletree

MAY 31, 2011 by Ogletree Abbott

While there are millions of people employed in the maritime industry, many of these hard workers do not have a full understanding of the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a critical part of the maritime industry. It provides protection to the workers that suffer injuries on the job. It is comparable to Workers’ Compensation, only it is strictly for maritime workers. The Jones Act makes it possible for an injured seaman to receive compensation for his or her injuries, including lost wages and recovering medical costs. Without the Jones Act, many seamen would be left without any means of financial support after an injury.

When a seaman is injured during the course of his or her employment, retaining a qualified Jones Act attorney should be one of the first actions the seaman takes. One seaman made this decision after his injury aboard a vessel. A captain suffered an injury to his back when he fell through an open hatch. The hatch had been left open by another captain. The captain retained an experienced Jones Act attorney to handle his Jones Act claim. The defendants in this case tried to blame the captain for his injury. Their argument – the hatch was an “open and obvious” danger, something that the captain should have easily seen and avoided.
The experienced Jones Act attorneys representing the captain quickly shot down this defense. With practiced courtroom techniques, the attorneys brought in an expert who provided an animated recreation of the accident. The animation was able to show the view of the open hatch from the captain’s perspective. It was clear that the hatch was not an obvious danger. After only ten days of trial, the defendants settled the case for $1.6 million.

If you, or someone you know, have been injured aboard a vessel, you have rights, too. A Jones Act claim can help ensure that you receive your just compensation. Instead of blindly trusting your employer to provide for your financial and medical needs, contact us toll free at 1-800-Jones-Act for free legal advice.

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