How to Recover Compensation for an Injury at Sea

  • Individuals who work on or around the sea are considered seamen, and seamen are not able to file workers compensation claims when they suffer injuries at sea. Fortunately, maritime laws are federally regulated, and injured seamen do have opportunities to recover compensation for the injuries they endure in their line of work. 

    Continue reading to learn more about the Jones Act, the law that protects injured seamen, and what benefits will be available to seamen if their Jones Act claims are approved. 

    Compensation for Injured Seamen

    The Jones Act is the maritime law that provides protection to seamen who are injured through their work. In order for a seaman to be approved for benefits under the Jones Act, the ship or vessel they work on will need to be found unseaworthy. 

    Fortunately, the burden of proof for unseaworthiness is low, and if it is determined that the ship is even 1 percent unsafe, the ship will be deemed unseaworthy, and the injured seaman’s claim should then be approved. At that point, the owner of the ship will be responsible for covering the benefits that the injured seaman is entitled to. You can read more about these benefits below. 

    Benefits Available Under the Jones Act

    The Jones Act provides some of the most thorough benefits of any other employee protections within the U.S. Under the Jones Act, injured seamen can obtain benefits known as maintenance and cure, as well as recover compensation for their losses similar to how they would in civil court. 

    First, let’s take a look at maintenance. More commonly known as necessary living expenses, an injured seamen can expect to have their mortgage or rent covered, utilities paid, groceries provided, and have access to other necessary living expenses that they are unable to cover while they are out of work and unable to earn a living. 

    Next is cure. Cure refers to the coverage of any healthcare costs and medical expenses an injured seamen incurs due to their on-the-job injury. Such costs might include hospital bills, transportation costs, medical equipment, co-pays, and the costs of physical or occupational therapy, to name a few. 

    Finally, injured seamen are also able to seek recovery of the personal, psychological, and financial losses they have endured. Pain and suffering, loss of consortium, lost wages, damage to earning capacity, diminished quality of life, inconvenience, and more are all able to be taken into consideration when seeking compensation for an injury under the Jones Act. 

    Reach Out to a New Orleans Maritime Lawyer

    If you have suffered an injury while working on the sea, and are interested in obtaining the financial support you need while you recuperate, you can meet with a regarded New Orleans personal injury lawyer at the Law Office of Braud & Gallagher for assistance with filing a claim under the Jones Act. You can visit our website or call our firm at 1-800-256-5674 when you are ready to schedule your cost-free consultation.