I was injured as a maritime worker in California. What are my legal rights?

In 1920, Congress passed the Jones Act, which is also called the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. It was enacted in order to help merchant mariners and crew members who get hurt while working on water vessels.

Under the Jones Act, owners of vessels are required to provide well-maintained and safe vessels for employees. The vessel must be maintained in a seaworthy manner, and must be in proper working order. Working in the water transportation industry is very dangerous, as is commercial fishing and working on oil rigs.

In order to recover damages for injuries from the owner or operator of a vessel, a crew member must show that the injury was the employer’s fault. Although other workers who are injured in the course of their employment are covered under workers’ compensation, the only remedy for an injured seaman is to pursue a claim against his or her employer under the Jones Act.

If an injured seaman is able to prove liability, he or she is entitled to temporary benefits called maintenance and cure. Maintenance is a stipend paid to workers who are removed from work by a doctor because of an injury. Cure is a payment for medical expenses. In addition, the injured seaman may be able to recover for lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Call me, Conal Doyle, California personal injury attorney, if you have been injured while on a water vessel. You can reach my team at 310-385-0567. We can help. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation.