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Jones Act Personal Injuries on Dredges

The maritime industry is replete with risks. Among the vast spectrum of vessels and structures that form the backbone of marine operations, dredges occupy a significant role, ensuring that waterways are navigable and safe for maritime traffic. However, the nature of their operation can lead to personal injuries if employers don’t take the proper precautions and emphasize safety. When such accidents occur, the Jones Act provides a critical pathway for injured maritime workers to seek compensation.

Understanding The Jones Act

Originally passed in 1920, the Jones Act is federal legislation that offers protection and rights to seamen injured during their service aboard vessels, including dredges. Under the Jones Act, an injured seaman can bring a claim against their employer for negligence and pursue damages.

Who Qualifies as a "Seaman"?

The determination of whether an individual qualifies as a "seaman" under the Jones Act is nuanced and requires an analysis of the individual’s duties and connection to a vessel. Generally, if you:

  1. Have a significant connection to a vessel (or a fleet of vessels), and
  2. Contribute to the function of the vessel or the accomplishment of its mission,

You may be classified as a "seaman" for the purposes of the Jones Act.

Dredges and Their Unique Risks

Dredges are specialized ships or boat-like machines used to excavate and remove sediments from the bottom of water bodies to make them more navigable. Due to the very nature of their operations:

  • They often involve the movement of heavy equipment and machinery.
  • They can be exposed to unpredictable weather and water conditions.
  • There can be a risk of underwater hazards or entanglements.
  • They can expose the crew to heavy lifting tasks and other manual tasks that can cause injuries.

Such conditions can pose a risk of injury to maritime workers aboard if employers fail to properly control risk and have policies in place to prevent injuries to their workers.

What Can You Claim?

If you've been injured while working on a dredge and qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act, you may be entitled to:

  1. Maintenance and Cure: Covering your daily living expenses and medical bills related to your injury.
  2. Lost Wages: Compensation for the wages you've lost and potential future earnings.
  3. Pain and Suffering: Damages related to the physical pain and emotional trauma resulting from your injuries.
  4. Loss of Earning Capacity: This is another term for future wages and is intended to include the difference between what the injured worker could earn before the injury compared to what the injured worker is able to earn after the incident.
  5. Future Medical Costs: If the injured worker can show future medical expenses related to the injury, these expenses can be included in the claim for damages.
How Kraft Davies Olsson Can Help

At Kraft Davies Olsson PLLC, our team of experienced maritime attorneys understands the intricacies of the Jones Act and the unique challenges faced by those working on dredges. We are dedicated to ensuring that injured maritime workers receive the compensation they deserve.

  1. Expert Consultation: We begin by understanding your unique circumstances and offer guidance tailored to your situation.
  2. Thorough Investigation: We diligently gather evidence, interview witnesses, and work with maritime experts to strengthen your claim.
  3. Aggressive Representation: Our lawyers are known for their relentless advocacy, ensuring you get the best possible outcome.
  4. Compassion for Our Clients: We understand your situation and know that winning is the only option. We do everything possible to obtain the compensation that you need to move forward with your life.
Get Started Today

If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury while working on a dredge, time is of the essence. The statutes of limitations can restrict the timeframe in which you can file a claim.

Contact us today for a free consultation. Let Kraft Davies Olsson PLLC guide you towards obtaining the full measure of compensation that you need to move on with your life in a productive manner.