The Jones Act is a federal law that provides important protections for maritime workers who are working at sea. Because of the importance of the Jones Act to a worker injured at sea, it is helpful to be familiar with the types of protections is provides.
The Jones Act ensures the safety of maritime workers by requiring their employers to provide a reasonably safe work environment. If the captain or another employee negligently causes the worker’s injuries, the employer may be liable for the harm and damages suffered by the maritime worker.
Examples of liability
Examples of reasons why employers may be liable for the injuries of maritime workers include if the captain or crew is insufficiently trained; if equipment is poorly maintained; if the crew was not provided with proper equipment; if oil or other slippery substances are left on the deck of the ship; or if the worker is assaulted by a fellow crew member.
Injured workers may be able to recover medical expenses, lost earnings and lost earning capacity and compensation for mental anguish, emotional damages and for lost room and board. To bring a claim for damages, the injured worker should usually report the injury to their captain with a week of it occurring; file an accident report that includes an official statement of the injury and fault for it; and seek any needed medical treatment and retain their medical records.
A claim for damages suffered under the Jones Act can help maritime workers receive the help they need for the harm they have suffered. For those engaged in work at sea, and their families, it is helpful to be familiar with maritime law and the important set of protections it provides for maritime workers.