Working as a seaman on a large vessel comes without a lot of dangers that other occupations don’t have to face. For one the fact that you’re out at sea with little to no access to outside resources in an instant can pose a lot of threats and dangers. In areas like Miami where there are a lot of ports and people working on the water understanding federal laws like the Jones Act is extremely important. Understanding what the law is and how it can affect you is detrimental in making sure you’re prepared in the event that this happens. Now similarly to other legal jargon understanding the fine print of the Jones Act is almost impossible if you don’t have a background in law. The best thing to do is to go to a Jones Act lawyer, that is an expert and who can help break the law down for you and turn it into terms that you can fully comprehend. Irwin Law Firm is a boat accident lawyer that will take the time to sit with you and make sure that you understand every part of the act and what your rights are.
The Jones Act According To A Jones Act Lawyer
The Merchant Marine Act was passed in the US in 1920 and is one of three congressional laws referred to as the “Jones Act.” The purpose of this law was to recognize the importance of a strong merchant marine system as a form of national defense as well as the growth of foreign and domestic commerce. Since the beginning of our country, the shipping industry has been seen as a vital part of the economic success of the nation. Another part of the act was the ensure that injured seaman where appropriately returned back to their homes.
This act is one of the few left that is still favorable to an injured worker. What position you hold aboard the vessel has no impact on whether or not the law applies to you. You can work as a deckhand, engineer, third mate, second mate, first mate, captain, roughneck, driller, pilot, tanker personnel or any other position that requires you to be involved in the maritime and offshore industry. The offshore workers that are covered under the Jones Act are fishing, fishery, canning, shrimping, oil field, dredging, barge, tugboat, towboat, crew boat, and supply boat. Basically, if you work in any type of maritime position, this act will protect you from injury on the job.
The Jones Act applies when a seaman while working onboard a vessel is injured in the scope of employment. Although, the law seems simple to navigate and determine when exactly it applies and doesn’t apply this isn’t the case. Even after it has been a part of the American judicial system for a century, a problem always seems to arise when these cases are brought to court in regards to who exactly is a “seaman.” Over the years the federal courts have come to agree that to qualify as a “seaman” a person needs to be permanently assigned to one fleet of vessels. Which means if you’re an engineer who usually works for ABC corp on their fleet, but you’re sent aboard a vessel owned by XYZ Corp. to fix an engine you would not qualify for Jones Act protect if you were injured while repairing their engine. This has caused a lot of controversies and has made workers not want to go aboard other vessels to help just in case something were to happen.
Another aspect of the act that causes a lot of debate is the need for the seaman to prove in a court of law without a doubt that their injury was caused by negligence. Unlike workers compensation that employees receive when they’re injured on the job regardless of whether or not their employer was at fault under the Jones Act, you are not entitled to anything unless you can prove that your employer was 100% at fault for your injuries.
If you’re still having a difficult time understanding the ins and outs of the Jones Act locate a boat accident lawyer in your area that can help you navigate through the fine print.
Irwin Law Firm is a leading Jones Act lawyer in the Miami area. We specialize in helping our clients receive the best settlements after they have been a victim of any type of accident. If you’re looking for a boat accident lawyer call or visit us today for more information!