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Oakland Personal Injury > Blog > Seaman Jones Act > 4 Quick Facts About the Jones Act and Seaman’s Injuries

4 Quick Facts About the Jones Act and Seaman’s Injuries


There can be no question that the maritime industry is one of the top performing market sectors in California. According to the Transportation Institute, a non-profit that promotes education and information about maritime research education, California ranks fourth among all US states in terms of maritime employees at more than 51,450 workers. The downside of this data is that dangerous conditions are inherent in the maritime and shipping industries. Thousands of employees are at risk of being involved in fatal or injury-causing accidents.

Recognizing the risks, US lawmakers enacted the Jones Act in 1920 – and it still serves as the foundational law on the rights of victims of maritime accidents. Since there are many procedural and legal rules that are vastly different from other personal injury laws, it is essential to work with a knowledgeable Oakland seaman and Jones Act lawyer if you were hurt. However, you might benefit from reviewing four quick facts that put things in perspective. 

  1. The lines are somewhat blurry as to who is covered. The Jones Act provides rights to an employee who qualifies as a “seaman,” meaning anyone among the crew that performs a significant amount of work tasks on a ship, boat, or related water-based vessel.
  1. The Jones Act applies to most vessels operating in the maritime industry. The key definition is “vessel in navigation,” and it is relatively expansive for employees who perform the majority of their work on boats. At the time of the accident in which you were injured, the vessel must be:
  • Afloat, as opposed to being in drydock or otherwise out of the water;
  • In operation;
  • Capable of navigation; and,
  • Operating upon navigable waters, which refers to the open sea, lakes, rivers, and similar bodies of water.
  1. Fault is a lesser issue in Jones Act claims. In a maritime case, the standard of proof is lower than a typical personal injury case. You do not need to show that your employer’s carelessness was direct cause of your injuries, but you must establish that:
  • Your employer failed to maintain a reasonably safe workplace; and,
  • This failure played a role in causing the accident in which you were injured, even if it was very minimal.
  1. You can recover an array of damages under the Jones Act. If you meet the legal requirements, you can obtain compensation that is not available in a traditional workers’ comp claim. Besides economic damages like lost wages and medical costs for current and future treatment, you may also qualify for non-economic damages. Examples include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and compensation for how your injuries affect your quality of life.

Learn More from an Oakland Seaman and Jones Act Attorney 

If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a maritime accident, time is of the essence to get in touch with our team at Venardi Zurada, LLP. You can contact our Oakland Seaman & Jones Act lawyers to set up a free consultation. Once we review your circumstances, we can advise you on your rights and remedies.



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You can be confident in relying on our zealous and effective Oakland personal injury lawyers:

  • We have served Northern California for over 35 years.

  • Our attorneys have been honored with numerous accolades, including SuperLawyers, AV Rating, and Top 100 Trial Attorney Awards.

  • In our decades of legal service to the community, we have garnered a substantial reputation. We are respected by opposing counsel, feared by insurance companies, and followed by jurors.

  • We combine Big Firm experience with boutique office attention and care. Several of our attorneys have experience working for the biggest law firms in the country, including the most prominent maritime defense law firm. Our attorneys rely on that big-firm know-how but prefer the personal touch of a smaller firm, allowing us to provide individualized and attentive representation to each of our clients.

  • We’ve been through it, too. Attorney Mark Venardi had to personally deal with a medical malpractice injury he suffered at a time when he was working a blue-collar job on an offshore oil rig; he knows what it’s like to be a working man dealing with a personal injury. He built his way up to working for the biggest maritime defense firm in the country, before deciding to focus on helping people like himself who were hurt by negligence and mistreatment from others.

  • We like to fight for the underdog. Attorney Martin Zurada is an immigrant and the son of immigrants who tirelessly worked his way up through education and experience to attain the American dream. Even though he has served in large, high-level litigation law firms, he prefers helping clients directly, fighting against injustices, and securing victories for the little guy who has been wronged.

  • We win. We have secured multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. In our combined tenure, we have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients across our broad areas of practice.

  • We care first and foremost about our clients. We dedicate ourselves to serve each and every client personally, and we make ourselves available to our clients around the clock.

  • There is no cost to you until we win. If we don’t make a recovery for you, we will not collect a fee. And all initial consultations are free of charge.

Dedicated Areas of Practice

We offer a wide range of litigation services for Oakland personal injury and employment law clients. Specifically, our areas of dedicated practice span the following issues:

Employment Law. California employers must assure proper pay to employees and comply with a variety of rules and regulations to prevent discrimination and unfair treatment of employees. We represent victims of wage and hour violations, employment discrimination, workplace harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and any other form of California workplace mistreatment. If you believe you were treated inappropriately at work, we can help.

Personal Injury. If you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence, you deserve compensation. That’s where we come in. As Oakland personal injury attorneys, we right the wrongs done to our clients. And we do it at our cost during the entire duration of your case. There is never any fee until we win. Give us a call if you have been hurt in a car accident, by a toxic spill or contamination, as a result of medical malpractice, due to abuse or neglect, in a maritime accident, by a vicious animal attack, or any other incident caused by someone else’s negligence.

The Sooner You Speak to an Oakland Injury Lawyer, the Stronger Your Chances for Recovery Will Become.

Contact the Oakland injury lawyers at Venardi Zurada today, and let’s get started. We are available to talk any time, so whether you call, email or chat online, we’ll respond and set up an appointment to meet you. We have several Spanish speakers in the office and welcome the opportunity to cater our services to Oakland’s Spanish-speaking population. You pay no fee until we win for you, so you have nothing to lose by contacting our office for a free consultation. The sooner you call, the faster we can start getting results for you. Call 925-937-3900.

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