In the early quarter of the 1900s, a federal statute was established in support of merchant marines. This statute is known as The Jones Act. The Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) also falls under the statute and helps injured seamen who have suffered accidents performing job duties. It allows them to take legal action in a personal injury or wrongful death case against employers.
In fact, FELA also provides workers with an exception. Maritime law generally does not entitle workers to a jury trial in a civil claim. But, in the event of a federal court case, The Jones Act gives the seaman that right. However, just like with any personal injury case, there is a matter of liability to consider.
Liability in the case of an injured seaman
In order to obtain compensation for their injuries, a maritime worker must be able to prove their employer was negligent and at the root of the injury’s cause. Essentially, employers of seamen must maintain a safe working environment and in proving negligence, the plaintiff must establish that the employer ignored their duties to do so. Additionally, those in charge should have known or bore the responsibility to know about the unsafe conditions which led to the injury.
If your case is successful, compensation for your injury can help you recover from financial losses like medical bills and lost wages from the work you missed due to your condition. You may also recover damages for the pain and suffering the injury causes you.
An experienced maritime law and personal injury attorney can provide additional insight into your rights as an injured seaman.