For many offshore workers, they are surprised to learn that they are not covered by workers’ compensation like they thought. Learn how the Jones Act will affect their case and how it can ultimately benefit them.
The Jones Act has been around for nearly a 100 years. It’s an old federal law. Most lawyers have never heard of it. Certainly a lot of our clients who are injured suddenly discover that they don’t have worker’s comp, that they’re governed by the Jones Act. What does that mean? The Jones Act is actually very favorable to injured workers.
If you get hurt and you are subject to the Jones Act, you have three things that are really working in your favor. One is that you get something called maintenance. Maintenance means you get enough money every week or every month, depending on how it’s calculated, to make sure that you’ve got lodging over your head, that they’re not going to take away your house or your light bill, that you’ve got enough money for food while you’re getting better, and that you can still make your truck payments.
The other thing you get under the Jones Act is something called cure, which is making sure that your medical bills are taken care of. Your employer is responsible for making sure that you get to see the very best doctors and that you don’t get stuck with the bills while you’re getting better.
Unfortunately, a lot of times, the Jones Act employers, companies that employ offshore workers, don’t do what they’re supposed to do under the law. They don’t pay the maintenance, they don’t pay that cure, which brings you to the third advantage of the Jones Act—it gives you some pretty good choices of where you can bring a case.
So if your employer is not paying your medical bills, if they’re not giving you a living wage while you’re recovering, you probably ought to contact Kurt or I [Jason]. We can tell you if you have a case, we can help navigate the process and hold the responsible companies accountable for what they’ve done.
Maritime workers can experience catastrophic accidents involving lifeboats.