If you are a seaman who has been injured during the course of work, you may have rights under the Jones Act. Before we explain who is covered under the Jones Act, it is important to understand what the Jones Act is and how it originated. The Jones Act is an addition to a law that was passed by the United States Congress to protect injured railroad workers; however, the Jones Act only relates to seamen who are injured on the job. In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court established the standards that determine if a maritime employee is considered a Jones Act seaman.
Not every maritime worker is considered a Jones Act seaman, which means that not every person who has worked on a vessel is covered under the federal law known as the Jones Act. A seaman is a worker who spends more than 30% of his time working on a vessel, which means that any maritime worker who works less than 30% on a vessel is typically not considered a seaman and not covered under the Jones Act. This guide helps people to determine if they are Jones Act seamen or not; however, there are some exceptions.
If you were injured on the job in navigable waters, even if you spent less than 30% of your time on that vessel, you could still be considered a Jones Act seaman. In order to fully understand if you are covered under the Jones Act, you need to consult with a knowledgeable Texas maritime injury attorney. A skilled lawyer will be able to review your case, investigate the facts, and determine if the Jones Act applies to you.
Benefits of Being a Jones Act Seaman
If you are an offshore worker covered under the Jones Act, you may be eligible to receive compensation for maintenance and cure of on-the-job injuries. This federal law also allows you to pursue a lawsuit in either state or federal court against the negligent party that caused your work injury, such as another crewmember, captain, or ship owner for unseaworthiness. You also have a right to a jury trial as a Jones Act seaman.
Call a qualified maritime accident attorney today to determine if you are entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic damages such as past and future wages, unearned income, medical expenses, impairment, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Contact the Voss Law Firm at 888-614-7730 for a free legal evaluation, and get your offshore injury questions answered by attorney Bill Voss today.