People who are injured on the job while working on maritime vessels or offshore oil rigs have special protections under the law thanks to the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act. Besides regulating maritime commerce in the United States, the Jones Act provides protections and compensation for seamen and those who work on U.S. territorial waters. Thanks to this law, injured seamen have the legal right to pursue just and fair financial compensation for the harm they have suffered due to negligence on the part of a vessel’s captain, crew, or owner or due to a vessel’s unseaworthiness. This can include faulty equipment, an unsafe working environment, and improper safety procedures on board the vessel.
If you or a loved one have been hurt while at sea, it might be time to contact a maritime injury lawyer at Jim Adler & Associates. A Jones Act case can be very complicated, which is why it is vital to engage with experienced maritime attorneys who are familiar with relevant offshore laws. Experienced and professional maritime lawyers can help advise injured seamen on the wisest course of action in their case, which may include rejecting a quick settlement from their employer that may be far below that to which the seaman is entitled.
Maritime accident attorneys can determine if a seaman qualifies for protection under the Jones Act. Lawsuit options should be considered under several parameters: A seafaring employee must spend at least 30 percent of work time on a vessel to qualify, for example. There are many types of vessels covered by the Jones Act: fishing boats, water taxis, shrimp boats, ferries, riverboats, tugboats, trawlers, tankers, barges, and offshore oil rigs. Workers injured while being transported to and from an offshore rig also may be covered by the Jones Act. Injured employees also should be aware that the statute of limitations on Jones Act cases is three years from the time of their injury, meaning a claim must be filed within that time.