What is the Jones Act and how does it apply to personal injury cases?
Hey there, viewers, welcome back to Hammer TV. I’m Jim Adler and in today’s episode, we’re continuing on with our series all about the most frequently asked questions we get every day at our law firm. Today’s question is all about the Jones Act – what it is and how it applies to personal injury cases. It’s a pretty complex law, but it’s also a very important one, especially if you’re a maritime worker, offshore worker or a worker on a ship or cargo vessel. So let’s take a look at the FAQ now.
Many workplaces can be dangerous, and people who work at sea – also known as seamen or maritime employees – can face the most danger of all. But despite these dangers, workers’ compensation laws often fail to cover these maritime employees, leaving them with less protection than land-based employees have. The Jones Act is a federal law that provides maritime employees with special remedies if they are hurt on the job.
Under the Jones Act, a seaman is allowed to sue his employer for either negligently causing his injuries or providing him with an unsafe workspace. Through this lawsuit, maritime employees are able to recover medical bills, lost earnings from the time they were unable to work, compensation for their physical pain and suffering, and more.
There are, however, many technical requirements you must meet to qualify for protection under the Jones Act. For example, a worker will not be considered a “maritime employee” unless they spend at least 30 percent of their employment working on a “vessel in navigation.” This technicality means that a worker could suffer an injury while at sea, but still not qualify for the Jones Act because he spent too much of his employment on land. On the other hand, a worker may qualify for Jones Act coverage even if he has never seen the ocean; the law just requires the worker to have been on what’s called “navigable waters,” which includes rivers and even some lakes.
If this all sounds confusing, that’s understandable. The Jones Act can be complex and there are many considerations that can affect whether or not your case is covered. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult an attorney with experience in dealing with these specific kinds of cases.
The Jones Act is an important law that really helps to protect our valuable maritime workers and you need someone on your side who can help you navigate the ins and outs of it. If you have questions about this information or would like to discuss your case and whether or not you might be covered under the protections of The Jones Act, you can get in touch with Jim Adler and Associates via the contact form at jimadler.com or by giving us a call at 1-800-567-7575.