Jones Act Lawyers Serving Illinois and Beyond
Are you a Maritime worker injured on Illinois waterways and want to file for benefits under the Jones Act? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our Chicago, IL law firm is determined to hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence and can work on your behalf.
Without any cost to you, our firm will investigate and prosecute your case under the law most advantageous to your situation to ensure a positive outcome.
We invite you to contact a Jones Act attorney today at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form to begin an attorney-client relationship. Let's discuss your case and legal options for financial compensation through a claim.
Like all of our personal injury cases, Jones Act attorneys from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC handle maritime law cases on a contingency fee basis where there is no legal fee charged unless there is a financial recovery for a client.
What is the Jones Act (Merchant Marine Act of 1920)?
Injuries among crew members and merchant mariners were so prevalent in the early 20th century that Congress established the Jones Act, officially titled the American Merchant Marine Act of 1920. The Jones act (Merchant Marine Act) is a special Federal law passed to assist seamen in receiving financial compensation for their work-related injuries through their maritime employers.
Although the general maritime law was initially intended to protect merchant marines, the federal statute now typically covers a broad spectrum of injured 'seamen' who work on ships and other types of vessels on navigable waterways, including seas, lakes, rivers, or channels.
In Illinois, most of the Jones Act cases originate from accidents on the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan. Typically, Jones Act lawsuits are heard in the federal or state justice system and not in local courts.
The Jones Act and What It Covers
The Jones Act requires owners of commercial watercraft to provide well-maintained and safe vessels for their workers. Every part of the vessel must be maintained and seaworthy, meaning that the boat or sea vessel is free from defects and is in proper working order. Workers whose work-related injury claims will likely pay benefits under the Jones Act include:
- Merchant marines
- Harbor workers
- Boat officer
- Barge workers
- Tugboat workers
- River workers
- Cargo ship workers
- Offshore worker
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies most workers under maritime occupations.
The hazards of weather while out on the water add danger to what are often physically demanding jobs. In 2011, two out of every hundred workers in the maritime industry claimed damages. Many of these seaman's injuries were the result of employer negligence.
Since United States maritime workers can be classified under several types of jobs, it is difficult to gauge the extent of severe injuries, mental anguish, and fatalities related to those who work aboard or with water vessels. However, what is clear is that many maritime employees and coworkers in this field could use help from a Jones Act lawyer.
Unique Aspects of Injury Law That Apply to Injured Mariners
To recover for your injury-related damages from the shipowner or operator of a vessel under the Jones Act, you must establish that your damages were at least in part the fault of your employer. In other words, you must establish liability by establishing that a hazardous condition or other consequence of a negligent act on the sea vessel caused or contributed to the damages, like unseaworthiness.
Unlike other state workers and tradespeople hurt during their employment and can receive benefits under workers' compensation, the sole remedy for an injured sailor is to pursue a Jones Act lawsuit. Our Jones Act lawyers will build a case using the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act enacted to protect offshore workers.
Legal Benefits Under the Jones Act for Injured Maritime Workers
Once liability has been established against an employer, an injured seaman is entitled to temporary benefits known as Maintenance and Cure. Maintenance is a stipend paid to sailors who are taken out of their position by a physician due to their injuries.
A cure is a medical expense reimbursement for doctors, medical treatment, hospitals, medical bills, and prescriptions. Our Jones Act lawyers are experts on this subject and can help you learn more about pursuing a Jones Act claim involving maintenance and cure.
Further distinguishing Jones Act benefits from those typically afforded under workers' compensation, a seaman may be entitled to significant compensation for lost wages, disability, fringe benefits, and pain and suffering.
Jones Act seamen must have a lawyer on their side who understands the law and their legal right to obtain financial damages for their injuries.
When a maritime worker dies in an accident, his family has the right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit based on the maritime law that applies to their situation.
Jones Act (Maritime Worker) Injuries FAQs
Were you injured on navigable waters and need to file a compensation claim? Below are some frequently asked questions related to Jones Act cases involving injured seamen.
We appreciate that you may have additional questions. Consequently, we invite you to contact our law firm at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form for a free consultation with an experienced injury lawyer.
What Compensation is Available Under the Jones Act?
Years ago, the United States Congress passed the Jones Act Maritime Worker Federal law protecting import ships from the United States from foreign competition.
It granted Maritime sailors the legal right to file a civil lawsuit against their employers engaged in maritime commerce if they could prove "Jones Act negligence" that might show how the employer's negligence played a part in the victim's injuries or the vessel's unseaworthiness.
Victims can receive compensation under the Jones Act for injuries, lost wages, pain, and suffering. In addition, qualified seamen and crewmembers with a work-related injury or illness can receive benefits under the Jones Act under Maintenance and Cure.
What are the Most Common Types of Maritime Injuries?
A Maritime injury is a legal term where ship sailors were hurt while sailing on a vessel on America's navigable waterways. Typically, a Maritime sailor is not qualified to receive statewide Worker's Compensation benefits.
However, the law provides legal remedies to receive financial compensation for harm, injury, or preventable death caused by the negligent actions of their employer, shipowner, or coworkers. Some of the most common damages include broken bones, burns, TBIs, herniated discs, amputations, and scarring.
Which of the Following Acts Covers Injuries and Accidents for Maritime Workers?
Maritime seamen are part of the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act that provides financial compensation for any trauma occurring on navigable waters or near navigable waters.
Usually, the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act covers longshoremen and others loading and unloading ships arriving from foreign destinations.
What Claims Are Covered Under the Jones Act?
In 1920, Congress passed the Merchants Marine Act (Jones Act), which provides a legal remedy for Maritime sailors to file a civil lawsuit against employers for any injuries or accidents that occurred on the job. The Jones Act covers vessel workers performing duties on navigable waterways, including intercoastal waters, bays, lakes, and rivers.
A personal injury attorney handling a Jones Act case must prove that the negligence of the vessel owner, shipmaster, shipping company, or fellow Maritime worker or crewmember injured their client.
How Do I File a Jones Act Claim?
The Merchants' Maritime Act is a complicated process used by Maritime crew members injured on the job. Typically, a personal injury attorney will handle the case on behalf of their client to ensure that all work-related injury reports are filed within seven days.
The attorney will also obtain statements from the company's insurer and ensure that their client receives all necessary medical treatment to heal.
Finally, a claim can be filed against the company to ensure financial compensation. For example, a resolved claim could pay for hospitalization costs, medical expenses, time away from the job, mental anguish, anxiety and depression, pain-and-suffering.
Who Controls Maritime Law?
In 1789, the newly founded United States Congress enacted the Judiciary Act to strengthen Article 3, (2) of the U.S. Constitution regulating admiralty on the high seas, rivers, canals, and intercoastal waterways.
The federal government regulates all commercial trade, navigation, shipping, recreational boating, piracy, and towage on international and domestic waters. Many maritime rules date back to around 1160 A.D. where British admiralty courts controlled rules and regulations.
Hire the Best Chicago, IL Personal Injury Lawyers and Experts on the Jones Act
Are you a seaman injured in the course of your employment? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our Maritime injury attorneys can help you understand your rights. Additionally, our legal team can determine if you could pursue a potential third-party claim against a subcontractor or product liability lawsuit against a manufacturer who contributed to your injury.
If you were hurt in an accident on a vessel or dock in Illinois or lost a loved one in a maritime accident, receive the attention you deserve for your case from our maritime accident law firm instead of being treated like just another number at a large firm.
As with all of our personal injury cases, we offer a free consultation, and we would be honored to have the opportunity to discuss your potential maritime injury cases, and Jones Act claims with our experienced trial lawyers.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation and receive immediate legal advice.
Please do not send sensitive information to our law office through voicemail, email, or text message. All discussions with our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Resources for Victims Injured on Waterways and Boats in and Around Chicago, IL:
- Water Transportation Workers
- Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses
- Cruise Ship Regulations
- The Merchant Marine Act of 1920
While our personal injury law firm is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC trial attorneys consult with clients throughout Illinois in counties including Cook County, Madison County, McLean County.