Maritime workers in Miami who are injured on the job may seek worker’s compensation through the Jones Act, which is a federal law passed to protect workers on vessels in navigation. Before this Act was passed, seamen who were injured at work could only collect damages from the owner of a vessel for injuries, but they could not recover for negligent acts of the ship’s master, or crew. Under the Jones Act, crewmembers, captains, masters, officers, and other onboard vessel workers are covered, even if they work during the day and return home at night. The types of vessels where injuries occur in Miami include ferries, water taxis, cruise ships, casino ships, cargo ships, tugboats, barges, industrial fishing boats and other vessels where dangerous conditions cause injury requiring compensation. Contact an experienced accident attorney at the Law Offices of Orlando Murillo for a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation for injuries received while working on vessels in South Florida.
The Jones Act.
The United States Congress enacted the Jones Act in 1920 to allow enhanced damage recovery options for seamen who were trying to recover for negligence. It incorporated the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) which was passed to protect railroad workers, allowing maritime workers to recover compensation if they are injured because an employer failed to provide a safe place to work. The accident surroundings are not limited to the sea vessel, and could include the scope of work activities connected to the employer, including “room and board.”
A captain, or high-grade licensed mariner who holds ultimate command and responsibility of a merchant vessel is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of a ship, including its seaworthiness, safety and security, cargo operations, navigation, crew management, and legal compliance, and for the people and cargo on board. When a maritime worker is injured through the negligence of co-workers and/or employers, workers’ compensation can be sought after under The Jones Act. The “maintenance and cure” provision covers medical care, hospitalization, and rehabilitation, as well as a daily allowance to cover food and shelter for the injured worker.
Negligent acts may include the failure to maintain safe equipment and appliances, hiring incompetent crew members, failure to avoid violent weather, failure to provide adequate medical treatment and negligent supervision or instruction, resulting in injury.
Damages and timeline.
Damages include medical expenses, financial loss, mental anguish, disability, and funeral expenses, but will be specific to the individual case. In wrongful death claims, damages for pain and suffering that occurred prior to death are also able to be recovered. Legal action must be initiated within three years of the injury under the Jones Act.
Orlando R. Murillo, P.A., Law Offices
7350 SW 89th Street,
Toscano Building Suite 100
Miami, Florida 33156
Phone 24/7 – Cell: 305-439-7851