Jones Act

Congress passed the Jones Act, also called the Merchant Marine Act, in 1920 to allow injured sailors or their survivors to recover compensation from their employers. Prior to the Jones Act, the rights of injured sailors and their families were seriously limited. But with the public becoming increasingly aware of the perils inherent in a livelihood at sea, Congress moved to establish some security for injured sailors by allowing them to sue their employers for damages in federal court.

Because maritime cases differ so greatly from typical personal injury or workers compensation cases, an experienced Jones Act attorney such as those at Powell & Majestro P.L.L.C. should handle cases of this type.

A Jones Act lawyer must typically prove several elements for such a case to be successful. First, the injured person must qualify as a sailor. A person who fits this definition is usually entitled to at least "maintenance and cure"-provision of the necessities such as food and shelter that are normally provided to sailors aboard ship, and payment of medical expenses for treatment of injuries.

To qualify as a sailor, the injured worker must have a substantial connection to the vessel and must have duties that contribute to the operation of the vessel. This definition is often a source of contention in Jones Act cases. But an experienced maritime attorney has the experience to evaluate your claim and determine whether you can qualify as a sailor.

A sailor may receive additional compensation if his or her Jones Act lawyer can prove that the injuries of the sailor resulted from the carelessness of his or her employer or another employee. The injury may also result from a dangerous condition present in the vessel. Effectively evaluating and proving a dangerous condition requires a specialized knowledge of the law, and of the operation of ships that only an experienced Jones Act lawyer can claim. Contact the admiralty and maritime law firm of Powell & Majestro P.L.L.C. to speak with an experienced Jones Act attorney who can evaluate your claim.

Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act

Even if a person does not qualify as a sailor under the Jones Act, United States admiralty and maritime law may still provide a remedy. The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act sets up what is essentially a workers compensation system for individuals working in dock, ship repair, or shipbuilding operations-but who do not qualify as sailors under the Jones act.

Death on the High Seas Act

Congress passed the Death on the High Seas Act in 1920. This act allows a surviving spouse, parent, or child to receive compensation following the death of a loved one caused by the negligence of an air or sea carrier, and occurring more than three nautical miles off the shore of the United States.

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