The Jones Act financially protects seamen working in the maritime industry. In the event of an injury that occurred because of an accident in which the employer was negligible, the seaman is entitled to compensation. Jones Act compensation includes medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
About Jones Act Compensation and Claims
The Jones Act allows certain maritime workers to make claims if they are ill or become injured due to workplace negligence.
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With the help of an experienced Jones Act lawyer, the claims process may result in several different types of compensation, from lost earnings to medical bills and even for pain and suffering.
The Jones Act doesn’t just allow for compensation for immediate needs either. Appropriate compensation takes into account how the injury will affect a seaman in the future.
Perhaps the most important part of compensation under the Jones Act is for lost wages. If you are injured aboard the ship on which you work, chances are you will have to miss time on the job, which means missing income.
Jones Act compensation for injuries and lost wages also takes into account the benefits and extras you may have lost, like contributions to your 401k or pension, your health insurance, and your vacation days.
Your employer is responsible for providing lost wages if the accident keeping you from your job could have been prevented.
The total compensation for lost earnings varies depending on your situation. It includes all the days from when the accident occurred to the end of a contract or voyage.
A calculation of your earnings during that period, including the value of your benefits, will give you an idea of the compensation you are owed.
Lost or Diminished Earning Capacity
Short-term earnings are not the only part of wage compensation you may be entitled to after an onboard injury.
The lasting impact of that injury could prevent you from earning as much in the future as you did before the accident. Fair compensation takes into account any earning capacity you have lost.
This is another aspect of the compensation that looks to the future. If your injury prevents you from doing the same work you did before the accident, you may not be able to earn as much. According to the law, you should be compensated for that loss of future earnings.
This calculation is more complicated than simply determining the lost wages in the immediate short-term period. It must consider your abilities and health before the accident and how many more years you would have worked in your current position.
Getting compensated for your lost income is urgent after an accident because you may not have any money coming into your house. Medical bills are also critical and important.
When you are injured, you need treatment right away, and if your employer isn’t prepared to pay for everything you need, you could be paying out of pocket.
As with earnings, your compensation for medical expenses should take into account your immediate bills and any future medical bills you may incur because of the accident.
This is not limited to doctor visits and medications. You can seek compensation for the following:
- Transportation expenses to appointments
- Physical and occupational therapy sessions
- Mental health care
- Nursing needs
- Medical equipment
Pain and Suffering
Compensation for pain and suffering under the Jones Act is more subjective than medical bills and lost wages, but it is still important.
This type of compensation is a monetary amount that attempts to make up for the mental and physical pain that you experience because of the accident. For instance, you may suffer because of a lost limb or a disfigurement caused by the accident.
You may also be suffering from mental anguish from your accident. Signs of this could include difficulty sleeping, post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression.
It can also include losing enjoyment in life because you are in pain or can’t do all the things you used to be able to do.
You have the right to maintenance and cure when you are injured as a seaman. If your employer is not providing this adequately, you should be able to win Jones Act compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. With a knowledgeable lawyer, you should be able to fight for and win the compensation you deserve.