Doctor Inspecting a Maritime Worker With an Injured Knee

Injuries to the knee and lower leg can be career-ending for Jones Act employees. Not only are they extremely painful, they could cause disability or medical complications that result in the loss of the use of the limb—and the loss of the ability to earn a living. 

When these injuries occur, it’s vital that workers get proper compensation to sustain themselves while they cannot work. Our legal team has helped many maritime employees with knee injury claims, and we can advise you on your next steps at no cost to you.

Knee Injuries That Could Qualify for Compensation

Under general maritime law, any injury that takes a seaman off duty should qualify for maintenance and cure benefits. Maintenance and cure is a development over hundreds of years under the general maritime law, and requires an employer or shipowner to provide an amount of money on a daily basis to pay for your food and lodging while you recover (maintenance), as well as any injury-related medical care you need until you reach maximum medical improvement (cure).

In addition, you may be able to bring suit against your employer for a knee injury if it was caused by negligence, and against the vessel and vessel owner if it was caused by unseaworthiness.

We can help determine what you are owed after injuries such as:

  • Torn ligaments. Knee joints are full of tendons and ligaments that support and carry the whole body. An unexpected or forceful twisting of the leg can cause the meniscus or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) to stretch or tear, preventing the leg from bearing any weight.

  • Broken bones. Patella fractures or breaks in the thigh and leg bones surrounding the knee may require surgery to place rods and screws, inhibiting the knee’s ability to bend.

  • Crush and amputation injuries. Crush injuries may result in lost toes, cause nerve damage to the feet, or require amputation below or above the knee.

  • Dislocation. Knee dislocation can cause permanent instability in the joint and lifelong arthritis pain, and can even require knee replacement surgery.

If you suffered a knee injury while working on a vessel, call 1-800-3-MAY-DAY today or fill out our online contact form. It costs you nothing to speak with a lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer in your no-obligation consultation, and we don’t charge any fees until you receive payment. To learn more, download your complimentary copy of our guide, Are You a Seaman Injured in a Maritime Accident? Know Your Rights.



Paul T. Hofmann
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Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.