The Jones Act was passed in back 1920 but has undergone a number of revisions over the years. The Act requires that a vessel owner or an employer ensure their staff has a reasonably safe working environment and is working in a seaworthy craft. According to the law, an employee can file a suit against an employer for creating or allowing unsafe conditions aboard a vessel. According to the Jones Act, injured employees can claim and receive compensation if they can prove that negligent employers, unsafe conditions, or faulty equipment on board a vessel are responsible for their injuries.
Who is covered by the Jones Act?
The Jones Act covers all seamen in service of any vessel that operates in navigable waters. A seaman is defined as someone who spends at least a third of their time in service in a vessel that is in navigation. These vessels include tankers, ferries, container ships, fishing boats, among others. This means that land-based maritime employers such as those who work at the docks do not qualify for compensation under Jones Act. According to the Act, employees covered by the act should contribute to the function of the vessel or the accomplishment of its mission. This means not all employees on a vessel are covered by the Act. To get clarification, you can contact a Houston Jones Act Lawyer to help you find out if you qualify for compensation.
What are the damages recoverable under the Houston Jones Act?
If a seaman is successful in pursuing an action against a vessel owner or his employer, he may recover the following damages:
- Past lost wages from the date they were injured to the date of their trial
• Loss of their future earning capacity from the date of the trial and into the future (for seamen who have limited ability to work henceforth due to a serious injury)
• Medical expenses both in the past and future
• Pain and suffering both in the future and past (pain and suffering can be physical or psychological)
• Necessary occupational retraining and vocational rehabilitation
It is worth mentioning that punitive damages are not allowed under the act.
Accidents that qualify for a claim under Jones Act
• You got injured because you or others were not adequately trained on safety
• The vessel was unseaworthy and caused an accident
• You were injured by a piece of equipment that was not properly maintained
How can an attorney help you get compensation in a Jones Act claim?
A Houston Jones Act lawyer will handle all the investigations, drafts, communications, and other things that must be completed during and after your case has been heard. In case your employer or employer’s insurance company has denied you proper medical care, an experienced attorney can help argue your case.