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Seamen often work in risky environments that place their personal safety in jeopardy. Often, these intrepid workers are unaware of their rights and the laws that ensure their safety and protect their livelihood, should they experience injury or worse during their daily work. The legal protection they are afforded to ensure that they function seamlessly in their duties.
Special rights and remedies are afforded to crew members who fulfill the requirements of seaman status, though not every maritime work qualifies for this designation. For example, a seaman can apply for protection under the Federal Statute known as the ‘Jones Act’. At the same time, the Theories of Strict Liability is not applicable to a shore-side employee. These types of employees are ineligible for suing their employers based on the protections provided under the Workman Compensation Act.
However, a seaman covered under the Jones Act is eligible for an additional claim for unseaworthiness against a yacht or ship-owner. Under the purview of an unseaworthiness claim, a Jones Act seaman is eligible to file a legal suit just simply for the existence of dangerous conditions that may precipitate an injury. This will make the yacht or ship-owner legally responsible for this risk and any resulting injury or damage. Additionally, the Jones Act ensures other special rights for protecting seamen against the risks that arise during the course of their duties onboard a ship.
A seaman can file a boating legal suit against his employer or shipowner covered under the mandates of the Jones Act, including negligence, unworthiness, unpaid wages, breach of contract, and wrongful discharge from employment, among other legal claims.
For initiating a legal claim under these protections, you should entrust a legal professional in Florida to organize and present your case, thereby reducing the risk of your claim being thrown out on a legal technicality. Having your case dismissed prematurely may well cost you dearly in legal fees and compensation lost as well as eroding your ability to protect your livelihood in the long run.
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If you or a loved one has been injured or died due to a boating accident or a personal watercraft accident and would like to learn more about your legal rights.
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