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Sailors Can File Both Jones Act and Negligence Claims After Catwalk Accidents

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“I give you no B.S. straight forward answers to your Jones Act seaman questions in simple, easy to understand English, that everyone can understand. No legal mumbo-jumbo, lawyer talk.”  Jones Act Lawyer - Bill Turley

Jones Act Lawyer Straight Talk

The First Step

When handling your Jones Act Case, you must always tell the truth. Nothing is more important then your credibility. If a judge assumes you are being dishonest, your case will be thrown out and you will be left with nothing. I have seen it happen to many people.

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Jones Act Catwalk / Walkway Injuries

After you become injured at sea, you will likely want to collect as much as you can to pay for the costs of your accident. Under Oil Rig Walkway With the Ocean in the Backgroundthe Jones Act, sailors are guaranteed to collect funds for healthcare, food, and lodging (called maintenance and cure) as they recover.

A fall from a catwalk or walkway can cause significant injuries, including head trauma, broken bones, and a permanent restriction on future working ability. In cases of serious injuries, sailors are entitled to file an unseaworthiness claim against the company or person who owns the vessel in addition to collecting maintenance and cure. These claims state that the condition of the vessel was partly to blame for the accident, such as if the walkways were damaged or not up to code.

Here are a few ways catwalk and walkway accidents could lead to a Jones Act claim:

  • Tripping or slipping on wet, uneven, or poorly-lighted walkways
  • Falls or injuries due to being thrown from the catwalk
  • Injuries due to catwalk collapse
  • Falls due to lack of guardrails on walkways
  • Lacerations from warped or badly-repaired grating on walkways
  • Falls due to use of improper catwalks, including boards or ladders used to bridge gaps or cross hatch openings

There is one more way a seaman can file a claim after an injury aboard ship. If the actions of your employer contributed to your injury, you could file a Jones Act negligence claim. Examples of employer negligence include failure to fix broken walkways or a failure to train employees how to secure moveable walkways to prevent shifting during use.

Jones Act Negligence Is a Two-Way Street

It is important to understand that employers can also claim negligence on the part of a seaman. For instance, if you fell off a catwalk while intoxicated, your employer may claim that you were partly at fault for causing your injuries. The amount you receive in a negligence claim will depend on which party (you or your employer) is found to be most at fault for the accident. While your own negligence will not prevent you from filing a claim against your employer, it can significantly reduce the amount of damages you are awarded.

For more information on filing a Jones Act injury claim, read through our quick guide to Jones Act benefits or use our website to learn how to investigate the circumstances of your accident.

Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley

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