The Jones Act – Seamen Injury
The Jones Act protects the rights of offshore and inland waterway seamen and workers. When a worker is injured in a job-related accident, the law allows for them to seek recovery. However, the law does not consider all maritime workers as seamen, and those who do not have seamen status are not covered under the Jones Act.
Generally, a seaman is “a master or member of a crew of any vessel” and while the captain, their officers, and their crewmembers would be classified as seamen, seamen status is broader than this defined group and is determined by the individual’s employment connection to the vessel and whether the vessel is in navigation. Our experienced Jones Act attorneys can help you sort through this complicated area of law.
If you are a seaman who has been injured and wants to file for compensation, be aware that there is a strict time limit on how long you have to take action.
The statute of limitations is like a clock that starts winding down as soon as the injury occurs. Once it stops, the injured party is no longer able to seek legal action for injury claims. The statute of limitations is different for all legal claims, including maritime claims.
Claims made under the Jones Act must be made within three years of being injured. There are special circumstances under which the statute of limitations is extended. For example, if you were exposed to asbestos while working in the maritime industry, but aren’t diagnosed for several decades, the clock may not start ticking until you are diagnosed.
It is important to know that even within maritime law, the statute of limitations may differ. For instance, claims made against the U.S. government by seamen who are working aboard a vessel that is owned, contracted, or operated by the U.S. may have less time to file a claim than other seamen.
If you have been seriously injured or if you have lost a loved one in a fatal offshore accident, speak to us as soon as possible. We have decades of experience in fighting for people in the commercial maritime industries, and we stand ready to fight for you. Fill out the form for more information.