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Injured in an accident on the water? Our maritime attorneys are here to help.

The Language of Maritime Attorneys: Translating Legal Jargon for Families in Need

Vuk Vujasinovic

Vuk Vujasinovic


Approaching the world of maritime law can feel intimidating, especially for families facing the aftermath of a loved one's injury or death at sea. While vital for legal accuracy, this language can feel like a foreign tongue to families facing a Jones Act case. Here we aim to simplify some of the key legal terms you may encounter in your case.

Understanding Your Rights: Key Terms for Jones Act Cases

  1. Jones Act: This federal law protects the rights of seamen who suffer injury or illness due to negligence or unseaworthiness of the vessel or its equipment. This is what our law firm specializes in. Check out this page to learn more about the Jones Act with resources from our team.
  2. Maintenance and Cure: If injured or ill while working at sea, seamen have the right to receive medical care and lost wages covered by the vessel owner, regardless of fault.
  3. Negligence: When a ship owner or operator fails to act reasonably to protect the safety of the crew, they may be found negligent and liable for damages.
  4. Unseaworthiness: A vessel is considered "unseaworthy" if it's unsafe due to faulty equipment, inadequate supplies, or improper maintenance.
  5. Damages: This term refers to the financial compensation awarded to the injured seaman or their family, covering medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and potential future lost wages.
  6. Seaworthiness Doctrine: This legal principle holds vessel owners responsible for ensuring a safe working environment for seamen, even if they weren't directly responsible for the injury.
  7. Maintenance and Cure Lien: This lien allows an injured seaman to claim their maintenance and cure benefits against the vessel itself, ensuring they receive compensation even if the owner is insolvent.
  8. Third-Party Liability: If a third party, like a cargo company or equipment manufacturer, contributes to the injury or death, the seaman may have additional claims against them.
  9. Maximum Medical Improvement: Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) in maritime law refers to the point in an injured worker's recovery where their condition has stabilized and further medical treatment is unlikely to produce significant improvement.  At this point, an employer's obligation to provide maintenance and cure benefits typically ends.
  10. Exclusive Remedy: Under the Jones Act, the Jones Act itself is the exclusive remedy for seamen injured at sea, meaning they cannot sue their employers directly in most cases.

Remember, You Have Options

VB Attorneys understands the emotional and financial strain of a Jones Act case, and we're here to guide you through the legal process in simple terms. 

We have decades of combined experience and have won multiple lawsuits against some of the largest maritime and offshore companies. Get in touch with us today at (713) 224-7800 for a free consultation.

Topics: Jones Act