Jones Act Seamen Injuries

Sandusky Jones Act Injury Attorneys

Representing Seamen Injured While on Lake Erie

Did you know that maritime workers and seamen are capable of pursuing benefits and compensation through the Jones Act for any injury that happened while working aboard or in the service to a vessel in navigable waters, such as Lake Erie? The same is true if an injury happens while inland but still during the service of a watercraft. However, employers often try to convince injured seamen that they must accept workers’ compensation benefits that bring minimal financial allowances and no compensation for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering.

At Murray & Murray in Sandusky, Ohio, we believe in the importance of preserving and upholding the rights of the wrongfully injured in all career fields, including maritime work. If you were hurt while working on a vessel on Lake Erie, then we can help you use your rights under the Jones Act to pursue full damages beyond lost wages and initial medical care. If your employer is trying to undervalue your damages, or if they are even trying to get you to return to work before you are ready, please call us at (419) 664-3711 right away.

Our Sandusky Jones Act injury lawyers offer free initial consultations to inquiring clients.

Damages You Can Receive Through the Jones Act

A typical workers’ compensation claim will provide a portion of your missing wages and the cost of medical treatments that the responding insurance company deems necessary. Oftentimes, the benefits are not enough to make a significant positive impact on your finances. To get an appropriate amount of compensation and coverage, you should explore your rights provided to you by the Jones Act.

Under the Jones Act, you can get the following benefits regardless of liability:

  • Maintenance: A daily allowance equal to what it would have cost your employer to feed, house, and generally care for you while you were aboard their ship had you never suffered your injury.
  • Cure: Payment for all medical expenses until you are deemed to have recovered to a maximum state of health or made a maximum medical improvement (MMI). Initial medical treatments, hospitalization, physical therapy, and prescription drug expenses are all included in cure payments. Usually, benefits through “cure” are better than what an insurance company allows in a workers’ compensation claim.

Perhaps the most important distinction, though, comes in the form of noneconomic damages. When using the Jones Act as an injured seaman seeking compensation, you can cite your own pain, suffering, and emotional trauma as viable damages. Depending on the extent and severity of your injuries, the noneconomic damages in your claim could be far more significant than the economic damages like lost wages and medical bills.

Additional Damages Due to Unseaworthiness

When a vessel is deemed unseaworthy, it means it is in a state of disrepair caused by its owner’s negligence. Unseaworthiness can be caused by a safety violation, poorly maintained equipment or even an improperly trained crew. However, a vessel can still be sailable while it is considered unseaworthy. It is merely unreasonably safe for crew and others aboard.

If you were hurt while on an unseaworthy vessel, you might be able to demand additional damages beyond maintenance and cure, like:

  • Cost of medical treatments you are predicted to require
  • Lost earning potential due to debilitations
  • Additional disability benefits

In this way, damages in an unseaworthy vessel accident claim can be reflective of punitive damages. That is to say, the owner of an unseaworthy vessel can be further penalized for their egregious negligence that unfairly put passengers and crew in harm’s way.

You Have the Right to Choose Your Doctor

It is not uncommon for some companies to try and control what hospital or doctor their injured employees see for medical treatment. A company nurse might even be sent to accompany you during your medical exam. The company’s goal is minimizing its financial liability and losses by controlling who you see, or by twisting information related to your diagnosis. However, there is nothing in the Jones Act that requires injured workers to see company appointed healthcare providers or be accompanied by a company nurse.

Our attorneys from Murray & Murray make sure you are seen and treated by doctors and health care providers of your own choosing. We remind employers of HIPAA requirements, preventing them from sending a nurse with you to your doctor’s visit. We are also ready to review any documents or statements that your company asks you to sign to ensure you do not sign away your rights or endorse a statement that is inaccurate concerning the cause and nature of your injuries.

Reliable Representation for Local Seamen

Our Jones Act and maritime attorneys in Sandusky understand the complicated nature of maritime law and how unseaworthy vessels pose an unreasonable danger to crewmembers. We are prepared to hear your claim after you have been hurt while performing work on or for a vessel on Lake Erie. With local medical experts and investigators backing us, we are ready to take the legal fight to any employer or insurance company who would rather save their profits than care for your wellbeing.

Start your Jones Act claim today. Just dial (419) 664-3711 when you need us.

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