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: