A Legal Life Preserver For The Injured Seamen
Injuries are common, but maritime employees are not covered by workers’ compensation laws. Instead, the federal Jones Act allows seamen to sue their employers for personal injury. The families of seamen killed on the job can also sue under the Jones Act.
Seattle attorney Shane Carew is a powerful advocate for injured officers and crew members. He has a successful record with seaman’s personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits filed in Washington state and Alaska. Shane will fight for your full compensation, including medical and wage benefits.
“The sea has never been friendly to man. At most, it has been the accomplice of human restlessness.”
– Joseph Conrad
Are You Covered By The Jones Act?
The Jones Act (the Merchant Marine Act of 1920) was enacted as a remedy for sailors who often had no legal recourse if they were injured at sea. The act allows seamen to sue their employer, the ship’s owner or third parties for negligence resulting in injury or death.
A seaman is defined as anyone who (a) works as a crew member or captain of a ship or boat in navigation and (b) spends at least 30% of their work time aboard vessel. The boat does not have to be “at sea” at the time of the injury. The accident or injury could occur hundreds of miles offshore or while the ship is being towed in harbor or moored at dock.
What Compensation Can An Injured Seaman Get?
The Jones Act and general maritime law provide for two categories of compensation:
Wages, maintenance and cure: The employer pays for all medical treatment (cure) until you are as healed as much as possible. While you are off the job, the employer also pays for your necessary living expenses (maintenance), such as rent, utilities and food. Lastly, you are entitled to the wages you would have earned through the end of the voyage or the end of your contracted term of employment. Similar to workers’ comp, these benefits are guaranteed without regard to fault. You still may need a lawyer to force the employer to pay.
Personal injury damages: If the employer or vessel owner was negligent, they can be sued for additional compensation such as future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, permanent disability or disfigurement, and the pain and suffering you endured. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family can be compensated for the projected earnings of the deceased and loss of that loved one’s companionship, support and household contributions.
Employer negligence can take many forms: an unseaworthy vessel, broken machinery, safety hazards on deck, violation of safety regulations, inadequate training, failure to provide proper tools or equipment, or an assault or careless act by a fellow crew member. Proving liability and making the case for damages are where an experienced trial lawyer can make a real difference in your quest for compensation.
The Right Lawyer At The Helm Of Your Case
The Carew Law Office represents captains and crew (or their family members in wrongful death lawsuits) of seafaring vessels who were injured on the job. Shane Carew is an accomplished trial lawyer with 40 years of experience and a primary concentration in maritime and admiralty litigation.
Shane is skilled at identifying all liable parties and establishing how they caused or contributed to the injuries. He plays hardball with employers, owners and insurance companies that try to withhold benefits or undercut a seaman’s rightful compensation. To discuss your case with a proven advocate, call 206-536-3043 or use our online contact form.