Working on a ship is a dangerous job, and before the Jones Act, sailors had no legal recourse for injuries or deaths that occurred on a ship. Today, sailors have a variety of legal rights under the Jones Act and may be eligible for compensation for injuries that occurred while they were working on a vessel. Families of sailors who lose their lives while working on a vessel may also be eligible for compensation. If you are a sailor who has been injured or are the family member of a loved one who has been injured or killed on a vessel, it’s critical that you understand the Jones Act and what your rights are under the law.
Jones Act Defined
The Jones Act was enacted in 1920 and defines the rights of sailors who work on a vessel. It also provides legal remedy for sailors who are injured or killed on a vessel due to the negligence of the owner or master of a vessel, or even a fellow sailor. When a shipmaster is careless or negligent and this carelessness or negligence results in the death or injury of a sailor, the Jones Act allows the sailor or his or her family members to bring a lawsuit against the shipmaster in an effort to obtain compensation for damages that were incurred as a result of the injury or death. In some cases, the ship master may not be held legally liable for injuries, but the sailor or his or her family may be able to bring a lawsuit against the owner of the ship, claiming that the vessel was unseaworthy.
Obtaining Proof of Injury
Although the Jones Act has provided legal remedy to sailors for injuries, bringing a lawsuit forward is undoubtedly a daunting task. Several aspects of the case must be proven, including that the injury occurred on the ship and that the injury was directly related to a defect on the ship or the negligence of the owner, master, or another sailor on the ship. One of the most common types of lawsuits that involve the Jones Act is a mesothelioma or asbestosis claim. Shipyards and vessels often used asbestos — a dangerous chemical that has the propensity to cause cancer — in their work areas. Whether bringing forward a claim for mesothelioma or another injury under the Jones Act, it is usually necessary to work with an attorney who is familiar with this area of law and can help you gather the necessary documentation to prove your injury or illness.
Contact McDermott & Hickey, LLC Today for a Consultation
If you or a loved one were injured on a ship or in a shipyard, or were diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestos and used to work in a shipyard, take action now. McDermott & Hickey, LLC can help you put together a strong lawsuit aimed at obtaining the full and fair compensation you and your family deserve for your injuries.
Call today for a consultation at (877) 303-6379.