Q: What is the Jones Act?
A: The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a federal law statute which protects the rights, and covers the safety of seamen. The Jones Act allows a seaman to file a lawsuit against his/her employer for any sustained injuries occurring while on the job that are caused or contributed by negligence.
Q: Is there a deadline to file a claim under the Jones Act?
A: The deadline to file a Jones Act claim varies depending when you were hurt, and who you were working for at the time of injury. Generally, the deadline is three years from the date the incident occurred.
Q: What is maritime law?
A: Maritime law, which is also referred to as admiralty law, is the distinct body of laws and regulations that governs both domestic and international activities involving ships, cargo, injuries, or offenses occurring at sea and other navigable waters.
Q: How do I know if I qualify as a "seaman" under the Jones Act?
A: The general rule in order to determine if you quality as a seaman is, you must spend at least 30% of your total employment time on a vessel in navigation to be eligible for Jones Act benefits.
Q: What is maintenance and cure?
A: Maintenance and cure are benefits that a seaman receives when they are injured or ill from an employer during the course of recovery. The term “maintenance” refers to the daily living allowance that is obligated to be paid to a seaman while he/she is recovering from illness or injury. While "cure" pertains to all reasonable and necessary medical expenses the employer must pay related to an injury or illness while in service of the vessel.
Q: What is "unseaworthiness"?
A: Under the Jones Act, a vessel owner is obligated to provide seaman a seaworthy ship. This means that the vessel and its all safety equipment must in fit for its intended purpose, and properly maintained for its voyage.
If you or someone you know has been injuried while at sea, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a maritime lawyer in your local area today!
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