What Benefits Are Available Under the Jones Act?
Federal maritime law governs benefits to injured seamen. The Jones Act together with the General Maritime Law, provides compensation coverage for injured seamen. The Jones Act is premised upon negligence, and you must establish negligence to obtain benefits under the Jones Act. Slight negligence will support a claim for benefits under the Jones Act. If the negligence causes the harm, even in the slightest, there is a basis for a claim under the Jones Act.
Benefits under the Jones Act include compensation for:
- Past Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Future Lost Wages
- Physical and Psychological Damages
- Vocational Retraining Costs
- Past and Future Medical Expenses
- Lost Earning Capacity
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Nursing Services
- Therapy Bills
There is no limit or schedule to Jones Act benefits. It is up to a judge or jury to decide the amount of your fair compensation. Experienced maritime lawyers know what is fair and how to get the most compensation possible for your injuries.
The lawyers at Beard Stacey and Jacobsen have handled thousands of Jones Act claims. We have recovered compensation large and small for our clients, and work hard to get our clients settlements that are fair and reasonable. Evaluating your case involves complex balancing of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Beard Stacey & Jacobsen prides themselves in giving our clients straight advice about the value of their claims. Getting good settlements means being prepared, knowing the law, and handling your case in a cost effective manner. Few cases go to trial, however, if the settlement offer is not reasonable your lawyer must be prepared to present your case to a judge or jury.
MAINTENANCE AND CURE: It is important to know that additional remedies are available to supplement a Jones Act claim. The General Maritime Law provides basic no fault remedies to seamen who become injured or ill while working in the services of their vessels. These benefits are called maintenance and cure. Maintenance and cure benefits typically go hand-in-hand with a Jones Act claim. Your maintenance and cure benefits include payment of all your reasonable and necessary medical expenses. Maintenance is a daily living allowance that continues until you have reached maximum medical cure. Typically maintenance runs somewhere in the $25-$40 per day range, depending upon your particular situation. The employer must also pay any incidental costs of your medical treatment, such as travel to and from doctor appointments.
UNEARNED WAGES: If you are injured or become ill during the course of your work aboard ship, the employer must pay you wages until the end of voyage. The voyage is considered your mutually agreed upon employment period. You do not have to prove fault to receive unearned wages. In most cases, if an illness or injury prevents you from completing the agreed upon employment period, you will be given wages until the end of that period.
If you have been injured at sea, please contact an experienced maritime law attorney at Beard Stacey & Jacobsen today for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.