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. Also, inland seamen, those working on vessels on rivers, waterways, and other inland bodies of water, are covered by the act as well.
Jones Act claims are quite common in New Jersey due to its location along the eastern coast of the United States. Various cargo ships and other vessel move to and from New Jersey waters every day.
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. Monetary awards may be granted to the injured employee in some Jones Act lawsuits cases. Future wage loss compensation may be granted if the injury is very serious.
The Jones Act is a federal law. A Jones Act claim made in New Jersey may be settled in a New Jersey 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 New Jersey state court procedures.
Residents of New Jersey 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 laws are very complex. Jones Act lawyers can determine what benefits, compensation, or awards their client is entitled. Jones Act lawyer fees may vary.
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