If you are a worker on a commercial fishing boat, it is likely that you spend the majority of your time in your shift working on navigable waters. This means that if you become injured, you will not be covered by standard workers’ compensation laws that are applicable to most workers in the United States.
As an injured worker on a fishing boat, you’ll still need to gain medical attention, and you’ll probably lose wages during the time you take off work to recover. Therefore, it’s important that you still look into your options for claiming back these damages. To do this, you will need to understand the Jones Act.
What is the Jones Act and how does it apply for injured fishing boat workers?
The Jones Act makes it possible for workers who are injured at sea to claim back damages for the lost wages and medical costs. However, the laws under the Jones Act are not exactly the same as workers’ compensation law.
The biggest difference is that workers’ compensation awards injured workers compensation regardless of fault. Under the Jones Act, however, an injured worker must show that their employer was at fault for their injury.
Additionally, under the Jones Act employees have the right to sue their employer for the pain and suffering caused. Under workers’ compensation law, employees do not have the right to do this.
If you were injured as a commercial fishing boat worker, you may be entitled to significant financial damages under the Jones Act. Therefore you should not hesitate to look into your possibilities to hold your employer liable.