The Basics About Jones Act Lawsuit Funding– Maritime Settlement Funding For Seamen’s Injuries

What is the Jones Act?

From PBS.com

“The Merchant Marine act of 1920 was designed to create a safe network of merchant mariners within the U.S. after World War I. The Jones Act requires all goods shipped between U.S. ports to be transported by U.S. vessels (and operated primarily by Americans).

While much of the current attention on the Jones Act is focused on foreign shipping regulations, the law also contains important information about the maritime industry’s responsibilities regarding safety and well-being of crew. It safeguards the rights of sailors from being exploited, requiring compensation for injuries due to negligence by their employers. It requires employers to maintain safe environments and provide medical care, and also sets standards for vessel maintenance, safety equipment such as lifeboats, and crew qualifications, training and licensing. And, this all-encompassing law has something to say about the environment too, requiring all U.S. ships to comply with EPA regulations.”

Jones Act Lawsuits

Funding for lawsuits or settlements involving the Jones Act, known as “Jones Act lawsuit funding” or “maritime lawsuit settlement funding”, provides a unique service to injured maritime workers and seamen, or “mariners,” and other workers associated with the sea. Unlike other workers, seamen or mariners, and female workers on and around the sea cannot seek traditional workers’ compensation payments when they are injured on the job. They must instead proceed under a federal law known as “the Jones Act,” which applies only to seamen and maritime workers. The Jones Act was enacted in the 1920 and has provided protection for workers for almost a century.

Who Is Eligible For Jones Act Worker Protection

The term “seaman” in the Jones Act includes any mariner or worker who performs a significant amount of his or her work on a vessel, or any kind of ship or boat.  These workers include anybody from crew member to captain, and anyone in between who works on a cruise ship for example, as well as shipbuilders and boat repair workers, and the Merchant Marine. The following are also included for protection under the Jones Act:

bartenders, carpenters, chambermaids, clerks, cooks, coopers, divers, doctors, dredge workers, engineers, firemen, fishermen, cabin boys, harpooners, horsemen, interpreters, masons, muleteers, musicians, pilots, pursers, radio operators, seal hunters, stewards, surveyors, and waiters.

There is no requirement that a mariner or seaman aid in navigation of the boat in order to qualify for Jones Act protection. The vessel or ship doesn’t have to be either moving or on the sea, but rather capable of moving on the sea.

Protection Afforded To Injured Workers Under The Jones Act: Lawsuit Must Be Filed

The Jones Act requires employers of seamen and mariners to provide a safe working environment for their employees. If an accident occurs as a result of the neglect of safety obligations by an employer or its agents, injured mariners may sue the employer. Negligence which can lead to a Jones Act lawsuit includes the following circumstances, among others:

  • failure to provide safety equipment
  • failure to maintain equipment
  • insufficient training
  • assault by a crew member
  • failure to provide a seaworthy vessel

Unlike other workplace injuries, which are generally heard and brought before state workers’ compensation boards, seamen or mariners may have to file lawsuits in order to recover or be compensated for his or her injuries. Jones Act attorneys can help injured seamen or mariners secure compensation for lost wages and missed time from work.

Remedies Under The Jones Act

An injured mariner or seaman can recover broader Jones Act damages than an employee can receive under most state workers’ compensation laws. A Jones Act seaman can recover both special and general damages from his employer.

Special Damages Include:

  • medical care not paid through the date of trial
  • loss of income not paid as unearned wages
  • out of pocket expenses
  • payment for lost room and board

General Damages Include:

  • pain and suffering and disfigurement
  • mental anguish and emotional distress
  • loss of enjoyment of life
  • future medical expenses
  • future loss of earnings or loss of earning capacity.

The recovery in Jones Act cases can be far greater than the recovery in a standard state worker’s compensation case. The Jones Act or seamen workers’ protection law is a specialized area of the law, known as maritime law personal injury or Jones Act law.

As such, it is imperative that any injured seamen or mariner secure the services of an experienced maritime law firm or Jones Act attorney rather than a state law workers’ compensation expert. 

Getting the right lawyer makes all the difference with Jones Act cases.

Jones Act Lawsuit Funding Helps Deal With Delays

Jones Act claims have one similar feature with state workers’ compensation proceedings: delay by the defendant. Typically, even when they are wrong and have committed negligent acts which led to the injury or even death of an employee, employers retain experienced defense counsel who employ various tactics to ensure as low a payment as possible for your injuries. The largest tool is often simply delay; delay which can cause an injured seaman or mariner out of work and in need of money for recovery or room and board to settle claims for far less than he or she needs in order to be “made whole” or to function in life after the injuries.

In those cases, Jones Act lawsuit funding or maritime settlement funding can help make the difference.  Jones Act lawsuit funding can help level the playing field for the injured, who do not have the same resources to withstand litigation as a wealthy defendant or insurance company, who deal with these types of claims every day and may not particularly care about the conditions that led to your injury, but rather about their bottom line.

For More Information About Jones Act History and Claims, and Jones Act Lawsuit Funding, Visit:

https://www.expertlaw.com/library/workers_comp/jones_act.html

http://hhklawfirm.com/offshore-maritime-accidents/jones-act/

(Excellent Herman, Herman & Katz Primer On Jones Act Claims)

http://www.bluesteinlawoffice.com/Maritime-Law-Articles/Beware-of-the-Curve-Ball-Jones-Act.shtml

(Comprehensive and Interesting Article and Information About Jones Act cases from the Bluestein Law Firm)

http://www.maritimeinjuryguide.org/jones-act/lawyer/

(Very Useful Summary of Jones Act Law and How To Proceed)

http://www.turleylawfirm.com/blog/when-should-an-employee-accept-a-jones-act-settlement-.cfm

(Straight and Helpful Talk About Jones Act Claims From the Turley Law Firm)

www.lawcash.com  

(Experienced Jones Act Lawsuit Funding Company)