Published on October 18, 2016
1. Maritime / Jones Act If you work on or around navigable waters, any injury you incur may fall under maritime law rather than state jurisdiction. In some cases, even recreational boaters who are injured in accidents may find themselves under maritime jurisdiction, in the coastal areas around San Francisco, San Diego, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Orange County such accidents often fall under maritime law, and our expert attorneys have the experience you’ll need to successfully try such a case. If you are injured in or around navigable water, it is important that you consult with an attorney who is experienced in maritime law. What Is Maritime Law? Maritime law is also called admiralty law and refers to a set of principles that governs accidents, incidents, and other aspects of the shipping trade. Those who work on ships and longshoremen who work in docks and shipyards may be covered under maritime law in the event of an incident involving personal injury. Because maritime law has evolved from the early days of the shipping industry, any lawyer who practices maritime law must have a unique understanding of the precedents and principles that have governed navigable waters over the years. Any injury incurred on navigable waters is addressed through the practice of maritime law. The attorneys who specialize in maritime law at Layfield & Barrett have an intimate understanding of the rules and procedures that govern maritime accidents and injuries. We specialize in cases involving the Jones Act. The Jones Act When workers who work on ships are injured, they can’t file workers compensation claims. Instead, they are typically covered by the Jones Act or a similar act. The Jones Act covers anyone who is considered a seaman. A seaman is defined as anyone who spends time working on a vessel. It’s important to note that oil platforms and casino barges are not considered vessels, and those working on them are not covered under the act. Any seaman who spends at least 30% of his time working on a vessel in navigation is covered. The Jones Act allows for a seaman to sue an employer for negligence during work. He or she can also sue a vessel’s owner under the act. Finally, he is entitled to “maintenance and cure” or compensation for his injury, regardless of liability. Maintenance and cure typically covers the cost of boarding an injured seaman, medical expenses, and reasonable living expenses during rehabilitation, among other aspects. Every maritime employer and ship owner is responsible for providing seamen with a safe work environment and to reasonably maintain the vessel. An injured seaman who can prove these two conditions were not met and directly led to injury may be compensated under the law. The injured only needs to prove negligence played a small role in the accident or injury to be eligible for compensation.
2. Finding the Right Attorney When it comes to maritime law, you cannot rely on the services of just any personal injury attorney. You will need an attorney who has experience with building cases and applying maritime law to secure compensation. Layfield & Barrett attorneys who specialize in maritime law and The Jones Act understand ships can be difficult environments to live on and work in. We’re ready to help you and your family in securing the compensation you are entitled to under the law to achieve an optimal recovery. When we accept a maritime law case, we always begin with an independent investigation into the cause of the accident. By looking at all of the evidence, we can create a complete picture of the accident and your injuries and secure the compensation you need to move on with your life. Some seamen may fear they will lose their jobs if they pursue legal action against an employer. We can give you peace of mind so you can move forward with a case. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and more information about maritime law. Our experienced attorneys are standing by in San Francisco, San Diego, Washington D.C., Park City, Scottsdale, Los Angeles, and Orange County to help you understand the complexities of a personal injury incurred on a ship or boat. Source: https://www.layfieldbarrett.com/practice-areas/accidents/maritime-jones-act/