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When Do I Need a Jones Act Lawyer?

Jones Act Information Center Jun 12, 2017

If you were injured working on a vessel or offshore, you may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a federal maritime law that provides special protections to maritime workers, many of whom face dangerous job-related risks on a daily basis.

However, while the Jones Act’s protections are clear, employers rarely (if ever) voluntarily pay their injured workers the full compensation they deserve. In fact, many employers will dispute their employees’ Jones Act claims, and some even have policies and procedures in place designed to prevent employees from asserting their rights under the Jones Act. On top of these concerns, you may have additional claims for compensation outside of the Jones Act, and if you only pursue a claim against your employer you might not recover the full compensation you deserve.

As you can see, securing just compensation after an offshore or maritime accident gets complicated quickly. As a result, the best way to protect your rights (and maximize your financial recovery) is to consult with an experienced Jones Act lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.

Common Maritime Injuries for Jones Act Claims

The Jones Act does not identify specific types of injuries that are eligible for compensation. Instead, it establishes rights for eligible workers (those who qualify as “seamen”) that apply regardless of the harm they have endured. As a result, the following are all examples of common offshore injuries that may entitle injured workers to file a Jones Act lawsuit:

  • Bone fractures
  • Burns
  • Bulging or herniated discs
  • Facial injuries
  • Inhalation injuries
  • Lifting Injuries
  • Mesothelioma cancer from asbestos exposure
  • Leukemia from benzene containing products
  • Severe lacerations and contusions
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Sprains and strains
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Again, these are just examples. If you have suffered any type of serious injury or illness while working or a maritime vessel or offshore, you should speak with a lawyer about your rights under the Jones Act.

Common Causes of Offshore Injuries

Under the Jones Act, seamen have two options when it comes to securing compensation for their injuries. The first is a claim for “maintenance and cure” benefits. These are limited benefits for medical and living expenses that employers must pay regardless of who was at fault in the accident. The second is a Jones Act lawsuit alleging that the seamen’s employer’s negligence contributed to his or her injuries. In negligence lawsuits, seamen can seek full compensation for their accident-related injuries.

Common causes of offshore accidents that can entitle injured seamen to file both types of claims under the Jones Act include:

  • Crane and other equipment accidents
  • Crewmember negligence
  • Defective equipment
  • Falling tools and other objects
  • Falls from heights
  • Falls during rough seas or bad weather
  • Shifting cargo
  • Slips and falls
  • Barge & vessel collisions

Like the list of injuries above, this list is not exhaustive. There are many more causes of maritime accidents that can entitle you to seek compensation under the Jones Act. For advice specific to your individual situation, contact the Willis Law Firm for a free consultation today.

Schedule a Free Jones Act Consultation at the Willis Law Firm

To find out if you have a claim for compensation under the Jones Act, contact the Willis Law Firm and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with attorney David Willis. Licensed in Texas and New York, Mr. Willis has over 30 years of experience representing injured seamen nationwide. Do not let delays jeopardize your claim, call 1-800-GOT HURT or get your free case review online now.

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