What is the Jones Act?
Admiralty & Maritime Injury Lawyer
The open sea has long been regarded as the center of some of the most complicated laws and litigation in the entire world. Due to complexities involving international waters and the difficult forms of employment any seaman has to come to face, a piece of legislation known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 was enacted to try to simplify matters involving personal injuries at sea. More commonly referred to as the Jones Act these days, this law specifically works to benefit seamen who need to recover compensation from their employers.
Do you think the Jones Act might apply to your personal injury case? Contact our Weston Jones Act attorneys from Rash Mueller today for more information.
Specifics in the Jones Act
Much of the Jones Act depends entirely on the details of the case. In order to qualify for compensation after you have been injured on the job as a seaman, certain requirements must be met. In general, three aspects control your eligibility:
- Seaman: You must spend at least 30% – approximately – of your employment time upon a ship and contribute to the work required to maintain the vessel.
- Vessel: The ship you work upon needs to be afloat, in operation or active duty, and capable of actually traversing navigable waters.
- Navigable waters: Almost any sea, ocean, river, and even some lakes; your vessel can even be tied up at dock or mooring and still be on navigable waters.
If all three of these specific requirements were involved with your personal injury, you might be able to make a case using the Jones Act. To be certain, be sure to speak with a knowledgeable maritime law lawyer.
Compensation for Injuries at Sea
Seaman do not qualify for workers' compensation, for the most part. The Jones Act, however, functions in very much the same way and tries to reward seaman for injuries caused by someone else's negligence or recklessness. In a successful case, you could be granted monies that help pay for medical treatment, missed wages, and lost earning potential.
Common forms of negligence and hazards on a vessel:
- Slick decks and loose debris
- Inadequate safety training and protocols
- Unseaworthy vessels (lack of maintenance)
- Captain's inability to control the crew
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