The Jones Act is a comprehensive federal law that, among other things, provides legal protection to maritime workers hurt while at sea. If you were injured while working aboard a vessel, you may have a claim under the statute. This raises an important question: What types of damages can be recovered in a Jones Act lawsuit? In this article, our Texas Jones Act attorney provides an overview of the different types of compensation an injured maritime worker can recover in a Jones Act claim.
Jones Act Gives Many Maritime Workers the Right to Sue Employer for Negligence
As a starting point, it is important to clarify the difference between a workers’ compensation claim and a Jones Act injury claim. An exclusive legal remedy, the Jones Act provides injured maritime workers (seaman) the legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. To bring a successful Jones Act claim, a maritime employee must prove that their injury occurred because of negligence.
Know the Doctrine of Seaworthiness
Notably, maritime employers have a legal responsibility to provide a “seaworthy” vessel to the crew members. If a business or vessel owner fails to live up to the doctrine of seaworthiness and an injury occurs as a result, then they can be held legally liable for the full extent of a maritime worker’s damages.
Five Types of Compensation You Can Recover in a Jones Act Injury Claim
In a standard workers’ compensation claim, an employee is generally restricted to recovering compensation for certain out-of-pocket losses, such as medical bills and wage replacement. Jones Act injury claims are different. A maritime worker who was harmed because his or her employer failed to provide a seaworthy vessel can seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. You may be entitled to recover compensation for any of the following five types of losses:
- Medical Treatment: All of your related medical costs should be covered, including emergency room care, hospital bills, and rehabilitative treatment.
- Lost Wages: A maritime injury may force you to miss time on the job. You can seek compensation for the full extent of your lost wages.
- Loss of Earning Potential: The Jones Act also allows injured maritime workers to seek financial compensation for loss of future earning potential.
- Pain and Suffering: Unlike a traditional workers’ comp claim, the Jones Act allows maritime workers to sue for pain and suffering.
- Disability or Impairment: If you suffered a long-term disability or physical impairment due to your injury, you have the right to compensation.
Call Our Southeast Texas Jones Act Lawyer Today
At the Kolodny Law Firm, our Texas Jones Act attorneys are devoted to providing exceptional, reliable representation to people and families. If you have any questions about the compensation you can recover in a Jones Act lawsuit, we can help. For a free initial consultation, please send us a message today. With an office in Houston, our law firm represents victims in Texas and throughout the Gulf Coast region.