Miami Jones Act Lawyer
When you’re a maritime worker, it is critical that you understand your legal rights. If you suffer an injury while you are performing your duties, you need to know that you are protected. The Jones Act is designed to assist injured or ill seamen recoup the compensation and treatment to which they are entitled under the law. Peace of mind, and financial benefits, can only further your recovery.
Most employees in the United States are entitled to workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job. Maritime workers, however, are not eligible for these same programs. There are, however, ways to bring a civil claim against their employer and receive a form of maritime workers’ compensation.
Is the process complex? To what benefits am I entitled? How can I make ends meet while I’m recovering? What happens to me, and my family, until I’m able to get back to work?
When you have more questions than answers, consult a Jones Act lawyer. The solutions to your current injury-related worries are within reach.
Are You Eligible?
Not everyone who works on a boat or in a shipyard is eligible to make a claim under the Jones Act. For example, maritime workers, such as cargo handlers, crane operators, and dock employees, may not seek redress under this law. It is reserved for “seamen.”
If you spend at least 30% of your work time on a seafaring vessel, and you contribute to its goals or overall functioning, you are typically classified as a “seaman.” This is a broad definition: virtually everyone on board a working vessel contributes to ensuring it runs properly and/or achieves objectives.
But there is room for confusion: If you are unsure if you are covered by this law, contact a Jones Act lawyer. He or she can help ensure you meet the legal definition of “seaman” and then work to develop a compelling case for compensation.
It is also important to note that you are protected by other general maritime laws, such as those that require your employers to provide “maintenance” (e.g. room/board/wages) and “cure” (coverage for medical expenses) when you are injured at work.
What If You’re Not a Seaman?
All seamen are maritime workers, but – as you will find under the law – not all maritime workers are seaman. This means that dock workers, crane operators, cargo handlers, and other individuals who work on or near the water, may not qualify for protection under the Jones Act.
Rest assured that there are provisions in place to help you if you are injured in the line of work. The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, for example, is best described as a maritime workers’ compensation program, similar to those mandated by states.
Contact the LaBovick Law Group for assistance; our team has extensive experience in this aspect of maritime law and can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Building Your Case
If you are injured, report the incident and seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Under maritime law, your employer is required to ensure that you receive proper treatment. While compensation may proceed smoothly from there, take steps to protect yourself – and your rights.
Document everything you remember about the incident, including details about the scene/environment. Keep any and all records from medical personnel and communications from your employer. And, critically, consult an attorney. Ensuring that you do not suffer financial pain in addition to physical and/or psychological injury is paramount.
A Jones Act lawyer will be able to deal with your employer and any involved insurance companies so you can focus on recovering.
The Jones Act, Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, and other maritime laws are intended to protect the people who work on or near navigable waters. Even though your life may be significantly different because of the accident and resulting injury, you can begin to rebuild – without the worry of wages, medical bills, and other expenses.
The LaBovick Law Group is dedicated to representing maritime workers and assisting them in receiving the compensation they are owed. As top Miami attorneys, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. Contact us today.