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Tag Archives: Jones Act Injuries

The Jones Act Lawsuits

If you or a family member has been injured during the course of employment on a seagoing vessel, you may have a claim under the federal Jones Act. It is important to contact an attorney knowledgeable in the Jones Act to determine your possible personal injury claim and answer any questions you may have regarding the Jones Act.

Unsure if you are covered by the Jones Act? Contact the maritime lawyers of Stolpman, Krissman, Elber & Silver, LLP, to arrange a free consultation about your seaman injury case.  Our attorneys have more than 25 years experience  in representing maritime workers injured at sea.

What is the Jones Act?

The Jones Act is a federal statute that provides a remedy for injured maritime workers. According to this act, 46 U.S.C.A. § 30104, “A seaman injured in the course of employment or, if the seaman dies from the injury, the personal representative of the seaman may elect to bring a civil action at law, with the right of trial by jury, against the employer.” An injured crew member may have a claim against his or her employer (ship owner) for negligence if the vessel is unseaworthy. It is the duty of the ship owner to maintain a vessel that is seaworthy, including the vessel, gear and appliances. This duty is absolute and not based on the fault of the ship owner.

According to the Jones Act, “A defective condition of the vessel which proximately causes the seaman’s injury makes the ship unseaworthy as to him.” This does not mean that the entire vessel is unfit or unseaworthy. The crewmembers remedy applies only against the owner of the vessel, gear or appliances. If you are a crewmember that has been injured while employed on a seagoing vessel, contact a maritime law lawyer to discuss your legal rights.

Seaworthiness is a Ship Owner’s Legal Duty

It is the duty of the ship owner to keep the ship, supplies and appliances in working order and seaworthy. If the vessel is deemed unseaworthy, the liability shifts to the ship owner and protects seamen from dangerous conditions that are beyond their control. The ship owner’s duty to provide a seaworthy ship is absolute, continuing and independent of the duty to exercise reasonable care.

An injured seaman may recover for injuries sustained if he or she is injured due to the unseaworthiness of the vessel. The seaman must show that a defect in the vessel or the vessel’s equipment existed and that the defect was the proximate cause of his or her injury. An injured party may also have a contractual claim against a ship owner. In every hiring contract between a ship owner and seaman is the implied warranty of the ship owner that the vessel is seaworthy at the beginning of the voyage. If a crew member is injured due to the unseaworthiness of the vessel, this may be a breach of contract.

Time Limit to File a Jones Act Lawsuit

Actions brought under the Jones Act are governed by the Federal Employers’ Liability Act. 45 U.S.C.A. § 51. Therefore, the three-year time limitation for bringing the Jones Act lawsuit applies.

Generally, the cause of action begins to accrue (three-year time limit starts) when the injury is discovered. The statute of limitations begins to run when the injury and its cause are apparent or made known.

Our Attorneys Offer Expert Legal Representation to Injured Jones Act Workers

Some Jones Act injuries occur because of the unseaworthiness of the vessel. A boat owner is required to maintain a vessel in a seaworthy condition, one that makes it safe for its intended purpose. A seaworthy vessel must have adequate safety gear, a competent captain and crew, and be structurally and mechanically sound.

For more than 25 years, the attorneys of Stolpman, Krissman, Elber & Silver have successfully represented maritime workers who were injured by negligence. We have obtained substantial verdicts and settlements in cases on behalf of employees who were injured aboard a boat, ship or other vessel.

From offices in Long Beach, our lawyers represent clients in the Los Angeles area and throughout Southern California.  Contact our California maritime lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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Jones Act Injuries

Whether you work on a cruise ship, a tour boat, a ferry or oil or gas drilling platform, if you suffer a personal injury on the job, you have different — and better — legal rights than do people who work on land. Maritime workers are covered by the Jones Act, which gives injured workers the right to receive compensation for damages caused by on-the-job injuries.

If you fell down a set of rickety stairs and injured your knee while working on shore, you would receive workers’ compensation benefits: medical treatment and a portion of your wages while you are unable to return to work. If you sustained the very same injury while working aboard any type of vessel on navigable waters, you could obtain compensation for the full extent of your damages, including pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, medical expenses and more.

Unseaworthiness and Maritime Injury Claims

A maritime employer can be found liable for damages if a seaman is injured due to an unseaworthy vessel even if no negligence was involved.

Our Attorneys Offer Expert Legal Representation to Injured Jones Act Workers

For more than 25 years, the attorneys of Stolpman, Krissman, Elber & Silver have successfully represented maritime workers who were injured by negligence. We have obtained substantial verdicts and settlements in cases on behalf of employees who were injured aboard a boat, ship or other vessel.

Some Jones Act injuries occur because of the unseaworthiness of the vessel. A boat owner is required to maintain a vessel in a seaworthy condition, one that makes it safe for its intended purpose. A seaworthy vessel must have adequate safety gear, a competent captain and crew, and be structurally and mechanically sound.

Unsure if you are covered by the Jones Act? Contact the maritime lawyers of Stolpman, Krissman, Elber & Silver, LLP, to arrange a free consultation about your seaman injury case.

From offices in Long Beach, our lawyers represent clients in the Los Angeles area and throughout Southern California.

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Maritime Law (Admiralty Law)

What is Maritime Law?

Maritime law, often called admiralty law, is a set of legal rules and practices governing the business of employment and transportation of people and goods over or near navigable waters. If you have been injured while employed by a vessel or while you were a social guest on a vessel, it is important to consult with attorney as soon as possible to help you understand what conditions must be met to apply maritime law.

“Navigable waters” is a legal term describing all waters that are capable of transporting people or cargo between the states and other countries. Inland lakes that do not connect to an interstate waterway or the open sea would not meet this test. As a matter of law, the open sea and waterways used for interstate commerce (such as rivers) are navigable waters.

For an incident to trigger maritime jurisdiction it must have created a potential hazard to traditional commerce and there must be a sufficient relationship between the incident and traditional maritime activities.

Maritime Claims

Maritime law applies to the operation of most types of vessels, from the largest ocean going cargo vessel, to fishing vessels, to Jet Skis®. It also applies to more than accidents; it governs employment issues such as wage and labor disputes or sexual and racial harassment, insurance disputes, maritime property damage, loss of cargo, damage to shoreside property by vessels, repairers of vessels, fishing rights and other issues.

People who make their living working on boats and qualify as “seamen” have special remedies available to them. Congress enacted the Maritime Marine Act of 1920, commonly known as the Jones Act, which provides substantial benefits to seamen injured at sea.

The Jones Act

Boating accidents may injure a variety of people who work on a boat or ship. The Jones Act is a federal law that extends the provisions of the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), a statute that provides remedies for injured workers, in order to provide similar remedies for seamen.

If an injured crewmember can prove negligence by the employer, then the injured worker may recover damages for pain, suffering, disability and future medical benefits.

Death on the High Seas Act (DOSHA)

The Death on the High Seas Act is a federal statute that creates a cause of action for a spouse, dependent or family member of an individual who has been killed on the high seas due to a wrongful act, negligence or disrepair. 46 U.S.C.A. § 30302. According to statute, the high seas are considered those beyond three nautical miles from the United States shore. Family members of deceased crew members may seek compensation for financial loss they have suffered due to the deaths of their loved ones. If multiple individuals have suffered losses, the court will apportion the amount of compensation in accordance to the amount of loss suffered by each individual. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one under DOHSA, you normally have three years from the time the death occurred to bring your claim for compensation.

Los Angeles Area Maritime Law Attorneys – Long Beach, CA Trial Lawyers

Maritime or admiralty law is federal law that differs significantly from the state laws governing personal injury claims. For injured seamen, claims under the Jones Act are not the same as typical workers’ compensation claims.

If you are the victim of a maritime accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. For a free consultation with an experience lawyer to discuss possible claims and your legal rights under maritime law, contact our Southern California Personal Injury law firm today.

Maritime Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Exceptional Representation in Maritime Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

The maritime law attorneys of Stolpman, Krissman, Elber & Silver represent passengers who were injured while aboard a boat, ship or other vessel and injured maritime workers who sustained on-the-job injuries. We also represent survivors of those who died a wrongful death due to negligence.

Our Maritime Injury Practice Includes:

  • Passengers: Whether you were injured on a neighbor’s sailboat, a Jet Ski, a ferry or an excursion boat, you may have the right to recover financial compensation for damages caused by negligence. Our maritime injury lawyers will review your case and determine whether you have a case. To learn more, please visit our boat accidents and injuries page.
  • Jones Act Injuries: Injured officers and crewmembers working aboard ships, boats and other types of vessels on navigable waters are entitled to compensation for lost wages from the time of the injury, medical expenses, pain, suffering, disfigurement and mental anguish. If negligence or the unseaworthiness of the vessel caused your injury, please contact our law firm.
  • Death on the High Seas Act: This law regulates the compensation of dependents of those who died a wrongful death while working on a vessel while it was three or more nautical miles off the coast of any American state or U.S. territory.
  • Longshoreman & Harbor Workers’ Claims: If you were injured while working as a longshoreman, harbor worker or stevedore, it is important to have an experienced maritime injury lawyer review your case to see that you are receiving all the benefits and compensation to which you are entitled.

Boating Accidents

We also represent those injured in recreational boating accidents caused by the negligence of others. We have obtained significant amounts of financial compensation for victims of boating accidents and the survivors of those who died a wrongful death. We also represent crew members and passengers injured aboard commercial vessels in maritime injury claims.

Whether you were injured in a boating collision involving a power boat, sail boat, Jet Ski or any other type of watercraft, you can depend on our legal team to pursue maximum financial compensation for the full extent of your injuries and other damages.

Contact the attorneys of Stolpman, Krissman, Elber & Silver, LLP, to arrange a free consultation about your maritime injury or wrongful death case. From offices in Long Beach, our lawyers represent clients in the Los Angeles area and throughout Southern California. We represent client injured on the Pacific Ocean and in Long Beach Harbor, Oakland Harbor, San Francisco Harbor and San Diego Harbor.

Suggested Reading:  Wrongful Death FAQs

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