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The Jones Act and injured maritime workers

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2022 | Maritime Law |

 Maritime injuries may be serious and chronic. Employers may need to compensate maritime workers if they are injured in these jobs. Their families may also receive death benefits.

Jones Act

The Jones Act covers many maritime activities. It also compensates workers who suffer a maritime personal injury or their families if they die in a work-related injury. Workers may also receive punitive damages if their employers were negligent.

Injured workers can receive compensation for:

  • Medical expenses including specialists, physical therapy, prescription drugs, surgery, and other long-term healthcare services.
  • Lost wages for work lost while they are recovering from their injuries.
  • Pain and suffering including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress syndrome and other emotional trauma which makes it difficult to return to work.

Punitive damages may be imposed upon employers if a court finds them negligent. These damages are intended to sanction employers for seriously negligent conduct and their failure to take reasonable precautions concerning their workers’ safety.

Common injuries

Maritime workers face the risk of a wide range of injuries which usually include:

  • Slip and fall accidents which often involve wet surfaces, oily puddles and uneven surfaces which can cause injuries like broken bones, fractures, and joint dislocations.
  • Loose objects striking workers, which may include shifting cargo, falling objects, collisions, explosions and falling debris.
  • Knowing or unknowing exposure to hazardous materials such as oil, fumes, chemicals, dust and soot that can cause respiratory problems, skin irritations and gastrointestinal conditions.
  • Fire or explosions caused by hazardous materials which may cause painful first, second and third-degree burns, medical problems, and serious scarring.
  • Collisions from vessel collisions, grounding and other accidents which may cause severe injuries.

Injury matters may be complex, and employers may face the prospect of paying compensation along with punitive damages. Attorneys can help assure that these issues are handled properly.

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