Getting injured on the job can be an ordeal as is. But if you are a Seaman and are injured on a vessel, you may not be sure what steps you would need to take and what protection you have. There are Worker’s Compensation laws that protect workers if they are injured on the job on land, but there is also a law, called the Jones Act, which protects you when you are a marine worker and there are different steps you will need to take to file a Jones Act lawsuit. If you are a marine worker injured while at sea, make sure you properly preserve your claim by following the steps below:
Jones Act Claims Steps
- Assess your injuries. Make sure not to further injure yourself by moving the area of your body where you are hurt.
- Call for help from others on board the ship. You do not want to risk further injury, so you should call for help for someone to assist you and get you medical attention.
- Ask any witnesses for their contact information. You will want their information so they can help your Jones Act case. Witness statements could be the difference between winning and losing a case.
- Take photos of the scene where you were hurt. You will want to have photos to show the exact situation and environment that lead to your injury.
- Fill out and get a copy of an incident report.
- If you are injured, seek medical attention on the vessel. You do not want to wait until you are back on land to get medical attention as your condition could worsen by waiting.
- Follow-up on medical treatment once back on land. You will want to seek medical attention once back on land to make sure to follow up with your injury. While many vessels will try to have medical professionals on hand that can handle any situation, they likely cannot handle everything so it is best to follow up on land to ensure you are properly cared for.
- Hire an attorney who specializes in maritime injuries and Jones Act cases. Jones Act cases are unique and require a specific understanding of all of the factors that could be involved. You do not want to go to an attorney who doesn’t specialize in maritime cases, or else you may not get any of the benefits you deserve in your case. You will especially want to hire a Jones Act attorney in Florida if you work on some of the major cruise lines because some require you to file your claim in Miami no matter where you are from or where the vessel was when your injury occurred.