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Professional Mariners: Understanding Your Rights Under The Jones Act

Being a professional mariner is one of the most dangerous professions in the world. Commercial vessels often present unsafe working conditions. Related accidents can cause serious career-ending and even life-threatening injuries. Our maritime attorneys at Biggs & Gunst P.C. Attorneys At Law were once professional Michigan mariners themselves. If you or a loved one has been injured while working on a commercial vessel, you may be entitled to protection and benefits under the Jones Act. Even if the vessel was docked, our Ann Arbor Jones Act lawyers can help you seek compensation.

The Jones Act Protects Injured Seaman

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly known as the Jones Act, was passed by Congress in 1920. The Jones Act protects the rights of seamen who have been injured or fallen ill while working on board a vessel. The definition of a seamen includes deckhands, officers, engineers, cooks, waiters and other crew members who work on board a commercial vessel.

The Jones Act gives injured seamen the right to bring claims against their employers for injuries suffered at sea. These claims include compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses.

Your Possible Compensation Under The Jones Act

If you are an injured seaman and have a claim under the Jones Act, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:

  • Compensation for medical bills and expenses
  • Recovery for lost wages and a loss of your earning capacity
  • Projected compensation for future medical bills and expenses
  • Damages for emotional pain and suffering

In the alternative, harbor workers who might not be covered under the Jones Act, could have a workers’ compensation claim under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).  In addition, when a seaman loses his life in an accident his loved ones may also have a wrongful death claim. Our experienced maritime lawyers will be able to assess your claims and help you identify options for seeking recovery.

Maintenance And Cure Benefits Under The Jones Act

In addition, if you are injured and cannot immediately return to work, you may also be entitled to maintenance and cure benefits until you have reached maximum medical improvement. Maintenance and cure means that your employer has a duty to provide you with room on board and reasonable medical care for your injuries. An experienced maritime attorney can ensure that you get all of the benefits to which you are entitled.

If you or a loved one has been injured while in the service of the vessel, it is important that you notify your employer, seek immediate medical attention and contact an experienced maritime attorney. A lawyer can ensure that you receive the compensation and benefits you deserve.

Schedule A Free Consultation With A Jones Act Attorney

The experienced maritime attorneys of Biggs & Gunst P.C. Attorneys At Law are former professional mariners. Our lawyers know firsthand the dangers of a life at sea and will work to fight for you to ensure that you receive the medical treatment and compensation you deserve.

Our maritime lawyers offer free case consultations and evaluations. If you or a loved one has been injured while working in the service of a commercial vessel, email us or call 734-720-4445. We will answer your questions, assess your case and help you better understand your rights to compensation under the Jones Act.