Am I covered under the Jones Act?
If you are working in service to a vessel in navigation, then yes. The vessel does not necessarily need to be moving, however. “In navigation” simply means the vessel must be in active operation. To qualify as a Jones Act seaman, an employee must have a substantial connection to a single vessel or fleet of vessels. Under the Jones Act, an injured seaman must prove that negligence of the vessel owner, master, crewmember, employer, or otherwise unsafe conditions caused or contributed to his or her injury.
What is a Jones Act vessel?
In short, any watercraft or artificial structure capable of being used for transportation on water is a Jones Act vessel. This includes conventional watercraft such as ships, tugs, barges, jack-up and semi submersible drilling rigs, and other mobile offshore drilling units. “Vessel” now includes unpowered floating structures such as pontoon rafts and dredges.
How much is my maritime injury case worth?
It depends. There are many factors that need to be considered when calculating the value of a Jones Act claim. These may include – but are not limited to – past wage loss and loss of future earning capacity, past and future loss of fringe benefits, physical disfigurement, physical pain and suffering. A competent and experienced maritime attorney will hear the facts of your case and help you determine your claim’s value.
How long do I have to file a maritime injury claim?
The statute of limitations in a Jones Act or general maritime claim is typically three years from the date of injury. The time limit may be shorter in certain cases, and specific notice requirements may apply to your case, so it is important to consult with an experienced maritime attorney to discuss your specific claim and the limitations that apply.
What is General Maritime Law?
General Maritime Law is what existed before the Jones Act. It was created from court decisions that determined the rights of seamen. A ship owner’s duty to provide a seaworthy vessel and a seaman’s right to receive maintenance, cure and unearned wages are among the developments of general maritime law.
What is maintenance and cure?
These are two of the benefits provided under the General Maritime Law. These benefits are owed to any seaman who is injured or becomes ill while in service to a vessel, regardless of fault. A maritime employer has an absolute duty to provide maintenance and cure benefits to a sick or injured seaman.