How a Florida Jones Act Lawyer Can Help

A Florida Jones Act lawyer can help you if you’re an injured seaman. It’s important to talk to an attorney who can help you understand your rights, build your case, and get the compensation you deserve and to which you are entitled.

An experienced maritime and admiralty lawyer can explain the intricacies of the Jones Act and how it applies to your specific situation. This includes determining if you qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act and whether your injury or your loved one’s death meets the criteria for compensation. The requirements of the Jones Act can be complex, and legal assistance can guide you to understanding.

Areas We Serve

The Jones Act applies to workers on vessels, boats, and rigs on the water. We handle cases statewide from our home office in Tampa. Some of the cities we serve include, but are not limited to:

  • Clearwater
  • St. Petersburg
  • Ft. Lauderdale
  • Bradenton
  • Key West
  • Brandon
  • Orlando
  • Sarasota
  • Boca Raton
  • Lakeland
  • Naples
  • Fort Myers
  • Cape Coral
  • Miami
  • West Palm Beach
  • Jacksonville

Understanding Jones Act Lawsuits

There are multiple elements of a Jones Act injury claim that you should be aware of. You must be a seaman who was injured due to employer negligence, and you must be able to prove your damages. A Jones Act lawyer can help you navigate these complex claims.

Who Is Covered by the Jones Act?

To be covered by the Jones Act, you must be assigned to a “vessel,” and your job must contribute to the main mission of that vessel. Most workers on a vessel fit that definition, including, but not limited to:

  • Captains and crew members
  • Drillers, roughnecks, tool pushers, derrickmen, mud engineers, deck engineers, and company men
  • OIM (Offshore Installation Managers)
  • Tankermen and barge workers
  • Ordinary seamen, able-bodied seamen, mates
  • Cooks and galley hands
  • Other supporting jobs
  • Cruise ship entertainers

Passengers on cruise ships, and non-working members of vessels are not covered under the Jones Act.

Proving Negligence in a Jones Act Claim

A Jones Act claim is similar to a Florida personal injury case in that you must prove negligence and liability. Negligence indicates that your employer (or someone working on their behalf, such as a coworker) did not act as a reasonable person would in a similar situation.

Some examples of negligence in a Jones Act claim include, but are not limited to:

Additionally, to demonstrate liability under the Jones Act, you must show that the negligence caused your injuries and that you have damages as a result of the negligence.

Damages in Jones Act Cases

You can obtain compensation and benefits covered under the Jones Act, including loss of earnings, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages may apply, depending on the circumstances.

Loss of Earnings

Loss of earnings covers more than lost wages in a Jones Act claim. It also covers future earning capacity loss, which includes the likelihood of pay raises and occupational advancements. It can be difficult to determine future loss of earnings. Working with a financial or economic expert to estimate these numbers is often necessary.

Medical Expenses

The Jones Act covers past, present, and future medical expenses, as well as travel expenses to doctor’s appointments. Future medical cost estimates often require careful examination of medical records and the opinion of medical experts and financial professionals.

Pain and Suffering

Under the Jones Act, you can recover compensation for mental anguish and physical pain. This includes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mental conditions that develop because of the injury, and more. No set guideline determines how much you can get for pain and suffering. Your Jones Act attorney can help you maximize the amount you can get for these damages.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages do not compensate you for losses. Instead, they punish the wrongdoer for particularly negligent or reckless actions. Federal courts have held that punitive damages are allowed in Jones Act cases where employers are found to break their duty willfully and recklessly in providing a seaworthy vessel to employees.

Seaman with a Jones Act Claim? Call WMW Today

The Jones Act protects seamen on U.S. ships and rigs who do not have other options to recover compensation after an injury. However, it’s important to get legal advice from a trusted Florida Jones Act lawyer who can guide you through a claim. Our attorneys understand federal maritime and admiralty laws, and we make them work in your case.

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