Workers compensation laws protect most Americans from the financially devastating effects of serious personal injury that sometimes occur on the job. Workers compensation laws do not, however, protect sailors or other maritime workers. As result, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, or Jones Act, as it is now commonly called, was enacted to protect our nation’s seamen. If you are a seaman who has suffered a serious on-the-job personal injury due to the negligence of another, then let an expert Houston personal injury lawyer at Adley Law Firm evaluate your case free of charge. Call now at (800) 856-9595 or complete our initial consultation form and one of our Houston Jones Act lawyers will evaluate your case. We are waiting to help you with the sensitivity, promptness, and expertise needed in such deeply painful and uncertain times.
Who Are Seamen According to the Jones Act?
We are often asked, “Who are seamen according to the Jones Act?” Because maritime law is one of the most complicated areas of legal practice, the following criterion are by no means exhaustive. That said, if your maritime personal injury meets the following qualifications, then you may be considered a seaman by the Jones Act, and, therefore, eligible to file a claim. In such a case, the Houston personal injury attorneys at Adley Law Firm are ready to serve you.
“[T]he essential requirements for seaman status are twofold. First . . . an employee’s duties must contribute to the function of the vessel or to the accomplishment of its mission. . . .” Second, and most important for our purposes here, a seaman must have a connection to a vessel in navigation (or to an identifiable group of such vessels) that is substantial in terms of both its duration and its nature. 515 U.S., at 368 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).
More simply put, a seaman is a sailor who meets the following qualifications:
a) Seamen work on a vessel in navigable waters.
Generally speaking, navigable waters are those by which a vessel can reach (1) the ocean or (2) another state in the United States.
b) Seamen work on vessels not permanently attached to the floor of navigable waters.
These vessels include barges, oil/petroleum tanker injuries, oil drilling ships, freighters/cargo ships, tug boats, cruise ships, and riverboats. The Jones Act also protects a seaman who services and labors on these ships while they are in the harbor.
c) Seamen are assigned to particular vessels or fleets.
d) Seamen have worked on board these vessels for at least 30% of their careers.
Any seaman who plans to file a claim under the Jones Act will undoubtedly need to demonstrate that he/she has, in fact, met this requirement. Our Houston Jones Act Lawyers are glad to walk through the process of making this determination.
When Should Seamen File A Jones Act Claim?
If seamen meets the following basic criterion, then they may have grounds to file a claim under the Jones Act:
1) The Jones Act applies to seamen who suffer personal injury on-the-job.
The Jones Act does not cover injuries sustained by seamen who are off duty.
2) The Jones Act applies to seamen who suffer personal injury on the job due to the negligence of another.
The Jones Act covers personal injuries sustained due to the negligence of ship owners or captains, thereby resulting in the unseaworthiness of a vessel, or the negligence of other crew members. If you have been injured in a maritime accident and believe you may meet these qualifications, contact our Houston Jones Act lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Houston Jones Act Lawyers
If you meet this definition of a seaman and have suffered a maritime personal injury, then your accident may fall under the Jones Act. Due to the incredible complexity of maritime law, ensure that your case receives the focused attention of highly-experienced Houston Jones Act lawyers.
Not Covered Under the Jones Act?
If you are a maritime worker who has sustained a serious on-the-job personal injury that is not covered under the Jones Act, then your case may be covered under the Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). Schedule a free consultation with one of the Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) at Adley Law Firm or call us toll-free at (800) 856-9595. Our experienced lawyers have years of experience handling LHWCA cases and are ready now to handle yours.