The United States Congress enacted the Merchant Marine act in 1920, which was later changed in1970. It is commonly referred to as the Jones Act. The Jones act provides remedies for injured seamen against their employer. If an injury results in death, the seaman’s beneficiaries may be entitled to compensation, awards, or other benefits.
Maryland’s location along the eastern seaboard of the United States makes it a common place for Jones Act claims and cases. The Jones act is a federal law although cases can be heard on the state level as well as the federal level. A Jones Act claim made in Maryland may be settled in a Maryland state court, however, it may be beneficial to allow an experienced Jones Act lawyer determine which level is best for their client. If the claim is handled on the state level in Maryland, the trial will follow Maryland state court procedures.
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. An experienced Jones Act lawyer can determine if the vessel in which their client works is included under the Jones Act.
The Jones Act states that the vessel must be kept in seaworthy condition at all times. Also, if a vessel owner, captain, other maritime workers are proven to have displayed negligence resulting in an employee’s injury in a legal trial, the injured employee will be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and wage losses. In many Jones Act lawsuits, monetary awards are granted to the injured employee. Compensation for wage losses is generally for the time starting after the injury up until the trial. If an injury is more serious and affects an employee’s ability to work in the future, future wage loss compensation may be granted.
The statute of limitation on most Jones Act claims is three years. It is important to take action immediately after the injury. An injured employee should hire an experienced Jones Act lawyer to handle a claim right away. Jones Act lawyers can determine what benefits, compensation, or awards their client is entitled. Jones Act laws are complex and should be handled by a professional. Lawyer fees vary depending on experience and other factors.
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