The maritime industry employs thousands of Americans. If you are a seaman, you have probably heard about the Jones Act.
Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act is a federal statute that requires companies to use US-built and registered ships when transporting goods within the country. This act endeavors to promote the growth of the U.S maritime industry as well as the Merchant Marine.
So what are your rights under the Jones Act?
One of the key mandates of the Jones Act is the provision of compensation rights for workers who are hurt or develop illnesses while working on the vessel. All types of boats and ships are covered by this act. To qualify for compensation under the Jones Act, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be properly defined as a “seaman”
- You must have sustained an injury or developed an illness while at work
- Your injury or illness must be attributable to an employer’s negligence
Compensable injuries under the Jones Act
Every vessel owner has a duty to maintain the safety of their crew as well as any onboard equipment that may be used by their employees. If this duty is breached resulting in injury, the seaman can pursue the ship owner for compensation.
You may be eligible for compensation if the injury or illness in question is attributable to the vessel’s owner. Sometimes, injuries that happen off the vessel can also be covered depending on what the victim was doing when the injury happened.
If you are hurt while working aboard a vessel, you may be entitled to compensation for the resulting damages within 3 years from the date of your injury. Find out how you safeguard your rights and interests while pursuing compensation under the Jones Act.