Because of its proximity to rivers and oceanic waters, many residents in Mississippi make their living by working as crew members on commercial ships or water vessels. While this can be a fulfilling industry, workers face hazards daily and accidents are not uncommon.
When crew members sustain injuries, they are not eligible for the workers’ compensation benefits like land-based employees are. However, as long as a minimum of 30 percent of their work duties are in navigable waters, they are likely eligible to apply for compensation under the Jones Act. These claims can be uniquely complex and often require the guidance of an experienced maritime injury attorney to lessen the possibility of denials or delays.
If you were injured while working on a vessel, call Southaven crew boat accident lawyer Elissa M. Coombs from the Law Office of David E. Gordon today.
Collecting Compensation Under the Jones Act
Seamen and crew members have access to benefits if there is an accident on the water or if they are completing job duties inland for a ship currently carrying goods. The Jones Act entitles seamen to recover the following benefits:
The Cost of Medical Care
The Jones Act allows crew members to collect payment for all reasonable medical care related to the accident. The benefits include current and future medical expenses, including doctor appointments, emergency services, specialists, surgery, and medication.
The Loss of Pay
The Jones Act also allows injured or ill seamen to recover maintenance pay until they reach maximum medical improvement. Maintenance is a daily allowance intended to cover the room and board they would have received on the boat if they had not been injured or become ill.
Pain and Suffering
The most significant difference between the Jones Act and workers’ comp benefits is the ability to seek and collect compensation for pain and suffering. The Jones Act allows the employee to file for non-economic damages against the shipowner or other liable parties when an accident occurs because of negligence. A seasoned attorney in Southaven who has experience in accidents involving fast supply vessels can go over potential benefit amounts after reviewing the specifics of the case.
Examples of Negligent Crew Boat Employers
Employers must provide crew members a particular duty of care and ensure a hazard-free work environment. If they fail to do so, they could be held liable for injuries. The legislation allows injured crew members to recover compensation from a negligent employer in the following cases:
- A lack of proper job and safety training
- Failure to provide safe working conditions
- Hazardous or malfunctioning machinery and equipment
- Lack of maintenance and upkeep on the vessel and other machinery on board
- Inadequate notice of potential hazards
- Absence of the necessary safety gear to perform work duties
A practiced Southaven attorney can review an individual crew boat accident case to determine if an incident occurred because of negligence.
Call a Southaven Attorney to Help You Pursue Compensation for Your Crew Boat Accident
If you suffered injuries while performing job duties as a crew member on a water vessel, it is critical to understand your rights. While most crew boat personnel know they are eligible to collect compensation under the Jones Act, not as many know much about the details of the legislation or how to file a claim properly.
Elissa M. Coombs can go through the details of your specific case and answer your questions to determine the damages you may qualify to collect. Call a seasoned Southaven crew boat accident lawyer at the Law Office of David E. Gordon to schedule a free consultation today.