Merchant mariners injured on the job may think that they are only able to recover the limited benefits in state workers’ compensation programs that don’t provide adequate payments after a workplace accident. If you work as a merchant mariner, you may be entitled to claim benefits as a Jones Act maritime law seaman. A merchant mariners attorney in Houston at Richard J. Plezia & Associates can review your injury case and employment background. Qualifying for Jones Act coverage provides significant personal injury benefits.
Merchant Mariner Qualifying for Jones Act Coverage
Before seeking damages under the Jones Act, a maritime worker must qualify for coverage. The following conditions must be met:
- Considered a seaman by working as a crewmember or captain
- Working on a vessel in navigation
- Contributing to the work of the vessel
- Working the required amount of time
It is required that at least 30% of your total employment time be spent on a vessel in navigation. A vessel is considered to be in navigation if the ship is used for interstate or foreign commerce in an ocean, bay, or gulf system. Even the rivers connected to these waters can qualify your vessel as being in navigation.
The merchant mariners attorney team in Houston at Richard J. Plezia & Associates can review your employee profile and determine if the federal Jones Act can be used to recover damages from your injury accident. Consultations with our attorney team are free of charge.
Recovery of Damages for Merchant Mariners
Merchant mariners that qualify for Jones Act coverage are eligible for monetary recovery of the “Big Three” – medical, lost wages, and mental anguish. These damages are designed to compensate you for the physical, mental, and financial hardships you suffered as a result of personal injury.
- Medical Damages. This includes past and future medical expenses that stem from the injury. Medical bills for surgery, rehabilitation, hospital stays, and pain management could be covered.
- Lost Wages. If your merchant mariner injury precludes you from working during your recovery, you should be paid your lost wages. Allowances can be calculated for a reduced workload caused by the injury.
- Mental Anguish. Also known as pain and suffering, this category of personal injury damages encompasses all of the emotional hardships that you endure in the aftermath of an accident.
Merchant Mariners Attorney Houston
The Richard J. Plezia & Associates merchant mariners attorneys maintain a two-part focus of your personal injury case. First, we protect your rights as an injured merchant mariner. Our Jones Act attorneys are experienced in representing Houston area maritime workers who have been the victims of negligent workplace practices. Second, we demand justice and accountability for the negligent actions that caused your injuries. Employers that fail to provide a safe working environment should pay for your resulting damages. Contact Richard J. Plezia & Associates for a free consultation with a maritime attorney on the facts of your case.