Jones Act Lawyer Seattle
- You Deserve an Attorney Familiar With How the Jones Act Affects You
- Qualifying for a Jones Act Claim
- Negligence Defined Under the Jones Act
- Compensation Under the Jones Act Differs From Maintenance and Cure Benefits
- Common Maritime Accidents in Jones Act Suits
- Learn About Your Rights Under the Jones Act From Our Lawyers
Maritime workers are a crucial part of Seattle’s economy. From commercial fishermen to marine construction workers and tugboat operators, the Jones Act protects those injured on vessels. If you live in Seattle and were hurt while working in Alaska or on Alaskan waters (such as Bristol Bay), our Seattle Jones Act lawyers can explore all compensation options.
Contact Herschensohn Law today at (206) 588-4344 to learn more during a free evaluation.
Understanding the law after any accident is challenging for a layperson. For those working at sea, determining who is liable after a personal injury is sometimes even more difficult. Our maritime accident lawyers have experience with these cases and can explain how the law applies to you.
Translating legal terms is just one facet of the representation we offer. We can also help you understand:
- Your options for compensation
- The steps in the process of filing and building a case
- Our strategy for representing you in negotiations and court
- The timeline of your case, including the statute of limitations
- Evidence used to bolster our argument for damages
- Any nuances, specific laws, or unique regulations that apply
- How to get in touch with us to stay updated on the progress of your case
You should never feel like you don’t know what is happening in your case. We are dedicated to taking the uncertainty out of your Jones Act injury claim.
Maritime workers have a few different options for financial compensation if they were injured on the job. While many options cover medical bills and lost wages, most don’t cover all recoverable damages. The Jones Act allows injured seamen to sue negligent employers and vessel owners for all their damages.
Workers who qualify as seamen under the Jones Act include:
- Those who spend at least 30% of their working time on a vessel
- Those whose vessel is “in navigation,” (i.e., capable of movement even if it is stationary)
- Those who contribute to the work and operation of their vessel
These guidelines can be difficult to interpret. Our team can determine if you meet these qualifications. We advocate for Jones Act claimants whose work involves:
- Commercial fishing boats
- Marine construction on crane barges
- Crab or shrimp boats
- Cruise ships
Determining whether you qualify for a Jones Act claim can be difficult. Allow our team to assess your eligibility for a Jones Act claim even if you think you are ineligible. Here are some examples of people who may qualify:
- Someone who received voluntary (not formal) payments under the Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) (Our founder, Zach Herschensohn, handled the appellate case that decided this, Gibson v. American Construction Company)
- Someone who received a settlement that did not formally adjudicate their seaman status
- Someone who was working as a longshoreman and suffered injuries due to vessel negligence, per 33 U.S.C. Chapter 18 § 905(b)
- Workers who have received or are currently receiving benefits whose eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis (known as twilight workers)
- Fishing company employees who are eligible for or are currently receiving Alaska workers’ compensation benefits
- Someone who is unaware they are working on a vessel
Maritime law is ornate and complex. If you’re confused about your eligibility, it may benefit you to speak with an attorney from our firm.
But why? Those who defend negligent employers and vessel owners in Jones Act cases are experienced in turning the narrative against injured employees. You deserve an advocate who can make this process easier and protect your right to compensation from intimidating legal teams.
“Very knowledgeable and trustworthy. Zach Herschensohn provided me with excellent service. He kept me well informed and explained complicated issues in a way I could understand. He took the lead and guided me through everything necessary to achieve a successful outcome. Overall, I am very pleased with his service and would highly recommend him to anyone.”
“Herschensohn Law worked by my side for almost four years when I was in an auto accident and were outstanding in everything they did! They went above and beyond to make my lawsuit as easy and stress free as possible for me while consistently showing genuine care for my wellbeing. They even recommended amazing health care professionals for my injuries! Anything/everything I may have been confused/concerned about was addressed/explained so I felt comfortable with each move made in my lawsuit. Professional, courteous and attentive are just a few words I would use to describe this law firm and although I hope to never be in a similar situation again - if I do, Herschensohn Law will be my first call!”
“Zach and his team performed beyond my expectations! I couldn't have had a better firm in my corner!”
“This was such a great experience.”
“Zach will always take time and give you quality advice that you can trust. Highly recommended!”
As with every job, maritime workers expect their employers to provide reasonably safe working environments. When an employer fails to maintain safe conditions on a vessel, they could be liable under the Jones Act.
Here are some examples of employer negligence:
- Inadequately maintaining equipment
- Failing to replace or repair broken equipment
- Failing to identify and repair hazards
- Not providing adequate equipment or safety devices
- Hiring unqualified crew members
- Inadequately training the crew
- Allowing violence among the crew
Many of the above examples fall under a category of employer negligence referred to as “unseaworthiness,” meaning that the employer failed to provide a seaworthy vessel.
Compensation under the Jones Act is more comprehensive than the compensation you can receive through Alaska workers’ compensation, LHWCA claims, or maintenance and cure benefits. A Jones Act claim could entitle you to additional damages, like pain and suffering compensation.
This means you could demand compensation for:
- Physical and emotional pain
- Mental anguish
- Lost mobility
- Physical or cognitive impairment
- Lost independence
- Lost quality of life
Our Jones Act lawyers from Herschensohn Law will talk with you about your personal suffering, so we can demand an appropriate amount from the negligent party or parties. We want to fight for financial recovery that will help to lessen these negative effects on your life.
We can help you seek compensation for past, present, and future losses associated with your accident. The other party might try to rush a settlement to close the case, but we take the time to make a comprehensive catalog of your losses, including projected damages.
You Could Be Eligible for Professional Damages After a Serious Injury
Receiving compensation for treatment and rehabilitation is important, but you must also consider your injuries’ toll on your job. Your injury may have prevented you from returning to work temporarily or even permanently. More than just reimbursing lost income, your damages could include consideration for if you can’t return to a maritime job at all. We can pursue compensation for:
- Taking a lower-paying position at your company
- Training at a new job that accommodates your injury
- Taking time off because you cannot work at all
- Being rendered unable to maintain meaningful employment
For instance, reduced earning capacity is a lesser-known category of professional damages. This compensation acknowledges that you can no longer earn the same salary or wages you did prior to the accident.
Our firm can work with vocational experts, economists, and actuaries to identify the state of your work ability. We will fight for career compensation if necessary.
How Long You Have to File Under the Jones Act
According to 46 U.S.C. § 30106, you generally have three years to pursue a lawsuit for an injury. Our Jones Act lawyers serve Seattle maritime workers by using this time period to build a case, so do not wait to get help. Three years may seem like a long time, but it goes quickly.
What Is Maintenance and Cure?
As long as you did not intentionally try to hurt yourself, you could qualify for maintenance and cure payments. These no-fault payments are meant to maintain your current standard of living by covering day-to-day living expenses and cure your current condition by paying medical bills up to the point of maximum medical improvement.
In other words, you could receive wage and medical benefits, even if you contributed to your injuries in some way.
The Jones Act covers various injuries associated with working on a maritime vessel. You don’t have to suffer a specific injury to pursue a case. You could have grounds for a suit against your employer if you suffered from any of the following:
- Slip and falls
- Struck by object
- Diving accidents
- Drowning or near-drowning
- Equipment failures
- Mechanical malfunctions
Some of these are very common. Among the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s most frequently cited safety standard violations are lack of fall protection, lack of respiratory, eye, and face protection, lack of communication about hazards, and failures related to machinery.
For example, poor safety precautions for machinery can cause fires, explosions, or electrocutions. Puddles, uneven flooring, or lack of railings can lead to falls, the top cause of traumatic brain injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This negligence provides maritime workers like you with grounds for pursuing a case under the Jones Act. If your accident is not listed here, our team can examine your case and identify other forms of negligence at play.
“Zach will always take time and give you quality advice that you can trust. Highly recommended!”
If you are a Seattle resident who was hurt while working in Alaskan or Seattle waters or while aboard an Alaskan vessel, our Jones Act lawyers from Herschensohn Law can help you pursue the compensation you deserve under the law. Contact our firm today at (206) 588-4344 for more details.
Our results speak for themselves
After a worker was electrocuted on a construction site and suffered life-changing injuries, we fought and won on their behalf.
When a retired man was killed in a truck accident, we made sure his grieving family got fair compensation.
When a defective medical device harmed our client, we fought to ensure they had the financial compensation needed to recover.
Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details
When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.
When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.