Maritime Law/Jones Act
Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi is home to a number of maritime workers whose jobs come with inherent risks. For this reason, seamen and longshoreman who suffer injuries are covered under a number of maritime accident laws. This includes the Jones Act (also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920), a federal law that allows maritime workers to seek compensation for injuries suffered while on the job.
If you have been injured at sea, the experienced attorneys at Ben Bronston & Associates can help you fight for your rights. We have considerable experience obtaining meaningful compensation for injured maritime workers including commercial fishermen and other crew members, dock, and shipyard workers, oil rig workers as well as cruise ship employees and recreational boating victims.
Who is protected by maritime laws?
In order to qualify for protection under the Jones Act, a maritime worker must be one whose job contributes to the function of a vessel and the completion of its mission. Further, the injured seamen’s connection to the vessel must be substantial in both duration and nature. On the other hand, dock workers and other land-based employees are protected under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act.
In addition, General Maritime law also covers these workers as well as many others who are injured in a maritime setting, including passengers. Lastly, offshore oil rig workers may not be protected by the Jones Act. However, these workers may have legal recourse under other laws such as the doctrine of unseaworthiness or maintenance and cure.
The Doctrine of Unseaworthiness
Some maritime claims may be based on whether or not the vessel is seaworthy. Under the General maritime law, a shipowner is required to maintain a vessel that is seaworthy. In short, a ship or other vessel must be safe to transport goods, crew members and passengers. In particular, a shipowner has a duty to provide adequate safety measures. There must also be enough crew members to safely handle their assigned tasks. A shipowner whose vessel is deemed to be unseaworthy can be held liable for injuries to workers and passengers alike.
Maintenance and Cure
Maintenance and Cure is a form of workers’ compensation for injured seamen under the Jones Act which is designed to provide weekly wages and medical benefits. If you were injured at sea, an experienced maritime attorney can help you obtain the full value of your claim.
Dedicated Advocates for Maritime Workers
Because maritime jobs are extremely dangerous, these workers can suffer a variety of injuries, including:
- brain damage
- broken bones
- spinal injuries
- severe lacerations
Sadly, many who are injured at sea are unable to get immediate medical attention which can make their injuries worse. At times, severe injuries may lead to paralysis, coma, or even death.
The dedicated personal injury attorneys at Ben Bronston & Associates can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.