The federal government has long understood that maritime workers work in intense environments that are of high risk for death and injury. Offshore workers employed in marine commerce live a challenging life that is often very difficult for others to understand. The high risk involved with their daily activities keeps them far away from traditional medical care in the event that a serious emergency occurs.
Because of that, the federal government has set up legal remedies to ensure that any ill or injured seaman receives the appropriate compensation and the necessary care following the injury. However, compensation is not always cut and dry. As a result, many offshore workers have had to hire maritime injury attorneys to find the recompense they are due.
The Jones Act
In 1920, the federal government passed the Merchant Marine Act, also recognized as the Jones Act[i]. It allows ill or injured offshore workers to find compensation when there is negligence on the part of their coworkers or employer while working on a vessel or oilrig. The law was enacted as a way to reflect the realities involved in maritime work and the high risk that is involved each day. A competent maritime injury attorney will file Jones Act litigation as a way to recover any due damages for both past injuries and losses, along with future earning capacity and adequate medical treatment.
An experienced maritime injury law attorney can help the offshore worker with their injury claim. This will ensure maximum recovery benefits of both maintenance and cure, as is guaranteed by the Jones Act. If the maintenance and care benefits are denied improperly by the employer, additional damages can be awarded including attorney fees.
It has long been known that employers will often try to take advantage of the dilemma experienced by an injured offshore worker when working at sea. This is the main reason that maritime injury law was developed.