Maritime workers have historically been vulnerable. Not only do they work in a notoriously dangerous industry, but their position puts themselves outside of the scope of traditional state-based workers’ compensation systems. More than a century ago federal lawmakers passed the Jones Act. The statute provides important protections to maritime workers hurt on the job.
Jones Act claims are complicated. If you or your loved one was hurt while working at sea, it is crucial that you have a knowledgeable, qualified lawyer on your side. In this article, you will find an overview of four key reasons why it is so important to hire an experienced Houston Jones Act attorney after a maritime accident.
1. The Jones Act is a Highly Specialized Area of Law
Jones Act claims are subject to unique rules, procedures, and regulations. An attorney who has experience with workers’ compensation claims and/or personal injury may not have the right expertise to help you effectively navigate a Jones Act claim. It is a specialized federal law that requires attention from a legal professional who knows the Jones Act inside and out.
2. The Jones Act Offers Limited No Fault Benefits
For an injured maritime worker, a Jones Act claim typically starts with filing for no-fault “maintenance and cure” benefits. These are limited benefits for medical coverage and financial support. An experienced Jones Act lawyer will be able to ensure that your claim is handled properly so that you can secure the maximum no fault maintenance and cure benefits.
3. Establishing Jones Act Coverage is a Required Step
The Jones Act covers workers who are classified as “seamen.” If you are not a “seaman” for the purposes of the Jones Act, then you cannot bring a claim under the statute. In some cases, there are disputes regarding whether or not a particular employee qualifies as a seaman. A Jones Act attorney can help you overcome this hurdle and put you in the best position to get results.
4. You Must Establish ‘Unseaworthiness’ to Maximize Your Financial Recovery
One of the central things to know about the Jones Act is that it allows injured maritime workers to recover full and fair financial compensation for the full extent of their damages, including non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. Unlike a traditional workers’ comp claim, the Jones Act allows injured seamen to file a personal injury lawsuit directly against their employer. To successfully establish liability in a Jones Act case, you must be able to prove that unseaworthy conditions on your vessel contributed to your injuries. An experienced Jones Act lawyer can help.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Texas Jones Act Lawyer
At the Kolodny Law Firm, our Houston, TX Jones Act attorney has the professional expertise that you can trust. We are focused on helping victims and families recover the maximum financial support. Give us a call now or contact us online to set up a 100% free review of your case. We handle Jones Act claims in Houston and throughout Texas.