Jones Act Claims – Can I File a Claim If I Was Hurt by a Co-Worker?
Many times when a seaman is injured on the job, the accident is the result of the actions or inactions of co-workers. Maritime work is risky and dangerous and employees must rely on their co-workers in order to perform their duties and stay safe on the job. When a crew member’s actions or omissions injure a fellow worker, the injured worker may be able to file a legal claim against his or her employer to recover financial compensation.
The Jones Act is a federal statute that provides seaman, such as tug boat operators, barge workers, commercial fishermen, jack-up oil rig workers, deckhands, and other individuals who work on the high seas, inland rivers and waterways or other navigable waters, the right to file a lawsuit against an employer when they are injured in the course or scope of their employment. A Jones Act negligence lawsuit is different from an ordinary negligence claim. In a Jones Act suit the burden of proof is far lower than what is required in a traditional negligence lawsuit. The injured maritime worker only needs to prove that the employer’s negligence played some part, no matter how minor, in causing his injuries.
Is My Employer Legally Responsible for My Injuries?
Employers in the maritime industry have a legal duty to provide their workers with a reasonably safe work environment. When an employer fails to meet this duty and an employee is injured, the employer can be held liable for damages. While people most often think of the employer’s duty as relating to the safety of the equipment, supplies and conditions on a ship or vessel, the duty also extends to the actions and inactions of the employer’s employees. This means employers can be held legally liable when an employee is injured by a co-worker who has not been properly trained or supervised, acts negligently, or assaults a fellow worker.
If you have been injured by the actions or omissions of a co-worker and decide to pursue a Jones Act negligence suit against your employer, you may be able to recover certain damages, such as:
- Lost Wages and Loss of Future Earning Capacity
- Medical Expenses
- Rehabilitation Costs
- Pain and Suffering
- Disability and Disfigurement
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Talk With an Experienced Maritime Injury Law Firm
Jones Act negligence lawsuits are complex, which is why you need to speak with a maritime injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident occurs. The Willis Law Firm has extensive experience handling a full range of Jones Act and general maritime lawsuits across the country. We understand how the maritime industry operates and will fight for your right to receive the financial compensation you need to properly recover from your injuries. Do not delay in contacting our firm – maritime injury cases are subject to strict statutes of limitations and if you miss a legal deadline you may not be able to pursue your legal claim. You can reach us 24/7 by calling 1-800-468-4878.