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The Jones Act and Maritime Worker Injuries

October 25, 2018 Maritime Litigation Blog

Maritime workers who sustain injuries at sea receive certain protections under federal law. In addition to their entitlement to maintenance and cure benefits, they may also seek damages under the Jones Act. Below is general information about these protections and statutes. If you sustained injuries as a maritime worker, it’s important to contact an experienced lawyer about your specific case.

Personal Injury or Death of a Sea Worker

The Jones Act protects people who work at sea by extending the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) to maritime workers.

For sea workers who sustain injuries on the job, the law specifically provides that:

“A seaman injured in the course of employment or, if the seaman dies from the injury, the personal representative of the seaman may elect to bring a civil action at law, with the right of trial by jury, against the employer. Laws of the United States regulating recovery for personal injury to, or death of, a railway employee apply to an action under this section.”

In other words, injured maritime workers have the ability to bring a legal action to seek compensation from their employer.

Maintenance and Cure Benefits

Many maritime workers who suffer injuries are entitled to certain benefits under federal law. Maintenance benefits cover necessary day-to-day living expenses, such as mortgage payments, utility bills and food, until the worker is fit for duty again. A worker injured at sea can receive these benefits regardless of the details of the accident.

In addition, cure benefits cover injured sea workers’ medical expenses as they recover. Some of these expenses include hospital and doctor bills, medications and medical equipment, and rehabilitation. Cure benefits also cover travel to and from related medical appointments.

Getting Legal Help

If you were hurt on the job at sea, the maritime lawyers at CaseyGerry can explain your rights. Feel free to call (619) 238-1811 to speak with a member of the legal team.