In New York and across the United States, sea workers need to be aware of the potential for injuries and loss of life while on a ship. That goes beyond the duties that seamen must complete when they are on the job and extends to unpredictable factors like the weather. In recent years, storms and hurricanes seem to have increased in frequency and intensity. With that, those who are stationed at sea are at greater risk of injury if mistakes are made in avoiding storm-ravaged waters and safety procedures are not in place to mitigate the danger. Understanding how the Jones Act can be used to seek compensation is crucial.
Worker injured during recent hurricane files lawsuit based on Jones Act
Hurricane Ida in August did significant damage. One worker who was injured when his ship was caught during the hurricane has filed a lawsuit based on the Jones Act. He is suing both the operator and the charterer. According to him, there was a failure to appropriately protect the crew and the ship from possible damage due to the hurricane. The man’s ship was drilling a well when the storm was forming. It left the area – near the Mississippi River Delta – to avoid its path. However, it did run into problematic weather and was damaged.
There were nine injuries among crewmembers. Four needed to be taken ashore by medevac. The injured crewmember who is filing the claim said winds and swells were significant. The ship was navigated perilously close to the eye of the hurricane and nearly capsized from the weather. The man says that the operator and charterer should have been aware of the potential dangers and taken steps to steer clear of the storm. Instead, it continued and ignored the forecast. According to the injured worker, this was the catalyst for his injuries.
Those injured at sea should understand their rights under the Jones Act
The Jones Act is in place to give sea workers the right to file a claim against employers when they are injured due to negligence. If the lack of care in keeping the ship away from a dangerous situation caused injuries, it might be the basis for a legal filing. Given the problems workers can face after an accident with medical costs, lost time on the job and issues with returning to do the same type of work as before, it is imperative to know the available options. Any sea worker who is injured should have assistance with determining how to file a claim under the Jones Act. Consulting with those experienced in these cases can be critical.