Maritime Workers | Jones Act
The Jones Act, known as 46 U.S.C. 688 (1970), is a federal law dictating the liability of vessel operators and marine employers for on-the-job injuries and death. The Jones Act provides compensation for seamen suffering work related injuries or death caused by negligent acts of maritime employers or fellow workers.
If you have suffered personal injury or a loved one suffered a death from the negligence of a vessel owner, operator, officer, fellow employees or defects in a vessel or its equipment, then you might have a valid Jones Act Case. Contact a Jones Act lawyer at the Rasansky Law Firm, and we will discuss the specifics of your case with you for free.
You must qualify as a "Seaman" in order to recover under the Jones Act. To qualify as a Seaman under the Jones Act, you must be a crew member assigned to a specific vessel or fleet of vessels. This includes officers and crew members who work on tankers, freighters, jack-up rigs, semi-submersibles, towboats, tugs, supply boats, crew boats, barges, lay barges and fishing vessels are considered "Jones Act Seamen". Crew members on movable or "jack-up" drilling rigs are also considered Seamen. However, Seaman status under the Jones Act depends on the individual facts of each case. If you're not sure of your status, contact our Jones Act lawyers, who will be happy to discuss the merits of your case for free.
Longshoremen, pilots and fixed platform crew members are not considered Jones Act Seamen, but these workers do have other maritime remedies available if they have suffered personal injury while working offshore. These workers are often covered under the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, or the LHWCA. Contact our attorneys for a free consultation on the specifics of your case.
If you have suffered personal injury and qualify as a "Jones Act Seaman", you could be eligible for "maintenance and cure". Maintenance is a daily compensation designed to provide the same living conditions, such as food and shelter, a seaman would have been provided while aboard the vessel. Typical maintenance rates range from $10 to $35 dollars a day. "Cure" is the obligation of a Jones Act seaman's employer to provide medical treatment, including prescription drugs, hospitalization, nursing services, rehabilitation and therapy until the seaman reaches a point of "maximum medical improvement".
"Maintenance and cure" are available to a "Jones Act seaman" regardless of who is at fault. The "maintenance and cure" must continue until the seaman reaches maximum medical improvement. Once maximum medical improvement is reached, the vessel owner's obligation ends. If an employer refuses to pay maintenance and cure, the employer may be liable for all damages plus attorney's fees.
Every vessel owner owes their seaman a duty to provide a "seaworthy vessel". A seaworthy vessel is one that is a safe place to work and live. A seaworthy vessel should be equipped with appropriate safety gear and equipment, safe recreation facilities, and a competent crew. A seaman can recover if he or she was injured as a result of an unseaworthy condition on the vessel.
A vessel is considered not seaworthy if a piece of equipment breaks or is inoperable, the vessel's crew is too small or incomplete, not adequately trained, or a condition such as oil, grease, or rust exists where it is not intended to exist. While a negligence claim focuses on the acts of the seaman's employer, an unseaworthiness claim is concerned with the condition or adequacy of the vessel itself. Unlike a Jones Act claim, which is made against the seaman's employer, an unseaworthiness claim is made against the vessel's owner. In many cases those actions will be against the same party. A unseaworthiness claim will also bring the vessel's owner into a lawsuit as an additional source of recovery for the injured seaman.
Have you suffered an accident, injury, or harm while on a boat? Contact the Rasansky Law Firm online, or call our offices anytime at 1-800-Attorney (1-800-288-6769) to discuss your situation with our experienced boat and ship attorneys. In the complimentary consultation, our attorneys will review your experiences and situation and provide you information regarding your legal rights, options, and responsibilities.
We demand strict professional standards. Our Dallas-based attorneys are among the best maritime and admiralty lawyers and have resolved many multi-million dollar personal injury cases. We are passionate about our role as advocates and treat our clients with complete respect and compassion. We are committed to utilizing all available legal advantages and tactics to successfully resolve your personal injury claim.