Compensating Injured Seamen
Pursuant to the provisions of the Jones Act, any person who spends at least 30 percent of their working time in service actively on a commercial vessel are considered "seaman" and are therefore entitled to get the benefit provided by the law. This particular law does not protect dockworkers or shipbuilders.
The law directly says that it only applies to people legally considered “seamen”, but the law itself does not define the actual word. The Federal courts have defined the term to mean a person assigned to a vessel or fleet who does work which relates to the ship’s purpose and which generally operates in navigable waters.
As of now, the Jones Act applies to seamen and sailors who work on tankers, dredges, floating cranes, semi-submersible ships, cargo shops, barges, cruise ships, towboats, drill ships, recreational ships, rigs, fishing vessels, and to inland river workers.Before the Passage of the Jones Act
Before this law got passed in 1920, seamen’s rights were quite limited. This was due primarily to court opinions and legal concepts which were old-fashioned and protected and favored employers. Therefore, the employees had very limited options in terms of receiving assistance and recovering fair damages when they got injured physically while on the job.
If a person working as a sailor got injured because of the shipmaster, captain or fellow sailor’s negligence, under maritime the injured sailor was only entitled to payment of “maintenance and cure.” This was compensation by contract which provided a monetary allowance for food, lodging and medical expenses. An injured sailor could only recover full compensatory damages from her or his employer if they could prove that his or her injury or sickness was related to their work as a seaman.Causes of Injuries to Sailors
Working on the sea brings dangers and significant inherent dangers and risks. Among the common causes of maritime injuries are pushing or pulling heavy objects , falling overboard, trips, slips, falls, sailor fatigue, resurfacing too quickly, coming into contact with toxic substances, lifting heavy items, overuse injuries and being trapped or struck by moving objects.Common Injuries to Sailors
The exact severity of each maritime injury depends upon the unique, specific circumstances of each accident, including the speed of travel, vessel type and size, the force of impact. Some of the more common injuries suffered by sailors include hypothermia, drowning, frostbite, fractures, lacerations, puncture wounds, internal damage, concussions, wrist injuries, neck and back injuries, loss of limbs and neck and back injuries.
If you are a seamen/sailor who has been seriously injured while in the course and scope of your employment, maritime law and the Jones Act are ready and available to you to assist you in recovering fair and just damages for your maritime injuries.
Carabin Shaw’s experienced legal team is ready and standing by to help with your maritime injury issues. We have the experience and resources to take on the big companies and the oil industry. They will bring well financed, well organized defenses to bear against your claim. We are ready and able to take them on in any fight they chose. We will fight the good fight for you and your family.Are you in Corpus Christi? Were you injured in a Marine or Maritime accident? Give Carabin Shaw a call. We can help. Call us at 1.800.862.1260
The Carabin Shaw Offices in Corpus Christi are located two blocks south of the Nueces County Courthouse in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Our Corpus Christi telephones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 361.444.1111.