Jones Act FAQ
What is the Jones Act?
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act provides protection for injured maritime workers. While protecting those who work in maritime environments, the Jones Act actually finds its roots in the railroad industry of the early 1900’s. FELA was enacted in 1908 to protect and adequately compensate railroad workers who had been injured while working on the job. The Jones Act extends the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) to seamen.
How does the Jones Act apply to me as a maritime worker?
The Jones Act allows an injured seaman to bring a negligence lawsuit against his employer. Therefore you must be deemed a seaman or seawoman to qualify under the Jones Act. To determine if an individual employee is a seaman and therefore entitled to the protections of the Jones Act, the Supreme Court has established a two-pronged test. The first prong is an analysis of the employee’s duties and the second is determining whether that employee has a “substantial connection” to a vessel…Read More
How can a Jones Act attorney help me?
There are zero up-front costs to hiring us if you have been hurt working offshore. We will handle your case on what is known as a “contingency basis”, meaning that our fee is tied directly to the success of your case. Once a settlement is achieved or judgment is made, we receive a percentage of the total amount of recovery depending on how and when your case was settled or how the judgment was achieved…Read More
What is my employer’s obligation under the Jones Act?
An employer’s obligation under the Jones Act is to provide a safe and hazard-free workplace on board the vessel on which the seaman is to work. If the employer fails to do so and the employee is injured, the employer is obligated to pay maintenance and cure to the seaman.
Is there a statute of limitations on Jones Act cases?
If you have a Jones Act claim, the statute of limitations is three (3) years. That means that you must file a lawsuit within three years from the date of the injury or lose the right to file suit forever. If you do not have a Jones Act Claim but are nevertheless injured, the statute of limitations in your case will be governed by the state’s law in which you are filing a lawsuit. In Texas, injured individuals have two years from the date of the injury to bring a legal action in a court of law. In Louisiana, the time limit is one year from the date of injury.
What should I do if my workplace is unsafe?
First you should speak with your supervisor and/or the safety man about the unsafe practices and/or appliance or apparatus. Be sure to note the discussion in the Job Safety Assessment (JSA) every time that the hazard exists and be sure to make a copy for yourself. Prior written complaints can prove to be helpful in the event that a seaman is injured due to the unsafe condition complained about. This is essential to looking out for yourself and your crewmates.
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