Many who live in the beautiful state of Washington earn a living while working on the water. From salmon fishermen to tugboat crews, there are thousands whose workday consists of salt water and sturdy sea legs.
Unfortunately, wherever there are people working, there’s always a chance of being injured. Those who work on the water have a higher risk of being hurt on the job for obvious reasons. If you’re one of the brave souls who’s been involved in a workplace accident while on the water, we’ll help you to understand how the Jones Act applies to you.
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What Is The Jones Act?
The Jones Act, a federal law, is also referred to as Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. Among other things, the Jones Act provides rights and protections to seamen who have been injured or involved in accidents while performing their duties. Due to this federal law, those working aboard maritime vessels will be provided benefits and compensation if they are injured.
The Jones Act gives seamen who were injured onboard while working the right to hold a ship captain, owner, or the ship’s employees responsible. The negligence of others who were responsible for the accident or injury can be held accountable by this law. It doesn’t matter if the seaman was actively engaged in work or during downtime while living on the vessel.
Evergreen State seamen who’ve been injured while employed and who believe they qualify for the benefits provided by The Jones Act should contact a Maritime accident lawyer in Washington. To ensure you’ll receive all of the benefits and compensation you’re entitled to, a consultation with an experienced maritime lawyer is key.
What Compensation Does The Jones Act Provide?
It should be noted that the Jones Act only provides rights and benefits to those workers who are officially classified as seamen. Seamen typically live onboard vessels for extended periods and have many different titles and job descriptions. Some include:
- Ordinary seamen and able-bodied seamen
- Deckhands, engineers, mates
- Roughnecks, roustabouts, drillers
- Toolerpushers and derrickmen
- Takermen and barge workers
- Cooks, galley hands
Seamen who have been injured while onboard are entitled to benefits and compensation. Here are the most common provisions:
Maintenance and Cure Payments
Any seamen who are injured while on a vessel are entitled to compensation. This includes any costs while living on the land and also being compensated for all reasonable expenses to recover from their injuries.
The Jones Act ensures that seamen who are injured while onboard a vessel or ship are entitled to collect any unearned wages while injured and recovering. These wages must be paid from the time of the accident up until the end of the ship’s voyage. If the injured party signed up for a 4-month voyage, they are entitled to be paid the sum in its entirety.
The Right to File a Lawsuit
If a seaman has been injured while aboard a vessel due to the negligence of their employer or by the negligence of another worker, they have the right to file a negligence lawsuit. With this lawsuit, they can seek damages similar to a personal injury lawsuit. Damages can include loss of future wages, pain, and suffering, cost of future medical care, and mental anguish.
Are the Jones Act and Workers’ Compensation the Same?
Although both do pay workers for lost wages due to a work-related injury, the Jones Act and Workers’ Compensation are not the same.
Seamen who work on a vessel are covered by all the Jones Act has to offer. For those who work on docks and are occasionally required to board ships or vessels, worker’s compensation is what they should file if they’re injured.
Seamen and The Jones Act
This 1920 federal law has protected thousands of seamen who’ve been injured on the job due to the negligence of others. For those tough men and women who prefer to work while on the water, they can do so knowing that the Jones Act ensures that if they’re injured, they are afforded certain benefits and compensation.