Jones Act and Maritime Injury Claims

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The Jones Act of 1920 was enacted to grant workers on sea vessels the same rights as workers on land in the US. Essentially, it protects sea workers by granting them the same privileges with regards to workplace injuries and compensation.

Any worker aboard a sea vessel is granted the right to sue his or her employer via Jones Act claims, should they sustain an injury while employed aboard that vessel. Specifically, because of the Jones act, any worker is eligible to receive compensation, or obtain damages, for the shipowners, fellow crew membersĀ or captains negligence.

Who's Covered?

Any member of the crew is protected by these rights. Additionally, this law extends to vessels that navigate inland waterways. Covered workers include the following:

  • Workers aboard cargo ships
  • Oil rigs
  • Cruise ships
  • Ferrys
  • Fishing boats
  • Divers
  • Riggers

This is just a short list of covered areas. If a workers spends 30% or more of his time aboard a navigating ship, boat or vessel, he is protected by the Jones Act.

Jones Act Claim Time Limits

The statute of limitations for a maritime injury claims is usually 3 years. This means that an injury claim can only be filed and heard within three years of the date of the injury. However, depending on circumstances such as the date of discovery of the injury, this time limit may be extended. Only a maritime accident lawyer can advise on specific case time limits.

Recoverable Damages

Maritime Injury Damages that are eligible for compensation in a maritime workers compensation lawsuit are similar to those of other personal injury claims. These include:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Lost Earning Capacity (Present and Future)
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Wrongful Death Damages
  • Emotional Distress
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Only qualified maritime injury lawyers can establish exactly what damages can be recovered for any particular maritime lawsuit.

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