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Those who work at sea or in a harbor know all too well the high-risk nature of being a seaman. Unlike other industries, when seamen suffer an injury, they are not protected by workers’ compensation laws.

I would recommend that anyone who needs legal representation go to Jay Trucks & Associates. They are wonderful people who care about people and their problems…
– B. Thornton

However, these workers may be eligible to pursue compensation for their damages under maritime laws. Our Grand Rapids maritime lawyers are well-versed in these laws, and we are prepared to assess your eligibility for a claim at no charge or obligation to you.

At Jay Trucks and Associates, we have been advocating for the injured in Michigan for over 30 years. During that time, we have recovered more than $500 million in compensation for our clients. If you have a valid case, we are prepared to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. There are no upfront costs to hire our services and we accept maritime cases on contingency, which means that you pay us nothing unless we are successful in getting compensation for your damages.

Free Consultation. Ph: (800) 762-8623.

What is The Jones Act?

The Jones Act provides compensation for qualifying maritime workers who, much like workers’ compensation, were injured in a work-related accident. However, unlike a workers’ compensation claim, eligible workers are not barred from suing an employer or even another maritime employee if the injured seaman can prove their injury was caused by:

  • Negligence
  • Malicious or willful misconduct
  • Failure to adhere to maritime laws for safe navigation of vessels

Building a strong argument for negligence under The Jones Act is complicated, which is why we recommend that you seek legal help from a qualified Grand Rapids marine injury attorney from our firm.

Complete our Free Case Evaluation form to get started.

Who May Qualify For Compensation Under The Jones Act?

During your free initial consultation, our knowledgeable attorneys are available to discuss your eligibility to pursue compensation under The Jones Act. However, generally speaking, you may qualify to pursue a claim for a work-related marine injury if a minimum of 30 percent of your duties are performed on a qualifying vessel that is on navigable waters.

For a vessel to be in navigation, it must be capable of traveling on the water, but could also be docked in the harbor or under repair. If, however, the vessel is still under construction, it is not considered navigable under the law.

Specific types of employees who may qualify under The Jones Act include:

  • Bartenders
  • Drillers
  • Pilots
  • Divers
  • Captains
  • Engineers

Other employees, including clerical workers and other support staff, are excluded from pursuing compensation under this law.

Contact Jay Trucks and Associates today: (800) 762-8623

Proving Negligence in a Jones Act Case

Under The Jones Act, you are required to establish another’s negligence to recover compensation for your damages. However, unlike a personal injury claim, maritime workers do not need to prove that negligence was the primary cause of their injuries, only that it was a contributing factor.

Examples of marine hazardous conditions due to negligence of an employer or co-worker could include:

  • Inadequate training of other marine workers
  • Failure to have a working fire extinguisher on-board
  • Failure to properly perform equipment maintenance
  • Lack of crew supervision, including failure to enforce safety regulations
  • Neglecting to conduct safety inspections according to acceptable standards
  • Failure to install safety features, such as handrails or tread strips on ladders and stairs
  • Neglecting to address dangerous conditions, such as slippery or wet floors

Our Grand Rapids marine accident lawyers are prepared to investigate your accident and help gather supporting evidence to build a strong argument on your behalf. Qualified lawyers typically recover larger compensation awards than injured victims who try to pursue a claim on their own.

When Might a Ship Owner Be Liable For My Injuries?

There are certain circumstances that may allow you to hold a ship owner liable for your injuries. According to maritime law, if an injury happens on a vessel because the ship owner failed to take reasonable steps to maintain a safe work environment for marine employees, then he or she may be liable for resulting damages.

However, under the Limitation of Liability Act, the law permits reduced liability for damages or losses that happened without the ship owner’s knowledge.

Our Grand Rapids marine injury attorneys are prepared to investigate whether there was a known hazardous condition that created an unsafe work environment. It is not necessary to prove the entire ship was unseaworthy, only the location where your accident happened, such as if a stairway became unsafe because of a broken or missing handrail.

Wondering if your marine injury is covered? Contact our firm today for answers: (800) 762-8623

Benefits Provided Under The Jones Act

Marine workers who are eligible may be able to pursue compensation for economic damages, which may include:

  • Related medical bills
  • Prescribed medications related to your injuries
  • Surgical interventions
  • Lost wages if you cannot work while recovering
  • Loss of future earning capacity if you are unable to return to work

Other, less tangible, non-economic damages may include:

Additional benefits employers are required to provide for eligible claims under The Jones Act could include temporary income to cover the full cost of certain living expenses while you are recovering:

  • Mortgage or rent payments
  • Utility bills
  • Home insurance
  • Food
  • Other expenses normally covered by your wages

At Jay Trucks and Associates, our trusted marine accident lawyers are prepared to assess your potential claim and answer any legal questions you may have about pursuing damages under The Jones Act.

What Maritime Workers May Not Qualify Under The Jones Act?

Not all harbor or maritime workers may qualify for compensation under The Jones Act, either because the job role does not qualify or because the worker’s duties do not require them to spend at least 30 percent of their work time in a navigable vessel.

If you are unsure whether you may qualify for a Jones Act claim, we can assess your situation and discuss your potential legal actions in a free claim review.

What Is The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides workers’ compensation benefits under federal law to certain types of marine workers not covered under The Jones Act. These include a variety of job roles, including:

  • Shipbuilders
  • Harbor construction employees
  • Longshoreman
  • Ship repairment workers
  • Ship breakers
  • Others, responsible for moving goods between ships
  • Truck drivers who transport supplies to ships

Workers that are excluded from pursuing an injury claim under the LHWCA includes:

  • Security staff
  • Administrative support
  • Aquaculture employees
  • Museum, club and camp employees
  • Workers covered under The Jones Act
  • Employees eligible for workers’ compensation
  • Workers injured while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Workers responsible for unloading vessels that weight less than 18 tons
  • Builders constructing a ship that is less than 65 feet in length

If you suffer an injury or occupational disease related to your maritime duties, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for the damages under the LHWCA.

Contact Jay Trucks and Associates to learn more: (800) 762-8623

What Type of Compensation Does the LHWCA Provide?

The benefits provided under the LHWCA are very similar to what you would expect under a workers’ compensation claim.

To begin receiving benefits, your qualifying injury or disability must last three days or longer. If you are still unable to return to work after 14 days or more, you may also be able to recover compensation for the first three days of your injury.

Compensation eligible injured workers may receive under the LHWCA includes:

Contact A Grand Rapids Marine Accident Lawyer Today

LHWCA claims and claims filed under The Jones Act can be complex, requiring an attorney with extensive knowledge of maritime laws to ensure your best interests are protected throughout the legal process.

At Jay Trucks and Associates, we have decades of experience representing and achieving successful recoveries for injured victims in Grand Rapids and other cities throughout Michigan. We are committed to our clients and pursuing maximum compensation on their behalf. Read more some of our 250 five-star reviews to see what other satisfied clients have to say.

There is no risk to you, since we operate on a contingency model. This means no upfront costs to you, and no fees paid to us unless we are successful on your behalf.

Jay Trucks and Associates.
Legal help for you. (800) 762-8623

Working on or near the water can be a dangerous occupation, putting you at risk for serious and often life-threatening injuries. Certain laws exist that provide a way to seek compensation for medical expenses and other related costs for injured maritime workers.

However, these laws can be difficult to understand, which is why you should consult with a Flint maritime injury lawyer who is well-versed in maritime laws and how to pursue claims. Our lawyers at Jay Trucks & Associates have been fighting for the rights of injury victims for over three decades, obtaining more than $500 million in compensation on their behalf.

Schedule a free consultation to review your situation and discuss your legal options. If you have grounds to take legal action, we do not charge for representing you unless we help you obtain compensation.

Call us 24/7 at (800) 762-8623.

About The Jones Act

The Jones Act is a federal law that applies to seamen – anyone who does at least 30 percent of his or her job as a crewmember or captain on a vessel in navigation. A seaman must have duties related to the function or mission of the vessel and have some connection to the vessel or an identifiable group of such vessels.

Employees who qualify as seamen include the following:

  • Divers
  • Drillers
  • Cooks
  • Deckhands
  • Pilots
  • Captains
  • Mates
  • Engineers
  • Fishermen
  • Stewards
  • Bartenders
  • Anchors

Those who do not meet these qualifications include members of the vessel’s administrative support staff.

This law covers injuries that occur on any type of boat or vessel if it is in navigation. However, the vessel does not have to be in the water at the time of the injury to be covered. It can be tied up in a dock. The vessel needs to be afloat, in operation, capable of moving or on waters that can be navigated.

Filing A Claim Under The Jones Act

The Jones Act allows seamen to sue their employers for negligence for injuries that occur while on the job. This means that injured seamen are excluded from workers’ compensation laws.

If you file a claim, you must prove two things:

Negligent behavior that often results in maritime injuries may include:

Free Consultation. Ph: (800) 762-8623.

When Can the Ship Owner Be Held Liable?

Maritime law states that the owner of a vessel may be held liable for losses or damages that occur during a voyage. However, many ship owners try to avoid responsibility for accidents or deaths that occur on their vessel through The Limitation of Liability Act. This act allows limited liability in certain situations if the unseaworthy condition of the vessel caused loss or damage without the owner’s knowledge.

Our Flint maritime injury lawyers are ready to help establish that the vessel was unseaworthy because the ship owner did not provide a safe and suitable environment for a seaman to perform his or her work. This could include failing to repair certain machinery or equipment or operating a vessel in inclement weather.  We just need to show that the area where the injury occurred on the vessel was unsafe, versus having to prove the whole vessel was unsafe.

Benefits for Injured Crewmembers

The Jones Act helps injured crewmember pursue compensation for their injuries. The damages are like those sought in personal injury claims, such as:

This act could also help cover other damages, such as maintenance and cure. Maintenance helps provide for the injured crewmember’s daily living expenses while being off work because of an injury. This could include expenses related to rent, mortgage payment, home insurance, groceries and property taxes. Cure helps to cover the costs of medical treatment, medications and rehabilitation.

Maritime Workers Not Covered By The Jones Act

Those whose work involves maritime activities but are very seldom on navigable waters are not covered by The Jones Act. This includes dock workers, shipbuilders, and harbor workers as well as employees who work on multiple vessels that are not under the same ownership.

For these workers, maritime law does offer legal recourse through the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).

Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

This act helps maritime workers who load, unload, repair or build vessels on piers, terminals, wharves and docks to pursue workers’ compensation benefits for on-the-job injuries. Workers who transport goods from a ship may also be covered by the LHWCA.

Employees specifically excluded include:

Compensation Available for LHWCA Claims

LHWCA claims are like workers’ compensation claims in that you do not need to prove that your work-related injury was caused by negligence. Our legal team would need to show that you meet the act’s definition of a maritime worker and that the injury occurred in an area covered by the LHWCA.

This includes accidental injuries or deaths that arise out of and in the course of employment, and infections and diseases that occur naturally during employment.

Forms of compensation you may be eligible for could include:

Need legal help? A Flint maritime injury lawyer is available to answer any questions in a free consultation.

Call Our Flint Maritime Injury Lawyers to Get Started

For LHWCA claims and claims filed under The Jones Act, there are strict deadlines to adhere to. Failure to meet the deadline will likely result in being unable to pursue compensation for your injury.

You need an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer who understands maritime laws and how they may apply to your situation. These laws are complex and difficult to understand on your own without legal help.

Our representatives at Jay Trucks & Associates are standing by to take your call. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about your potential legal options. We only get paid if you obtain a recovery.

Call us anytime, day or night, at (800) 762-8623.