What Cruise Ship Employees Need to Know About the Jones Act
Federal law provides special protections for crew members who are injured while working on U.S. ships. This law, called the Jones Act, provides workers’ compensation for employees who are injured while serving as a crew member during their regular duties or due to some form of negligence.
Here are some basic facts cruise ship crew members should understand about the Jones Act:
Who is covered?
The Jones Act was created to provide compensation for injured seamen who have been assigned to a particular ship. This can include all manner of workers, including the captain, crew, entertainers, cooks, engineers, housekeepers, and other personnel.
What injuries are covered?
The Jones Act provides coverage for all manner of injuries aboard ship, including slips, trips, falls, burns, trauma, falling overboard, assault, sexual attacks, and injuries incurred as a result of other crew members.
What kind of payments can I receive?
Cruise ship employees are entitled to receive compensation for their injuries under the Jones Act, but also a stipend to make up for their lost income. Employees will often incur medical costs from their accident, but also experience pain and suffering, mental anguish, or post-traumatic stress. Your benefits should cover all necessary rehabilitation treatments, as well as a lifelong portion of your pay if you are disabled as a result of the accident.
Crew Members Can Also Seek Damages for Negligence
In addition to regular workers’ compensation, the Jones Act also allows crew members to file claims against a ship owner for dangerous or unseaworthy conditions aboard the ship. Cruise ship lines are required to make sure that their vessels are safe for both passengers and crew members, and a failure to protect against injury is grounds for a negligence claim. Crew members who were injured due to unsafe working conditions, poorly maintained equipment, improper employee training, lack of emergency provisions, or other negligent actions can get additional compensation from cruise ship owners.
Jones Act claims can be complex and frustrating for an injury victim, and there will be many forms to fill out and hoops to jump through before you can be awarded compensation. For this reason, it is vital to get as much information on maritime law as you can before accepting any amount from your employer. Please feel free to use our website to research your case, and learn more about compensation in Jones Act claims.