The Jones Act was established in the United States in 1920 as a federal statute to provide laws and regulations for ports and waters in and around the United States. At the time, land-based laws did not apply to seamen, so the Jones Act also served to protect seamen in the same ways that laws protected on-land workers. Generally, this applied to scenarios where workers’ compensation and the use of a maritime injury lawyer in Seattle would be needed. The Jones Act was revised in 2006.
Seamen Protection and The Jones Act
Workers who work on land in the United States are protected with federal and state laws that don’t directly apply to workers who work on the sea or maritime workers. Most notably, federal workers’ compensation and state workers’ compensation are not applicable to maritime employees.
In other words, if you are a seaman and you were injured offshore because of the negligence of your employer, you could not file for typical workers’ compensation in the same way that a worker on land could. The Jones Act essentially makes this possible.
Who Exactly Is Protected Under the Jones Act?
To be protected under the Jones Act, you must work on a sea vessel (boat, cruise ship, oil rig, submarine, etc.) for at least 30% of your work hours. The vessel must be on navigable waters that would be protected under other portions of the Jones Act, but for example, the vessel could be a boat that is currently docked or being repaired. It doesn’t necessarily have to be “navigating waters” constantly.
More specifically, the vessel needs to be “moored to a dock” but able to navigate on navigable waters. This is called being “in navigation.”
Those protected under The Jones Act include:
- Fishermen & Deckhands
- Captains & Mates
- Pilots & Divers
- Stewards, Cooks & Bartenders
Were You Injured Offshore? Call a Maritime Injury Lawyer in Seattle
It’s important to remember that if you were injured in a work related activity and the injury was the fault of your employer, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Serious injuries on boats and other sea vessels can be extremely severe. They can result in the need for surgery, ongoing physical therapy, constant medication, time off from work, or the loss of the job completely. Some even cost workers their mobility.
The Jones Act protects you should you be injured on the job in such a scenario. But only a professional and experienced maritime injury lawyer in Seattle can help you get the compensation you deserve for your offshore injuries. Call a lawyer today if you have recently been injured offshore.