Injured seamen’s options under the Jones Act

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2022 | Admiralty & Maritime Law

Working as a seaman, you are susceptible to work-related injuries while you are at sea performing your job. These injuries can make it difficult to return to work shortly after the accident or on a long-term basis and make it harder to live a normal daily life.

According to PBS, the Jones Act primarily focuses on foreign shipping regulations, but it also includes stipulations about the maritime industry’s responsibility to protect the safety and wellbeing of seamen. If you sustained injuries working as a seaman, you may be eligible for compensation under this act.

Criteria you need to meet

To claim damages under the Jones Act, there are three criteria you need to meet. First, you must meet the definition of a seaman and second, you must sustain the illness or injury while working as a seaman. Third, the illness or injury must occur because of negligence on your employer’s part.

Damages you can claim

There are several types of damages you can claim under the Jones Act. These include compensation for lost earning capacity, lost earnings and medical expenses. You can also claim damages for mental anguish, pain and suffering. Depending on your situation, the court may award interest on the damages you claim.

You have three years from the date of the accident or injury to claim damages under the Jones Act. When you file, you must prove that your injuries were the result of employer negligence, no matter how minor, to become eligible for this form of compensation.