Orlando, FL asked in Admiralty / Maritime, Personal Injury and Workers' Compensation for Florida

Q: If I have been working for a tour boat company for a week and am injured do i qualify for jones act protection medical?

As a 100 ton boat captain I was training on a new job with a fast boat that holds 30 passengers. While training under the command of another captain at the helm. I was injured. I was also injured the day before due to safety issues below deck. Both injuries to my deck I informed my employer by email that evening and they fired me without giving me a cause. I have been paying out of pocket for medical coverage. Do I qualify for maintenance and cure for the injury under the Jones Act? The company paid me for the time I worked. They never replied my email. I also contacted the tour boat company insurance which days later stated they deny my claim. How to proceed? What other facts should I include?

1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Maritime Law Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: I'm sorry about your injuries. Yes, on your first question, it sounds like you would qualify for maintenance and cure. Those fast boats are usually domestically registered and do not operate under offshore flags. I can't be certain, based on the details of the post, but I would guess that it's a U.S.-registered vessel. If that is confirmed, then you would be a Jones Act seaman and would qualify for maintenance and cure.

I can't offer cookbook instructions on how to proceed with the claim, which you ask in your second question. An attorney would need to see the documentation you filed to initiate a claim and the documents accompanying any denial. This again goes to your third question about what additional facts to include. Based on the facts presented, I can't say what additional facts would be needed and what impact they would have.

One option is to try to arrange a free initial consult with an attorney who handles maritime injury claims. The choice to proceed on your own or with an attorney is yours to make on the claim. However, an experienced maritime attorney would be able to outline for you relevant timetables and certain litigation tactics that are exclusive to lawsuits involving injuries to commercial mariners.

Good luck

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