Articles Tagged with jones act

On October 1, 2015, a freighter ship by the name of El Fargo sank in 15,000 feet of water near the Bahamas. All 33 of its crewmembers died in the sinking. In Florida, a family of a now deceased crewmember filed a lawsuit under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as theJones Act,” against the captain and owner of the ship, Michael Davidson. The freighter ship departed from Jacksonville, Florida en route to Puerto Rico carrying cars and other cargo. The ship eventually lost power to its engine and failed to avoid a category four hurricane. The Florida wrongful death lawsuit filed against the ship’s owner and captain demands $100 million in damages. Basically, the captain and owner of the freighter ship negligently decided to sail the 41-year-old freighter ship into the dangerous storm, putting all passengers’ and crewmembers’ lives at great risk.                  

First, however, to be protected under the Jones Act, the worker must establish that he is a seaman. A seaman is a person who spends a large amount of time working as a captain or as a crewmember on a vessel that is considered to be in navigation. If you or your loved one is an injured crewmember or captain, it is imperative that you hire an experienced maritime lawyer to establish your entitlement to legal protections under the Jones Act. The maritime attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA provide legal representation for seriously injured crewmembers and ship employees. For over 40 years, our lawyers have litigated these complex claims. Our personal injury law firm will fight for your legal rights.

Your Rights under the Jones Act

If a crew member is hurt on the job while at sea, do they have to file a workers compensation claim? This is a question asked to our team of experienced Miami maritime lawyers quite often by injured cruise ship workers and their loved ones. The answer is that crew members do not use the traditional workers compensation system that land-based workers may access. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly known as the Jones Act, is a federal legislation that aims to protect seamen’s rights in cases of on-board accidents or death. Pursuant to this act, compensation can be claimed by a workman employed in a marine vessel when an injury is brought upon by the careless act of an employer or co-worker in course of his employment. Vessel owners can likewise be liable if the accident occurred due to dangerous conditions on the ship.

However, for sailors to acquire damages under the Jones Act, they must give adequate verification that they are, indeed, seamen. Federal courts have deciphered the term “sailor” to mean a person who is employed in a vessel or fleet that operates in waterways used for national or international commerce, or in other words, operates in navigable waters. As long as the person is engaged in some kind of work that is related with the vessel’s objective, the relative significance of the sailor’s expected set of job responsibilities is not critical.

The most common injuries incurred by crew members while on duty aboard a cruise liner are:

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, popularly dubbed as the Jones Act, is a federal law that aims to protect the rights of seamen in cases of on-board accidents or death. Pursuant to the Jones Act, compensation can be claimed by a workman employed on a marine vessel when an injury is brought upon by the careless act of an employer or co-worker in the course of his or her employment. Vessel owners can likewise be liable if an injury takes place owing to the dangerous conditions on the ship. Our team of experienced Miami maritime lawyers understand the Jones Act and want to ensure any injured seaman, or a loved one, has the information they need to determine whether they have a viable claim under this federal law.

Federal courts have deciphered the term “sailor” to mean a person who is employed in a vessel or fleet that operates in waterways used for national or international commerce, or in other words, operates in navigable waters. As long as the person is engaged in some kind of work that is related with the vessel’s objective, the relative significance of the sailor’s expected set of job responsibilities is not critical in order to assert a claim under the Jones Act.

If you suffer an injury while working on a vessel, take the following action:

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