North Carolina Jones Act Lawyers
Jones Act Cases
At the Rhine Law Firm P.C., our North Carolina maritime lawyers are committed to assisting injured seaman to seek full compensation for damages after an injury, or assisting families who have lost a loved one who died working in this industry. These cases are governed by maritime law, also called "Admiralty law."
Who Can File A Claim Under the Jones Act?
To be eligible for compensation under the Jones Act, the injured person must meet the minimum eligibility requirements to meet the legal definition of a "seaman." These requirements are that the injured person spent at least thirty percent of his or her work schedule serving offshore, and that his or her duties contributed to the functioning of a U.S. flagged vessel. Those who meet this eligibility criteria hold the right to file a personal injury claim under the Jones Act for injuries sustained while performing duties of offshore employment. The statute of limitations allows for three years from the date of injury or death in which to file a claim.
Maintenance and Cure Benefits Under the Jones Act
Those who meet the eligibility requirements under the Jones Act can file a claim for "maintenance and cure." The maintenance covers all medical costs, as well as any other medical need such as a prosthesis, medications, and ongoing treatment, as well as financial compensation for all basic living expenses over the period of recovery.
Negligence and Liability: Grounds for Filing a Claim in North Carolina
The Jones Act makes it possible for injured seaman to recover compensation when acts of negligence are established as having caused the injury or death. The types of negligent acts include the following:
- Failing to provide reasonably safe working conditions. These can include issues such as improperly maintained equipment, slippery or oily walking surfaces, the lack of proper equipment to safely perform duties, a failure to train, or a failure to require all crewmembers to follow safety rules while performing their duties.
- Reckless or extraordinarily unprofessional conduct: These are actions taken by another seaman or employee aboard the vessel that are exceptionally non-professional, when these actions resulted in an individual suffering injuries or death. This form of negligence can include a scope of highly unprofessional or reckless actions.
- Unseaworthiness of vessels that led to injuries or death. This form of negligence involves some type of condition on the vessel, equipment used on the vessel, or crew that was unfit for the intended purpose, and the injuries resulted from this specific unseaworthy factor.
- Deviations from ordinary course of conduct. If there are ordinary methods by which onboard duties are performed, and another seaman or crewmember deviated from those ordinary methods leading to injury or death of a seaman or crewmember, this is likely grounds for filing a claim under the Jones Act. These deviations include a wide range of actions that fall outside the ordinary course of conduct that when taken, led to injury or death.
- Failing to provide proper medical care after an injury. An injured seaman who has not been properly treated by medical personnel may have a condition worsened or die due to the lack of proper medical care.
- Requiring workers to perform dangerous duties or employ unsafe methods. If onboard personnel are asked to perform dangerous duties or use unsafe methods, the employer can be held liable for injuries sustained.
- Failing to warn seaman of known dangerous conditions aboard. All workers must be informed of known hazards aboard for their own protection, and the protection of others.
Get Help from a Professional Maritime Law Attorney
At the Rhine Law Firm, P.C. our North Carolina Jones Act lawyers are personally committed to seeking justice for injured seamen. We have a depth of knowledge of this complex body of law, and we are prepared to evaluate your case at no cost. Every case is given the full attention of our maritime law attorney, and you can expect personalized, individual care and service, from start to finish. We do not take our responsibility to our clients lightly – and we are hardworking, tenacious, and zealous in our legal work. Talk to us today – we are here to help you move forward, and see justice served.
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