The Jones Act is a federal law that protects the rights of “seaman” working aboard a vessel. Among other things, the Jones Act requires maritime employers to:
- Provide seaman with reasonably safe working conditions; and
- Use proper care to keep a maritime vessel in seaworthy condition.
When a maritime employer fails to live up to its legal responsibilities under the Jones Act, it is negligent. An employer can be held liable for injuries caused by negligence. Here, our Texas Jones Act lawyers highlight four specific examples of negligence under maritime law.
1. Grease or Other Unreasonably Slippery Conditions on Decks
Slip and falls and trip and falls are among the most common types of serious maritime accidents. A vessel can be a potentially dangerous place for crewmembers. With proper precautions, there are many inherent slipping hazards and tripping hazards. If there are greasy or otherwise unreasonably slippery conditions on the deck, the employer may be legally liable for a fall accident.
2. Inadequate or Poorly Maintained Equipment
There is a lot of complicated equipment aboard most modern maritime vessels. Maritime employers have a legal responsibility under the Jones Act to ensure that all equipment is properly maintained and reasonably safe for crewmembers. In addition, maritime employers should ensure that all vessels have all other necessary equipment to ensure a safe operation. When an accident occurs due to inadequate equipment or ill-maintained equipment, an injured crew member can seek compensation under the Jones Act.
3. Lack of Proper Training or Screening of Employees
Safe vessels are staffed with well-trained and well-qualified personnel. It is the responsibility of a maritime employer to ensure that applicants are properly screened. A vessel staffed with unqualified crew members may be unseaworthy. Similarly, crew members must be properly trained—especially in regards to safety issues. The Jones Act requires employers to take proactive measures to ensure that employers are fully trained. Profits should never come before workplace safety.
4. Any Other Unsafe Conduct that Falls Below Industry Standards
Finally, any other conduct that falls below industry standards could potentially be deemed negligence under the Jones Act. Ultimately, a maritime employer has an overriding duty to provide a seaworthy vessel to its crew members. A vessel is not seaworthy if it is not at least as safe as it would be if owned and operated by a reasonably prudent company. If you believe that your employer failed to take proper safety precautions, you may be entitled to financial compensation for a resulting accident through a Jones Act claim. A Texas maritime injury lawyer can help you get justice and accountability.
Contact Our Houston Jones Act Attorneys for Help With Your Case
At the Kolodny Law Firm, our Houston, TX Jones Act attorneys have the professional expertise and specialized experience that you can trust. If you or your loved one was injured due to negligence, we can help. Contact us now for a free, no commitment initial consultation. We provide Jones Act injury representation throughout the Gulf Coast region.