White Plains Cruise Ship Worker Injury Lawyer
While many people work on cruise ships or take vacations on these vessels without ever suffering a serious injury, it is not uncommon for cruise ship accidents to happen. Indeed, according to a fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Transportation, each year accidents happen on cruise ships, resulting in serious and sometimes fatal injuries to guests as well as to workers onboard the vessel. From slip and fall accidents in a cruise ship restaurant to assaults that take place on the ship, cruise ship workers can suffer serious injuries.
What type of compensation is available to cruise ship workers in New York?
Federal Law and the Jones Act
When a worker gets hurt on a vessel at sea, that worker may be able to file a claim against his or her employer under federal law. That federal law is the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which is also known as the Jones Act. The law governs numerous issues that can occur at sea, but for the purposes of workplace injuries, it is important to know that this federal law extends the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) to anyone who falls under the category of “seamen.”
While we normally think of a “seaman” as someone who is navigating a ship or providing mechanical services to the vessel, this term is actually much broader when it comes to the Jones Act and FELA. Under federal law, a “seaman” can be any person who provides services on a boat on the ocean, including but not limited to:
- Ship navigator;
- Engine maintenance worker or mechanic;
- General hospitality workers;
- Deck crew;
- Custodial workers and housekeeping staff;
- Kitchen and restaurant workers;
- Hosts or hostesses;
- Hairdressers and makeup artists;
- Fitness directors;
- Workers providing shore excursion services;
- Gift shop managers;
- IT staff members;
- Medical staff onboard the ship;
- Casino staff members, including dealers;
- Massage therapists;
- Instructors onboard the ship; and
- Disc jockeys.
In short, anyone who is employed to provide services onboard the cruise ship may be eligible to file for compensation under the Jones Act in the event of a workplace accident.
How Does the Jones Act Work?
Unlike workers’ compensation benefits—through which employees can be eligible to receive compensation for lost wages as well as healthcare costs but cannot file a lawsuit against their employer—an injury onboard a cruise ship can mean that the injured worker is eligible to file a lawsuit against the employer for negligence. More specifically, the statute says: “A seaman injured in the course of employment or, if the seaman dies from the injury, the personal representative of the seaman may elect to bring a civil action at law, with the right of trial by jury, against the employer.”
In other words, an injured cruise ship worker in New York can sue an employer in a personal injury lawsuit based on a theory of negligence.
Contact a White Plains Work Injury Lawyer
If you were working on a cruise ship and suffered an injury, you should speak with a White Plains cruse ship worker injury lawyer to learn more about filing a claim for compensation. Contact the Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon today.