The Jones Act is one important protection for seamen. When you work on a barge, boat or another vessel, you may be covered by this act and be able to file a claim if you’re hurt on the job.
With the Jones Act, coverage for injuries may include:
- Reimbursement for accident-related medical bills
- Pain and suffering compensation
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Compensation for the loss of financial support in fatal cases
- Coverage for lost past and future wages
Knowing if you’re covered by the Jones Act isn’t always simple, but there are two things you can ask yourself to determine if you are. The first question is if you are a seaman or not. How often are you on a vessel, and what is the kind of work that you do? If you’re unsure if you’re a seaman, ask your employer, because they should know if you fall into the category. If they don’t, your attorney can help you determine if you are.
Second, think about the incident that led to your injuries. Was it caused because of negligence or reckless behavior? If it was an injury that resulted from carelessness, negligence or reckless behavior by other crew members or your employer, then you may be covered by the Jones Act.
You must be an employee at the time of an injury to be able to qualify for coverage through the employer. If you were an independent contractor at the time, then you may need to pursue other options to obtain the compensation that you need from the client instead. Our site has more on what you should know about the Jones Act and the protections it provides.