We Answer Your Questions About The Jones Act
What Does the Jones Act Mean?
What is Maintenance & Cure?
Maintenance is a daily payment to help with basic daily living expenses, and cure is your employer’s obligation to provide the medical care you need to recover from your injury. To receive Maintenance & Cure, you do NOT have to prove that your injury was caused by your employer or by anyone’s negligence. Any injury or illness that occurs while in the service of the vessel is covered.
If your employer does not voluntarily provide Maintenance & Cure, or tries to delay or lower payments, you may be entitled to additional compensation.
What is Negligence?
Negligence often involves the failure of your employer to provide you with a safe workplace, but can also include the careless act of a fellow crew member. Common examples of negligence include: slip or trip hazards caused by poor maintenance, unsafe work methods, under manning, and the failure to provide necessary tools & equipment.
If the negligence of your employer or co-worker caused your injury, substantial damages may be recovered under the Jones Act.
What is Unseaworthiness?
Unseaworthiness is a dangerous or defective condition of the ship, or of its gear. Common unseaworthy conditions include: worn or missing non-skid on stairs and ladders and decks, broken or missing handrails, malfunctioning gear or equipment, and inadequate or incompetent crew.
The ship owner has an absolute duty to furnish you with a reasonably safe ship, including all the ship’s gear and equipment. If a dangerous or defective condition on the ship causes your injury, you have the right to seek damages for Unseaworthiness under the General Maritime Law.
What is the difference between Negligence and Unseaworthiness, and why does it matter?
Negligence refers to a careless act or omission and you must prove your employer did something wrong to cause the accident. Unseaworthiness refers to a defective or dangerous condition aboard ship and does not require proof of fault, but simply the existence of an unseaworthy condition that caused the accident.
Injured On The Job
I was hurt at work and have been out of work since, but my employer hasn’t provided me with any Maintenance & Cure yet. What do I do?
Your employer is legally obligated to voluntarily provide you with Maintenance and Cure for any work-related injury or illness. If they don’t, an experienced maritime attorney can help you get the Maintenance & Cure you are owed, and you may be entitled to additional compensation because of your employer’s refusal to pay.
What is the difference between a Jones Act claim and workers compensation?
To be eligible for compensation under the Jones Act, you must be able to prove liability by showing Negligence or Unseaworthiness. Workers compensation is “no-fault.” The employer is responsible for any injury that occurs at work without regard to liability, however benefits are often less than those available under the Jones Act.
Get Jones Act Legal Representation Today
If you, your spouse or a loved one has been injured, becomes ill, or has suffered wrongful death which is in any way related to work on a vessel, you may be eligible for compensation as a Jones Act Seaman.
We know the laws that protect every Jones Act Seaman and all maritime workers. We can help you understand your rights and how to protect them. And of course, we would be happy to respond to your questions here on our Jones Act FAQ.
For for information or to speak with an attorney, call the Seamen Injury Hotline today at 888-732-6368, or complete our confidential form and we will follow up with you directly.