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Employer Negligence Under the Jones Act

Posted in Get To Know Maritime Law on October 9, 2018

Offshore work is one of the most dangerous jobs in America and requires vessel owners to ensure the safest working conditions to diminish any potential risk to employees.

Unfortunately, some employers may skip out on providing the maintenance the vessel needs or avoid updating equipment as needed. This negligence can result in unsafe working conditions.

As a maritime worker, you should not have to suffer as a result of your employer’s negligence.

Seamen are protected by the Jones Act and the qualified Houston maritime lawyers at Lapeze & Johns, PLLC., can help you to get the compensation you deserve if you’ve been injured.

What is negligence?

It is considered to be negligence when an employer breaches what is known as Standard of Care. This means they are not able to take reasonable actions to avoid acts or omissions which they could reasonably foresee would likely injure an employee.

Therefore, negligence can be committed in two ways: by incorrect action or lack of action. Negligence by incorrect action would be making a decision knowing that this would put crew members in danger.

On the other hand, committing negligence by lack of action would be ignoring or skipping an action that could prevent the injury of a worker.

Negligence Under the Jones Act

Under the Jones Act, it is considered to be negligence when an employer is unable or unwilling to reach normal precaution standards that would help a worker avoid becoming injured.

The Jones Act has very strict requirements when it comes to vessel safety standards. Almost anything out of line could make the employer liable for an accident.

Some actions which could be considered negligence include:

  • Failure to maintain safety in the work area.
  • Not warning employees of danger.
  • Vessel not complying with OSHA standards.
  • Not providing assistance to an injured worker.
  • Lying to seamen.
  • Plot course through dangerous waters and hazards.
  • Ordering seamen to take dangerous actions.
  • Ordering workers to do work they are not trained for.

Whatever the negligent behavior is, it is important to collect proof of it after the incident. If you have been injured:

  • Get help immediately; you have the right to be taken back to shore to receive medical care.
  • Request a medical report that documents the injuries suffered from the incident.
  • Take pictures of the scene of the accident, if possible.
  • Try to get statements from witnesses.

Most importantly, get a maritime lawyer who can guide you through the dark waters of maritime law.

With over 30 combined years of experience helping maritime workers along the Gulf Coast, you can put your trust in the hands of our professional offshore lawyers. Contact us today at (713)739-1010 to schedule a free case review.