Injured seamen don’t have the same type of workers’ compensation as do workers on land. But if you were injured while working on a vessel, you know how important it is to obtain compensation for your injuries and medical bills. That’s why the Jones Act is so important.
Under the Jones Act, seamen who are injured on the job have the right to sue their employer for personal injury damages.
If you suffered an injury due to your work on a vessel (such as a ship or boat) then you may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act. These are the types of damages that could be available to you.
Injured seamen are entitled to recover losses associated with pain and suffering. This includes both physical and mental pain and suffering, like anxiety and shock.
Unfortunately, mental and emotional injuries are often overlooked, but it’s important to understand that these injuries can have as profound an impact on your life as physical injuries – they’re just not as visible.
If your injuries cause you to miss out on travel, volunteer opportunities, or leave you unable to participate in hobbies you used to enjoy before, then you may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act.
Loss of enjoyment of life describes how the injuries impacted your life socially and emotionally. For example, if you suddenly lose all interest in a hobby that you loved before the injury, you may be able to recover for loss of enjoyment of life.
The more severe the injuries, the greater their value and the more likely you are to receive maximum compensation.
Loss of limbs, permanent scarring, or complete or partial loss of hearing or vision are just a few examples of disfigurement. Suffering these types of injuries has the potential to affect your entire life.
You could be entitled to compensation if your injuries lead to temporary or permanent disfigurement.
It’s important to keep your mental health in mind when you are attempting to recover compensation under the Jones Act. Mental anguish includes the damage your injuries have on your mental health.
This could include new phobias that keep you from activities, the inability to concentrate, depression, the negative health effects of insomnia, and even physical side effects like headaches or tremors.
If you think you experienced mental anguish after injuries sustained on a vessel, you should receive an exam from a mental health professional and document their findings.
If your injuries either cause you to miss work or leave you unable to perform the same duties as before, then you may be entitled to compensation for the lost wages or earning capacity.
For example, if you suffered a traumatic brain injury and you are no longer able to work in a management position, you might have to accept a lower-paying position. These lost wages might be a direct result of the injury you suffered at work. It is important to discuss this with your lawyer.
Keep all of your medical bills; you could recover these expenses under a Jones Act lawsuit.
This could include anything from the first medical evaluation to bills for scans, X-rays, and even ongoing physical therapy or assistive devices like wheelchairs or hearing aids.
There are specific stipulations under which you must qualify to file a Jones Act lawsuit. You must be employed by a vessel owner or shipping company and spend a substantial amount of your time working on or for the vessel.
Your job must contribute to the vessel’s function. This might include the chef, crew member, fishermen, or operators.
Almost any kind of floating workplace could qualify as a vessel under the Jones Act, but not every water-based workplace will. It is important to speak with a lawyer about whether your workplace applies as a vessel. For example, a floating platform may qualify as a vessel, while a fixed platform may not.
Since it can be confusing about whether you qualify to sue your employer under the Jones Act, reach out to an injury lawyer who has experience with maritime law.
If you were injured while working on an offshore vessel, you might qualify for compensation.
Contact a Lake Charles offshore injury lawyer at The Johnson Firm by calling (337) 433-1414. We can discuss your options and determine how much you deserve to recover.