The Jones Act is a federal law that has protected seaman, such as masters, captains, officers, or members of the crew, for almost a century. Enacted in 1920, the Jones Act provides compensation to seamen and their families for injuries and death due to an accident caused by the negligence of a vessel owner, captain or other member of a vessel’s crew or the unseaworthiness of a vessel.
Seamen working on these types of vessels are frequently covered under the Jones Act:
– cruise ships
– water taxis
– tug boats
– riverboat casinos
– crew boats
– shrimp boats
– fishing boats
– other types of commercial boat on the ocean and all intra-coastal lakes, rivers and canals.
Importantly, the Jones Act covers seaman who are well aware of the risks associated with their job.
As reported yesterday by The Advocate’s Timothy Boone, the Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District acquired land to build a port and is meeting with state representatives about its development. A new port will likely mean more jobs for seaman, making the Jones Act even more important to this area. If you work on a vessel, your employer is responsible for providing you with proper training, safe and functioning equipment, a safe-working environment. If your employer fails to do this and you are hurt because of it, you may have a claim under the Jones Act.
If you are injured on a vessel, it is important that you file a written report with your supervisor and employer. Be sure to include in the report all the people you were working with at the time of the incident. Also, if you have a cellphone, take photos or video of the incident site. If you don’t have access to a cell phone or camera, be sure to take a mental picture of where and how the incident occurred. Even small details can be the difference in determining a vessel’s seaworthiness or another person’s negligence.
Because bringing a Jones Act claim is complex and often challenging, it is important to retain legal advice from an experienced Jones Act attorney soon after a maritime injury. The Lambert Firm’s maritime attorneys have over 35 years of experience handling Jones Act cases all over the Gulf Coast. If you have been injured or on a maritime vessel, let us help you get the care and attention from your employer so that you can get back to work and take care of your family in the process.
If you have any questions or you would like to speak with an attorney about a possible Jones Act Claim, please contact us here.