Jones Law - Protection for Marine Workers
What is the Jones Act?
The importance of law
Thoughts for the law
Commercial Maritime Act of 1920: Section 27B of the Jones Act
The Marine and Jones Act - if you are injured. Here are five things you need to know to protect your rights
The three maritime laws that protect workers are the Jones Act, the Death on the High Siege Act, and the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act.
The Marine Jones Act was created to protect sailors, sailors (or women) or crew of American ships or other vessels - such as oil rigs - that are injured at sea or while on duty.
The "Death on the High Seas Act" provides shelter for those who have lost a family member at sea, and the law covers anyone who dies in an open-air plane crash.
The Longshoreman and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act is similar to the Maritime and Jones Act, but also includes workers with "land-based" support staff who have been injured on the job.
Under the Jones Act, you have the right to adequate treatment, independent medical care and counseling, sufficient time to fully recover from your injury before returning to work, and adequate payment while you are recovering. You pay your bills.
If you are injured and you believe that you are being protected by the Maritime Jones Act, you must first consult an experienced "Maritime Attorney". Consult them before signing anything, making a statement, or talking to a representative of your employer's insurance company. Most employers are honest and trustworthy, and their main concern is to see that you are all right, however, there are a few things you need to be aware of to protect yourself until you find an experienced maritime law lawyer
1. Report an Injury: As soon as you are injured, you must report it to your supervisor. Do not give a recorded statement unless you have spoken to your Maritime Act attorney and he or she is present. If your employer, his lawyer or insurance representative asks you to provide a recorded statement, tell them that you will be happy to do so when your lawyer appears. What you say now can hurt you later - especially if the person asking you the question is doing it in a way that protects your boss, not you.
2. Signing anything to receive medical benefits or maintenance payments: In addition to signing the release at the hospital or doctor's office - you agree to allow them to take the steps they deem necessary to provide the appropriate medical care, you do not need to. Signing any statement made by your employer or his representative. Before signing anything else, talk to your own marine law attorney to make sure you are not signing any of your rights under the Jones Act under all "legal-eese".
3. Getting medical care: You don't just have to visit "company" doctors or be under their supervision. You have the right - and always want - to choose a doctor who is comfortable with you, capable of treating your injuries, and who is comfortable with you. Unfortunately, many "company affiliated" medical providers are under pressure to force you to return to work before you are ready, and there have been cases where necessary tests have not been performed (to avoid exposing the true extent of injuries), or where providers' statements and observations support the employer's case. Are written to do so, not you and your injuries.
4. Receiving medical benefits and maintenance payments: In the name of "care and treatment" you are entitled to receive medical care and appropriate support payments to cover your living expenses until you fully recover from your injuries. This is an exception if you were injured when you were "off work" or when you were intentionally hurting yourself. However, if you are told by your employer or his or her advisers that they are refusing to benefit you because you are at fault or your employer is not to blame, you are. Advised to speak with an experienced "Maritime at Attorney" and seek legal advice as soon as possible.
5. Receiving further damages for pain and suffering: By law, you are entitled to receive medical benefits and maintenance support as mentioned earlier. However, if the extent of your injuries and the negligence of your employer or the ship you are working on prove unsafe, you will be eligible for further medical care beyond the maximum medical "correction", a settlement to recover your lost wages - and against future pay. Also - and the loss of "pain and suffering and mental anguish". Again, this is why you need to consult an experienced "marine law lawyer" who can give you competent legal advice on your rights.
Lastly, if you are a sailor, sailor or employee injured on the job, you are entitled to medical care, maintenance payments to help pay your bills, and time to recover from your injury. Don't let anyone try to tell you otherwise. Never sign any legal documents given to you by your employer's representative unless you know your own power of attorney.
It is in your best interest to find a lawyer who has experience in maritime law and who seems competent and thinks in your best interests. Most lawyers will give you free advice without any strings, so use that first interview to ask questions about their background, experience and work process. Make sure you get all the help and protection under the Marine and Jones Act.
Protect yourself and your future. Click here to learn more about your rights under the Marine and Jones Act