What Is a Seaman?
Working on a vessel or offshore platform is a different experience than any land position may offer. Offshore work is subject to change at the drop of a storm and requires all workers to remain on guard 24/7, even while technically off their shift. While seaman and related workers are usually on a hitch for only a few weeks at a time, this hitch is often more stressful than the typical 8 hour workday. If you or a loved one have been injured while onboard a vessel, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
What is a Seaman?
A seaman is the general term for a person who works onboard a vessel. While the term originated as a lower rank in the navy, the term now encompasses most workers on navigable waterways. The Supreme Court has set a specific standard in 1995 that a worker who spends less than 30 percent of his or her time in the service of a vessel on navigable waters is presumed not to be a seaman for purposes of bringing a claim under the Jones Act.
Maritime Law and the Jones Act
Injuries which occur while on the high seas often fall within the Jones Act. The Jones Act allows seaman to bring claims against their employers for negligence of the crew, captain, or vessel owner, which resulted in their injuries. Unlike many other federal acts, claims under the Jones Act are allowed to be brought in state court and allow an injured party to request a jury trial. This is often helpful in many states along the waterways whose citizens are aware of how dangerous work on the high seas may be. A seaman should be entitled to the same amount of rights as a typical office worker is entitled to receive after an injury while on the job. Work at sea is often more dangerous and requires a seaman to be constantly attentive to changes in their surroundings.
The Jones Act was put into place to allow an injured worker to recover for their injuries, including medical expenses and lost wages. An experienced maritime law attorney can assist you in preparing a claim as a seaman under the Jones Act as well as calculating the full amount of damages you are entitled to receive.
The Malley Law Firm | Maritime Law Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured while working on a ship, you may be entitled to receive compensation under the Jones Act. Tony Malley of the Malley Law Firm is an experienced maritime attorney who has years of experience in bringing claims for seaman under the Jones Act. These claims can stem from the actions of the crew or vessel operator, and often entitle seaman to bring a claim for damages. Contact our Texas offices today for your initial free consultation.