Jones Act & Unseaworthiness Claims
As an injured seaman, you could be eligible for compensation under either the Jones Act or general maritime law, depending upon whether someone else’s negligence or an unseaworthy vessel caused your injury. These are legally complicated claims, requiring the help of a lawyer experienced in this area of law.
Michael J. Schneider, founding attorney of the Law Offices of Michael J. Schneider, has spent more than 45 years representing the interests of injured clients in Anchorage and throughout the state of Alaska. In that time, he has handled many Jones Act and maritime law claims. He knows the nuances of the law and he knows how to help you obtain full and fair compensation for the injuries and losses you have suffered.
Alaska Maritime Injury Lawyer Helping Injured Seamen And Fishermen
General maritime law says that seamen are entitled to be put to work on seaworthy vessels. If a vessel, it’s equipment or its crew are unseaworthy, working that vessel is considered a form of negligence. These claims are not available to tourists and other vessel passengers, but, for seamen, personal injury or wrongful death claims that result from that voyage can be compensated.
Examples of unseaworthiness include:
- Missing safety equipment on a fishing boat
- Broken equipment or nonfunctioning equipment
- Noncompliance with safety standards
- Inadequate or poorly trained crew
- Incompetence of the captain
- Vessel instability
If you suffered injuries in a maritime accident in Alaska, you may be able to file a claim in either state or federal court. Anchorage Jones Act Attorney Michael J. Schneider is licensed to practice law in both.
Let A Maritime Injury Attorney Help
It’s the job of your maritime injury attorney to help you get ALL of the compensation you are due under the law. Whether that means proving the extent of your injuries and the value of medical treatment or proving that negligence or unseaworthiness caused your injuries, the Law Offices of Michael J. Schneider, A Professional Corporation, can help.
For more than 45 years, maritime injury lawyer Michael J. Schneider has been fighting for the rights of injured Alaska fishermen, crabbers, deckhands and seamen to get full and fair compensation. If you have questions about the money you may be entitled to after an injury, contact our Anchorage law office for a free consultation.
Your Compensation Under General Maritime Law For “Unseaworthiness”
Under general maritime law, you are entitled to “maintenance” (reasonable cost of room and board while you are recuperating from injuries) and “cure” (all medical care required to reach maximum cure), and unearned wages until end of voyage. You do not need to prove that anyone was at fault or negligent, only that you were a member of the crew and were injured. Other harms and losses can be recovered, much like under the Jones Act (see below) if unseaworthiness can be proved.
Your Compensation Under The Jones Act
The Jones Act allows seamen to sue their employers if negligence caused or contributed to their injuries. Under the Jones Act, an injured seaman can recover payment for medical care, loss of income, out-of-pocket expenses, past, present and future pain and suffering, disfigurement, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, future medical expenses and future loss of earnings.
It seems like it should be easy to get the money you are due under the law, but that is not always the case. The insurance company may say that further medical treatment is not going to “cure” your condition, so it refuses to pay for it. Your employer may argue that the ship owner, captain or crew members were not negligent in causing your injuries, so you shouldn’t be eligible to seek damages under the Jones Act. The vessel owner and its insurance company will say that the vessel was seaworthy.
Get The Legal Help You Need
It costs you nothing to speak with a highly qualified lawyer. If you become a client of our firm, you will owe nothing unless and until we collect compensation for you.