Cases For Offshore Injuries Are More Complex Than Typical Claims

by Terry Bryant

Cases that involve offshore injuries are more complex than a typical accident claim, and this should be kept in mind when looking for an attorney. These claims involve workers who spend much of their time at sea, and these workers are protected by the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act. This federal statute has a lot of influence over how hurt seamen are treated and ensures that vessel owners maintain safe working conditions.

As long as a worker spends at least 30 percent of their employment time on an operating vessel, they are eligible for Jones Act protection. When an eligible seaman suffers offshore injuries, the Jones Act first grants them maintenance and cure. This makes the vessel owner liable for living expenses while a hurt seaman is recovering. The vessel owner must also provide any possible medical treatment until the seaman can be placed in a medical facility.

Eligible seamen might also sue a vessel owner or employer for negligence if unsafe working conditions were a contributing factor in the accident. Suing for negligence is not an option most workers have. Instead, other workers have to rely on workers’ compensation to pay for their medical bills and lost wages, resulting in their forfeiting their right to sue. Because seamen are not covered under workers’ compensation, they may be able to attain a higher settlement, which will make it easier for them to handle the expenses of their recovery.