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Injured in a maritime accident? Our maritime attorneys are here to help.

Company Tricks in Jones Act Cases: A Guide for Maritime Workers

Brian Beckcom

Brian Beckcom


Maritime workers face unique risks on the job. While the Jones Act protects your right to compensation for work-related injuries, some companies will try to weaken your case. Here's what you need to know:

The Jones Act

The Jones Act is a federal law established to ensure fair treatment for injured maritime workers. It allows you to sue your employer for negligence that caused your injury. To be covered under the Jones Act, you must be assigned to a “vessel” and your job must contribute to the mission of that vessel. Essentially, any job on the vessel will fit the definition. 

Beware of Company Tactics

Some companies may resort to tactics that delay or deny rightful compensation. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • Delaying Medical Treatment:  Prompt medical attention is critical to document the extent of your injuries. Companies may discourage seeking medical care or delay referrals to specialists. This weakens your case and limits your recovery.
  • Pressure to Return to Work Early:  Returning to work before you're fully healed can worsen your injuries and hurt your claim. Companies may use threats or guilt tactics to push for a premature return.
  • Underestimating Injuries:  Companies may downplay the severity of your injury, claiming it's minor or pre-existing. This can have a significant impact on the compensation you receive. 
  • Shifting Blame:  Some companies try to blame the worker for the accident, aiming to avoid liability entirely.
  • Lowball Settlements:  Companies may offer quick, low settlements to avoid going to court. These settlements often don't cover the full cost of your injuries and can be tempting at the moment due to financial stress.

The Devastating Impact of Company Tactics

These tactics can have a domino effect. Delayed compensation, medical bills piling up, and lost wages due to an inability to work can create serious financial hardship. This financial strain only adds to the physical and emotional toll of the injury. Company tactics can introduce stress and anxiety into the healing process, hindering both your physical recovery and your emotional well-being.

Fight Back: How to Protect Your Rights

Here's what you can do to protect yourself:

  • Seek Legal Representation: An experienced maritime attorney can advise you of your rights, gather evidence, negotiate fair settlements, and represent you in court if necessary.
  • Document Everything:  Keep detailed records of your accident, injuries, medical treatment, communication with your employer, and any attempts to pressure you.

Don't Let Them Win - We are Here to Help

Don't let company tactics jeopardize your well-being. Knowing your rights and taking action is crucial.

VB Attorneys’ team of maritime attorneys stands by injured workers. If you have suffered an on-the-job injury, contact us today for a free consultation. We'll fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.