In 1920, Congress enacted the Jones Act to establish protections for maritime workers who sustain an injury while working at sea. Seamen cannot receive regular workers’ compensation for job-related injuries, but they do have the option to sue their employer under the Jones Act, as well as under unseaworthiness and defective equipment laws. The Jones Act not only allows seamen to obtain compensation for work-related injuries, but also to have their claim decided by a judge or jury.
To prevail under the Jones Act, you must prove:
- You are a seaman (or you were at the time of your injury)
- You suffered the injury while working
- Your employer was negligent
- The negligence of your employer caused your injury (at least in part)
A maritime attorney can evaluate your claim to determine if the Jones Act or other maritime laws apply in your particular case. It is important to work with an attorney who specializes in maritime law, because before proceeding with a Jones Act claim you must:
- Determine if you are considered a seaman in the eyes of the law and prepare to support that determination with evidence in court
- Evaluate whether your employer was negligent, how that negligence contributed to your injury, and prepare to prove negligence in court
- Identify the appropriate venue in which to file your claim and the time limits you have for filing it
The Jones Act is a complex aspect of maritime law. If you were injured while working at sea, contact Latti & Anderson LLP to ensure your case is handled by an experienced maritime attorney.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston Jones Act attorneys