When you’re a crew member on a cruise ship, you have a lot of responsibilities. From ensuring guest and passenger safety and satisfaction to making sure you fulfill your other job duties, you have a lot on your plate. One thing you should never have to worry about is whether your employer has your best interests in mind. Also, you probably want to know that you have access to the best treatment in the event of an injury.
Although sailing around the world and visiting exotic places has its perks, it doesn’t come without hazards. As a crew member, you could suffer injuries ranging from minor to severe. This may include burns, sprains, strains or broken limbs, and in the worst-case, death.
Common crew member injuries
- Electrical shock
- Equipment malfunctions
- Heavy lifting
- Outbreaks of preventable illness (such as food poisoning)
The Jones Act
This act provides legal remedies for injured workers who are seamen. The law recognizes that those who earn a living at sea face many more hazards than land-based workers. It also recognizes that protecting these workers is critical for a healthy economy. Giving workers the right to sue for negligence helps hold employers and ship owners accountable.
Through a successful claim, you may receive reimbursement for damages following your injury. This could include medical bills, lost wages or pain and suffering. In fatal cases, compensation may be available for funeral cost and financial support.
The Jones Act covers “seamen.” Whether you qualify depends on your role out at sea. These cases typically focus on the negligence of your employer, a fellow crew member or the ship owner. Even if you don’t qualify for protections under the Jones Act, you may still be entitled to benefits under The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. This covers maritime workers who don't fit the definition of "seamen."