The Merchant Marine Act was enacted 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. Inland seaman, those working on rivers and waterways, as well as offshore seamen are covered under the Jones Act. Experienced lawyers can be found in the state of Montana that specializes in maritime laws as well as Jones Act claims.
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 is a federal law. Jones Act cases may be handled on the state or federal level. A Jones Act claim that is taken to trial in the state of Montana will follow Montana state court procedures.
The Jones Act requires vessel owners to keep their vessels in a 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.
It is important to take action immediately after the injury. Residents of Montana that have been injured during their maritime-related job should hire an experienced Jones Act lawyer to handle the claim. 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 should be handled by a professional. Also, a Jones Act lawyer can determine if their client’s case can be heard on the state or federal level.
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