When you have been injured while working on a ship or boat, whether or not you are in international waters, you need to consider filing a Jones Act claim. Check with a lawyer familiar with California maritime law to see whether filing a workers compensation claim or a Jones Act claim with be a better strategy for your case. There is a major difference between the compensation for your injuries that you will receive. A Jones Act claim usually offers a much higher rate of compensation in terms of lost wages, medical care and rehabilitation. It is important to understand that this compensation will only last until the level of maximum medical improvement which may not be a level at which the worker will be able to return to work.The Jones Act is basically workers compensation for people working at sea. Even when it is a slight breach of duty that results in an injury, the negligent employer may be prosecuted. A seaman is considered any worker who spends at lease 30% of their time working at sea. The seaworthiness of a ship is often under question during a Jones Act case. It is important to understand that the seaworthiness of a ship is far more expansive than just a question of whether or not the ship is in pristine condition. The act was passed federally, but can be brought to state courts. There are no specific regulations in California indicate whether or not it is more appropriate to file the case at the state or federal level, but as a basic rule the more expansive your claim and the damages you are seeking, the wiser you would be to file in federal courts.
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