Certain maritime workers are protected when they suffer maritime injuries under a federal law that is known as the Jones Act. Covered workers are able to file lawsuits for damages through the federal law rather than seeking compensation through Alaska's state workers' compensation laws. Workers who are able to seek legal remedies under the Jones Act are called seamen. While the law does not specifically define the term, it has been interpreted to include crew members, officers, masters, captains and others who work on vessels at sea.
Types of Vessels Covered by the Jones Act
The Jones Act covers workers who work on a variety of different types of vessels, including the following:
- Offshore oil rigs
- Cruise ships
- Commercial fishing boats
- Tug boats
- Water taxis
People whose work involves working at sea are covered, including those who perform day work and who are able to go home at night.
The available damages will depend on the maritime injuries that you suffered as well as well as the facts and circumstances of what happened. In many maritime injury cases, workers are injured because their employers violated certain safety regulations. It is possible to recover under the Jones Act when you have been injured as a result of the negligence of the ship's operator, supervisor or coworker. The law allows successful plaintiffs to recover damages for their past and future medical expenses, past and future income losses, training and vocational costs, past and future pain and suffering and your psychological distress. If your injury left you unable to perform your previous job and limited to only a few specific types of jobs, you may also be able to recover damages for the losses of your earning capacity.
If you have suffered a maritime injury, or if your loved one was killed in a maritime accident, it is important for you to seek legal representation in order to try to recover monetary compensation for your losses. Contact a maritime accident attorney at Power and Brown today to schedule your consultation.