Jones Act Attorneys: We Protect the Rights of Maritime Injury Victims
If you have been injured in a maritime accident, the Willis Law Firm is here to help. We have over 30 years of experience protecting the rights of workers and other individuals who have suffered serious maritime injuries. Our firm understands that the legal system can be intimidating and confusing for injury victims. We are here to answer your questions in the strictest confidence and guide you through every step of the legal process.
Maritime injuries and accidents can have catastrophic, life-changing consequences for victims and their families. In addition to your initial pain and suffering, you may experience serious ongoing medical problems that prevent you from reaching a full recovery and returning to work. While your employer may promise to take care of you and find you a new position that accommodates your injuries, these types of promises are often not fulfilled. Far too often employers and their insurance companies deny responsibility and look for ways to limit the amount of compensation they are required to pay injured workers.
Whether you have been injured on a ship, jack-up oil rig, offshore platform, barge, tugboat , fishing boat, or other type of vessel, you need a strong team of experienced maritime and Jones Act lawyers on your side. It is important to remember that your interests and the interests of your employer are not always aligned. At the end of the day your employer will be looking out for its own interests. David Willis, a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer and Jones Act attorney, can protect your rights and fight for the compensation you need to recover from your injuries and move forward with your life.
How The Jones Act Helps Injures Maritime Workers
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a federal statute designed to support and promote the American Merchant Marine while also providing important protections to sailors and crew members who are injured in the course of their employment. Prior to the passage of the Act, seamen who were injured, became sick, or died at sea had little if any recourse because they were not able to hold their employers accountable for work-related accidents and injuries. With the passage of the Jones Act, injured seamen gained important legal rights. They are now able to file a negligence lawsuit against their maritime employers for work-related injuries.
Unlike the traditional worker’s compensation system, under the Jones Act seamen are permitted to sue their employers for damages when they are injured by their employer’s negligence or the negligence of a co-worker. Recognizing the dangers of working on the water, the Jones Act provides extra protection to vulnerable crew members and other maritime employees. Under the Act, an employer can be held liable for virtually any dangerous or unsafe condition on a vessel. Any amount of negligence on the part of the employer, no matter how minor it may be, can support an injured seaman’s claim for damages in a Jones Act negligence suit. This means that if you are injured and file a Jones Act claim, your burden of proof will be far lower than what is required in an ordinary negligence lawsuit. You only need to prove that your employer’s negligence played a role in your accident in order to recover damages, rather than proving that your employer’s actions were the primary cause of your injuries.
Our Jones Act Lawyer Outlines Your Jones Act Claim and Other Legal Options
If you have been hurt while working on or near the water, it is important to know that many other laws in addition to the Jones Act provide employees with the legal rights and protections they need to recover from their injuries. For example, in some cases an injured employee may not be classified as a “seaman” under the Jones Act but may fall under the protections of other maritime acts, such as the Longshore Harbor and Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA) or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).
When you are injured it can be difficult to figure out which laws and legislation apply to your situation, so it is important to discuss the specifics of your Jones Act claim with an attorney who is familiar with maritime legislation. The Willis Law Firm has over three decades of experience helping injured maritime workers. When you schedule a free consultation with our firm we will thoroughly review your case so that a Jones Act lawyer can identify all laws that are applicable to your situation.