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Crew Member Accidents and Injuries in Miami, FL

Crewman

Do you work aboard a shipping vessel? This is potentially a dangerous career. While many Florida employees are subject to the state’s workers’ compensation laws, those who work aboard vessels have other rights of recovery under The Jones Act. In this article, the Miami, FL maritime injury attorneys at Michael F. Guilford, P.A. will discuss your rights to file a claim under The Jones Act when you are injured on the job.

Crew member injury claims under The Jones Act 

To file a claim under The Jones Act, an employee of a shipping vessel must establish the fact that they are a seaman. Once they do so, they are entitled to maintenance and cure if they are injured on the job. Maintenance refers to a worker’s per day living wages. Cure is the cost of the crewmember’s medical care. Maintenance is paid until the crewmember reaches “maximum medical improvement” as defined by their doctor and is able to return to work. Cure refers to a crewmember’s right to receive medical attention after they are injured. Sick wages refer to wages lost due to the injury.

The right to maintenance and cure is afforded to crewmembers under The Jones Act. If a vessel operator fails to provide an injured crewmember with maintenance and cure, the crewmember may be entitled to additional compensation without proving their employer was at fault for the accident. The operator of a vessel has a legal obligation to pay maintenance, cure, and sick wages to injured crewmembers. The Florida maritime attorneys at Michael F. Guilford, P.A. specialize in handling these types of cases.

Do I qualify as a “seaman?”

 The right to maintenance and cure is determined by whether or not the injured employee qualifies as a “seaman.” The Jones Act defines a seaman as anyone who:

  • Contributes to the function of the vessel or helps it accomplish its mission
  • Has a connection with a vessel in navigation (it must be afloat on the waters)
  • Performs work activities that demonstrate that the worker is a member of the crew (and not a land-based employee who happens to be working on the vessel)

If a crew member spends more than 30% of their time on the clock aboard a vessel “in navigation”, then they qualify as a seaman under The Jones Act.

Claims under The Jones Act 

In some cases, an employer may be strictly liable for a crewmember’s injuries if they failed to comply with a federal regulation involving crewmember safety. In other words, even if it can be established that the crewmember was mostly at fault for the accident that caused their injury, their employer would be entirely liable for the full amount of their damages.

Crewmembers can also file claims alleging the “unseaworthiness” of a vessel. Vessel owners are required to maintain their vessels in safe working condition. When they fail, a crewmember can file a claim alleging that the vessel is “unseaworthy.”

Talk to a Miami, FL Maritime Injury Attorney Today 

Michael F. Guilford represents the interests of crewmembers filing injury claims under The Jones Act. Call our Miami admiralty & maritime attorneys today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin discussing your injuries immediately.

  • American Association for Justice
  • Florida Justice Association
  • Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers
  • American Association for Justice

It's Your Time To Win

Contact the Law Offices of Michael F. Guilford, P.A. for a free initial consultation with Michael Guilford. Flexible appointment times are available. If you can't come to us, we will come to you. Call toll free 866-473-2636 or describe your injuries in an email.

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Michael F. Guilford, P.A.

Courthouse Tower, Suite 750
44 West Flagler St.
Miami, FL 33130

Toll Free: 866-473-2636
Phone: 305-539-1999
Fax: 305-539-1998