Mississippi is near various navigable waters and is home to one of the most significant maritime industries countrywide. Many residents work on large ships, vessels, or docks. Unfortunately, these jobs put workers at risk of suffering serious harm.
After a seaman sustains injuries while performing their duties, they are eligible to collect benefits for medical and living expenses under the Jones Act. When accidents occur because of negligence, the Act could also allow them to file suit against their employer to collect compensation for pain and suffering. While most deckhands and water vessel workers are eligible to collect benefits, the process is complex and should be pursued under the guidance of an experienced maritime attorney from the Law Office of David E. Gordon. Reach out to speak with a Southaven Jones Act lawyer today.
Types of Vessel Workers the Jones Act Covers
Maritimes workers provide a vast range of services, and accidents may occur on navigable waters or onshore. The Jones Act has a specific definition for vessels on which workers who sustain injuries qualify under the statute to collect benefits. Some of these include:
- Drill barges
- Fishing boats
- Commercial, industrial, and cruise ships
- Offshore support vessels
Maritime workers, including captains, seamen, crew members, barge tankermen, and officers who work on a vessel in navigable waters for at least 30 percent of the time, could be eligible to collect benefits. Watercrafts and ships afloat, capable of moving, operational, or even docked, could qualify. Southaven Jones Act attorney Elissa M. Coombs can review a case to determine eligibility and answer the injured worker’s questions about the benefits process.
Potential Benefits Under the Jones Act
Depending on the type of maritime work and circumstances of the accident and injuries, there are various benefits a maritime worker could be eligible to collect. Under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, qualified seamen could receive the following benefits:
The Costs of Medical Care
The costs of medical care include the workers’ past, current, and future reasonable medical expenses for recovery from the injuries. The Act entitles injured deckhands to collect payment for all health care treatment, including rehabilitation services and transportation costs to see medical professionals.
Lost Earnings and Future Earning Potential
The Jones Act also entitles injured seamen to collect benefits to cover lost earnings while recovering at home.
Pain and Suffering
While traditional workers’ compensation statutes prohibit injured employees from suing their employer, the Jones Act differs. It allows for a lawsuit if there is negligence by the employer or another third party. The burden of proof and causation is significantly lower than in traditional civil cases.
Compensation the court awards for pain and suffering covers subjective forms of loss, including emotional distress, physical pain and suffering, losing the enjoyment of life, and shock. A knowledgeable Jones Act attorney in Southaven can investigate the details of an event to determine if there is an at-fault party and help the injured hold them liable.
Call a Southaven Jones Act Attorney for Help Preserving Your Legal Rights
If you are a maritime worker and sustained injuries on the job, the Jones Act could entitle you to receive payment and benefits while recovering at home. Benefits could include all medical expenses related to the accident, living expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering if negligence caused the accident.
If you need help understanding your legal options, set up an appointment with a seasoned Southaven Jones Act lawyer today. Call Elissa M. Coombs at the Law Office of David E. Gordon soon to avoid missing potential deadlines for filing a claim.