Jones Act Seaman Statute Injury & Accident

Jones Act seaman are a unique class of merchant marine, crew member, seafarer, deck hand, ship’s officer … by whatever name they may go by aboard ship. Jones Act seamen inevitably suffer serious personal injury and even death due to accidents caused by the negligence of a vessel owner/operator, a fellow crew member or worn-out/unsafe tools. Having previously represented cruise ship companies, ship and vessel operators, and yacht owners for 19 years, the board certified maritime attorneys at the law firm of Brais, Brais & Rusak are in a unique position to protect Jones Act seaman who have suffered personal injury or death due to an accident while aboard a cruise ship, tanker, yacht, tug, ferry or workboat. The lawyers at the law firm of Brais, Brais & Rusak with offices in Miami, Florida, Boston, Massachusetts and Houston, Texas are here to help Jones Act seaman injured as a result of an accident aboard any one of these vessels.

The Jones Act provides compensation to a class of employees know as “seamen” (those who are masters, captains, offices, crewmembers and certain other people who work aboard vessels) for injuries and, in some instances, death due to an accident caused by the negligence of their employer or co-workers. This holds true even when the injured seaman is well aware of the risks associated with their job. Seamen injured on a cruise ship, ferry, water taxi, tug, barges, tankers, riverboat casino, crew boat, shrimp boat, trawler, fishing boat, offshore oil rig and all other vessels on the ocean and all intra-coastal lakes, rivers and canals, as well as, certain drivers and underwater personnel are typically covered by the Jones Act.

Working aboard vessels exposes crewmen to unique and constant risks of serious personal injury and even death. If you were injured while working aboard a vessel as a Jones Act seaman, crewman, or commercial fisherman you may well be protected by a federal statute referred to as “The Jones Act.”

The Jones Act statute protects crew members of all types and from all parts of the world, including a captain and mate in the wheelhouse to a deckhand, wiper, housekeeper, steward, engineer, fish processor, cook and even a tour guide aboard a charter vessel. The Jones Act does not discriminate and as a result the lowest crewmen aboard a vessel have the same rights as a captain. The Jones Act also protects crew members referred to as “day workers” meaning that they work aboard a vessel during the day and return home at night.

If you were injured, you may be entitled to past and future lost wages, past and future medical expenses, vocational and occupational retraining, past and future pain and suffering, psychological suffering. Some serious injuries limit the number and types of jobs available to an injury victim. In this situation, Jones Act seamen are entitled to damages for lost earning capacity. Additionally, if your injury will worsen with time, and cut short your career, you are entitled to future lost wages for this loss.

A Jones Act seaman injured in the course and scope of his/her employers work or “subject to the call of duty” but off the vessel may sue his/her employer and ship’s operator/owner under theories of:

  1. Jones Act Negligence,
  2. Unseaworthiness,
  3. Maintenance and Cure,
  4. Unearned or Sick Wages,
  5. Breach of Contract,
  6. Earned Penalty Wages,
  7. Wrongful Discharge From Employment, and
  8. Additional Claims

Each of these claims requires certain elements to be proven to the Judge or Jury deciding your case. If one of the needed elements is not proven, your claim can be dismissed. This means that you will not get compensation for your injury. Knowing what elements must be proven under each maritime claim and how to prove these elements has been the business of the board certified maritime attorney as the law firm of Brais, Brais & Rusak for more than 28 years.

The attorneys at the law firm of Brais, Brais & Rusak have the experience to protect your rights, the compassion to serve your needs, and the skill to obtain the compensation you deserve. To reach our lawyers you may click email the firm, call 1-800-499-0551 from within the U.S., Skype BraisLaw worldwide or click Contact Us to select and complete a form for a free evaluation of your case.


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Maritime Law Blog - Seaman Injury Settlements