“Admiralty” and “Maritime” are used interchangeably and refer to body of law that protects workers who are injured on “navigable waters” while engaged in a “traditional maritime activity.” These protections are based on Article III of the United States Constitution.
The protections that you receive under Admiralty/Maritime Laws, however, depend almost entirely on the specific facts of the incident:
- where the injury occurred;
- the nature of the work that was being performed at the time of the incident; ;
- whether the vessel was in “navigable waters”; and
- whether the work being performed at the time of the incident constitutes a “traditional maritime activity”
Determining a workers’ rights and remedies is a complicated, fact specific inquiry that will drastically affect the types of damages that can be recovered by the worker and his or her family members. As such, it’s critical that you speak with an attorney who regularly (and successfully) handles Maritime and Jones Act cases and, as a result, knows how to identify which laws will afford you the greatest recovery.
The Jones Act
In an effort to create a uniform set of laws and regulations that govern U.S. vessels and the crew (“seaman”) who work on them, Congress enacted the Jones Act in 1920. These regulations provide special protections to offshore workers, who are referred to as “Seaman.
In order to qualify as a “seaman,” the worker must generally spend over 33% of their time working offshore on a single vessel or a fleet of vessels that are owned by the same company.
The Jones Act’s “Vessel” Requirement
Another essential factor that you must satisfy to qualify as a “Seaman” under the Jones Act is that you must have been injured while employed on a “Vessel” in navigation. While this seems rather straightforward, it’s actually one of the most contested and disputed factors when seeking benefits and coverage under the Jones Act.
Having successfully represented over 500 injured offshore workers and Seaman in the past 5 years alone, our Maritime and Jones Act Lawyers have the resources, experience and knowledge to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation available to you and your family after an offshore accident.