In the wake of a serious offshore injury, one of the first and most important things you will need to find out is what body of law applies to you. Is it the Jones Act? The Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act? General maritime law? Unfortunately, you cannot trust your employer to tell you which body of law applies to your case. Because Jones Act cases tend to have much higher settlements than other types of cases, some unscrupulous maritime employers will go so far as to tell their injured employees to file state workers’ compensation claims instead of Jones Act claims in order to avoid higher payouts. It is important to consult an experienced maritime attorney before making any major decisions regarding your claim. Pursuing your claim under the wrong body of law can seriously harm your ability to recover money for your injuries.
Generally, in order to be covered under the Jones Act, you must spend at least 30% of your time working onboard a vessel. While the definition of a vessel has changed over the years, most structures capable of flotation are covered under the Act, including boats, ships, barges, casino boats, cruise ships, moveable drilling rigs and even helicopters.
Traditional Maritime Occupations Covered Under the Jones Act Include:
- Able-Bodied Seaman,
- Second Electrician,
- Unlicensed Junior Engineer,
- Deck Engineer Machinist
Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling and Production Occupations Covered Under the Jones Act Include:
- Rig Manager
Other Occupations Covered Under the Jones Act Include:
If you or a loved one has questions regarding a maritime accident, contact an experienced Jones Act lawyer today for answers and put your mind at ease.