Over 80 Combined Years Of Maritime Law Experience

The Jones Act and the concept of negligence

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2024 | Jones Act

Our readers who work on water vessels out of Alaska or Washington probably know about the Jones Act and that this law provides them with protection in a number of ways. However, perhaps the most powerful aspect of the Jones Act for seamen is the ability to pursue a personal injury case against their employers in instances where negligence occurs. It may help our readers to explore the concept of negligence and how it might occur in their lines of work.

Negligence on a vessel

As a legal concept, negligence may seem quite straightforward: someone did something they shouldn’t have done or, conversely, didn’t do something they should have done. But when it comes to an actual legal action, using the available facts and evidence to prove that an entity or someone specific was negligent can become much more complicated.

There are seemingly innumerable ways for negligence to occur on a water vessel. Allegations of failure to properly train crew or provide appropriate gear, navigation errors and even drug or alcohol abuse could all be examples of negligence claims that seamen might pursue if they are injured due to this conduct, among many other potential examples. Any given situation is unique and, as a result, negligence at sea could result in unique injuries.

The causal connection is key: the negligence that is alleged must have definitely led to the injury that resulted. If you believe you have a potential claim against your employer for an injury that occurred aboard a vessel, you may have options under the Jones Act in order to take legal action.