When you live in Tennessee and make your living on the water, you face a heightened chance of suffering a serious, potentially life-changing work injury. If you do, you may need to make an injury claim under the Jones Act.
Per the U.S. Code, the Jones Act gives you a means through which to file a claim against your employer after negligence leads to a work injury. It also outlines certain safety protocols and procedures to which your employer must adhere.
What the Jones Act requires of employers
Under the terms of the Jones Act, your maritime employer must provide as safe a work environment as possible for you and other workers. If the employer behaves negligently and you suffer an injury as a result, you have the right to bring a case against your employer. If your employer fails to offer adequate training, makes you use faulty equipment or fails to remove oil or other fall hazards from the deck of your ship, any of these actions may constitute negligence under the Jones Act.
What employees must do after an injury
The main thing you need to do when making a Jones Act claim is showing that your employer’s negligence is what led to your injury. The more evidence you have to back up this assertion, the better. Be sure to maintain medical records that outline the extent of your injury. Be sure, too, to follow the appropriate channels when reporting your maritime injury, telling your supervisor first before completing a formal accident report.
Because you and other mariners lack access to traditional workers’ compensation coverage through maritime law, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, or the Jones Act, helps protect you in the event of an injury at sea.