Guiding Injured Seamen Seeking Claims From Employers

Injured seamen gain certain benefits under the Jones Act. In general, injuries suffered while in service to a ship in navigable waters are covered, regardless of whether those injuries occurred at sea or while performing work-related duties on land. However, ship owners and operators aren't always forthcoming with accurate information about claims under the Jones Act. This is when you need an aggressive and experienced legal ally.

The Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A., of Gulf Breeze, Florida, has more than four decades of experience representing seamen in personal injury claims under the Jones Act. As your lawyer, Mr. Merting asserts your rights to protect your job and ensure your employer provides accurate information that does not compromise your claim. In cases involving negligence from a ship's owner or operator, we seek additional damages to cover long-term disability needs and pain and suffering. Contact our law firm now for a free consultation at 866-416-4412.

The Entitlements Of Injured Seamen

Seamen are entitled to benefits under general maritime law, regardless of whether or not a ship's owner or operator was at fault. These benefits can be if the crew person "falls ill while in the service of the ship." However, such payments also are available for:

  • Transportation: Costs associated with transport to a medical care facility. This includes ambulances, helicopters and other means of transportation. Repatriation expenses to return the seaman to his home are eligible, too.
  • Maintenance: Injured seamen are entitled to the value of what their daily food and shelter costs would have been if not injured.
  • Cure: The owner or operator of a ship must pay for an injured seaman's medical expenses until he or she has returned to maximum medical improvement. Health care costs could include expenses related to medical equipment, prescription drugs, physical therapy, emergency room treatment, in-home nursing care and other costs related to medical treatment.

Shipping companies realize that an injured employee costs them money. As a result, it's not unheard of for an employer to misinform injured seamen of the benefits available to them in the hopes they will quit or agree to not file a claim. If your employer tries to tell you that you can only see a company-approved doctor, or that a company nurse must accompany you to your doctor's appointments, they are misinforming you.

Likewise, your supervisor may tell you they need to interview you to file a report. After listening to your story, they may change certain details or add others and then ask you to sign the statement without giving you adequate time to carefully review it. In each instance, the company is looking for anything they can use to deny your claim or place the blame on you for causing an accident.

We Have The Experience; We Can Help

Protecting your job and your rights are critical. And if injured in a maritime accident, don't blindly follow the directions of your employer. They will not be looking out for you. When you need an experienced and knowledgeable maritime lawyer to advocate for you, we can assist. The Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A., of Gulf Breeze, Florida, is an effective law firm that has more than 40 years of experience with seaman's claims. If you have questions about what your employer has told you or if you are in the process of filing a claim, contact us for a free consultation with an attorney at 866-416-4412.