The United States Congress enacted the Merchant Marine act in 1920. In 1970 changes were made. Today, the Merchant Marine Act is commonly referred to as 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. Offshore seamen are covered by the Jones Act. Also, inland seamen, those working on vessels on rivers, waterways, and other inland bodies of water, are covered by the act as well.
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 a vessel must be kept in seaworthy condition. 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 Jones Act is a federal law. A Jones Act claim made in Minnesota may be settled in a Minnesota state court, however, it may be beneficial to allow an experienced Jones Act lawyer to determine which level is best for their client. A Jones Act claim handled on the state level will follow Minnesota state court procedures.
It is important to take action immediately after the injury. Residents of Minnesota that have been injured during their maritime-related job should hire an experienced Jones Act lawyer to handle the claim right away. The statute of limitation on most Jones Act claims is three years. Jones Act lawyers can determine what benefits, compensation, or awards their client is entitled. The complex terms within the Jones Act can be handled by a professional. Jones Act lawyer fees may vary.
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