The Merchant Marine Act was enacted in 1920 by the United State Congress. The act was later changed and is commonly referred to as the Jones Act. Some have commented that the Jones Act is the “worker’s compensation for seamen.” The Jones Act is very similar to worker’s compensation in the fact that it protects seamen at their place of work, however the Jones Act and worker’s compensation are completely separate.
A vessel owner is required to maintain a seaworthy vessel at all times under the Jones Act. Failure to maintain the vessel in a seaworthy condition can very possibly lead to a Jones Act lawsuit from an employee. Both past and potential future wage losses can be regained in an eligible Jones Act claim. Also, reasonable medical expenses shall be covered as well as other compensation. In a successful Jones Act claim, most obligations to the employee due to the injury must be met by his or her employer.
Under the Jones Act, a ship or vessel includes different water-going vessels, ships, or other floating or movable rigs. They include but are not limited to various barges, tankers, diving vessels, research vessels, fishing vessels, cargo ships, drill ships, and many others. Hiring a reputable Jones Act lawyer will help in determining if the workplace in which you work is covered under the Jones Act.
The Jones Act is a federal law. However, cases involving injuries covered under the Jones Act can be heard in a state court proceeding or in a federal court proceeding. If you live in the state of Iowa and have been injured at your maritime-related job, contact an experienced Jones Act lawyer as soon as possible.
Residents of Iowa may be given the opportunity to file their Jones Act claim in Iowa. However, some claims will be better off on the federal level. A Jones Act lawyer should be able to determine whether or not filing in the state in which you live is in your best interest. Iowa residents that file a Jones Act claim or lawsuit in Iowa may be able to receive proper medical treatment from a doctor that is reasonably close by. Eligible lawsuits and claims made in Iowa will follow Iowa state court procedures.
In the state of Iowa, an injured seaman may receive his or her first consultation with their Jones Act lawyer with no cost or fees. Be sure to inquire about all fees and costs upfront.
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