The Jones Act was enacted by the U.S. Congress to protect seamen that suffer a work-related injury. Under the Jones Act, if the seaman dies, the seaman’s beneficiary may receive benefits. Both inland and offshore seamen are protected.
Under the Jones Act, a ship or vessel includes many different water-going vessels, ships, or other floating or movable rigs. They include but are not limited to various types of barges, tankers, diving vessels, research vessels, fishing vessels, cargo ships, drill ships, and others.
Worker’s compensation and the Jones Act are very different. Worker’s compensation laws differ within each state while Jones Act injuries follow federal law.
Cases involving injuries covered under the Jones Act can be heard either in a state court proceeding or in a federal court proceeding. If you live in the District of Columbia and you have been injured while working at your maritime job, it is wise to contact a maritime lawyer or Jones Act lawyer. A reputable Jones Act lawyer should be able to determine if your case should be heard on the state or federal level.
A seaman injured while working at his or her maritime job may attempt to recover various legal damages under a Jones Act lawsuit or a Jones Act claim. Income that is lost from the time of the injury until the trial may be recovered. Also, future income may be recovered if the injury affects the employee’s future work capabilities. According to the Jones Act, seamen are entitled to reasonable medical expense coverage as well as compensation for mental anguish, disfigurement, pain, and suffering.
If you are a resident in the District of Columbia, it may be beneficial to file your Jones Act lawsuit or claim there. This will allow the injured employee to seek medical attention from a doctor in their area. If a Jones Act claim is heard in the District of Columbia, the proceedings will follow District of Columbia court guidelines.
Generally, the statute of limitation for most Jones Act cases is three years. However, special circumstances may change the statute of limitation.
Jones Act cases and the rules in regards to the act are extremely complex. Hiring a Jones Act lawyer is recommended. The wrong actions following a maritime injury made by either the lawyer or employee can very possibly result in the loss of deserved wages, benefits, or compensation. Therefore, it is important to find an experienced Jones Act lawyer.
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