The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 also known as the Jones Act was put in place to not only regulate maritime trade in US waters, but to also protect and maintain the rights of the seamen who man American flagged vessels. To be specific, the federal Jones Act is a formalized standard for protecting all workers from deck hand to captain, when they have been injured in the normal scope and course of work while on US flagged vessels.
Seafaring is one of the earliest forms of transport and for a long time the main means of commerce among countries. The rules for resolving disputes involving this important maritime trade were developed very early as seen in early-recorded history. Today Admiralty law or maritime law is a distinct body of law dealing with such matters as marine navigation, marine commerce, marine salvaging, shipping, sailors and other maritime workers, along with the transportation of passengers and goods by sea.
The Jones Act is specific to the inland and coastal waters of the United States. Since the Jones Act was enacted, maritime workers have depended upon it to give them a legal avenue for claiming damage awards from their employers when they are injured due to negligence on the part of the ship owner, captain, or fellow crew member(s). Also a legal cause for litigation under the Jones Act is finding the US flagged ship to be "un-seaworthiness."
Maritime work is synonymous with hard work and has never been without a certain degree of risk and danger. Regardless if you are a deckhand or the captain of a ship you are allowed legal recourse to receive compensation if you experienced an accidental injury due to the negligence of another.
To qualify as a "Jones Act" seaman and to be eligible for protection under the Jones Act, according to a United States Supreme Court ruling, the injured seaman:
Must have sustained an injury
The injury must have occurred while the employee was permanently assigned to a commercial US flagged vessel on a navigable waterway (either inland or coastal)
The injury must have been caused either by an unseaworthy vessel or equipment or by the negligence of a fellow crew member or captain of the vessel
For individuals and families who may have not only expensive medical bills, but multiple bills for physical therapy, rehabilitation, and lost wages, etc., the protection which the Jones Act provides is crucial. A seriously injured maritime worker may face long-term disability and require extensive, and expensive, rehabilitation.
Having an experienced maritime injury lawyer is critical to help to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve
Our maritime law attorneys at the office of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., have decades of experience working with clients who have suffered offshore injuries, or other injuries covered by the Jones Act and similar laws.
Call our law office at 800-773-6770 or Fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form on this page. A maritime injury lawyer is available to discuss your injury and your case.