Washington Jones Act/Maritime Law
Maritime law is also known as Admiralty Law. In 1920, the U.S. Congress enacted the Maritime Marine Act, more commonly known as the Jones Act. The Jones Act is the federal legislation that protects American workers injured at sea. Also referred to as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, this law allows qualifying sailors who have been involved in accidents or become sick while performing their duties to recover compensation from their employers. These laws are legal rules and practices that govern the business of employment and transportation of people and goods over or near navigable waters. Navigable waters also mean rivers and lakes. These laws are federal laws and cases are litigated in federal court. They provide rights and remedies to almost everyone who works on or near these vessels.
Maritime Law also governs airplane or helicopter crashes over navigable waters.
Commercial fishing continues to rank at or near the top of the most hazardous occupations in the United States. Injuries happen daily in the fishing industry due to poor equipment, poor training, and lapse in maintenance among other reasons. To learn more about your legal rights and what benefits you are eligible for, contact us today.
Who does the Jones Act apply to?
Fishermen, tug boat and barge workers, ferry boat crew men, pile drivers, commercial divers, deck workers, crab and deck hands, fish processor workers, and others. Essentially, any job on a commercial vessel while the vessel is on the water. This includes fishing boat accidents in Alaska and the Bering Sea.
Maritime Law also applies to labor disputes, sexual and racial harassment, disability discrimination, toxic exposures, hearing losses and workplace fatigue injuries.
If a loved one has died while working at sea or engaged in seagoing operations the surviving spouses and children, or other family members may be able to file a claim.
When a seaman is injured through negligence of the employer or un-seaworthiness of a vessel, they are entitled to be compensated monetarily for their damages and have their medical expenses covered.
What are you entitled to when injured?
Monetary compensation for damages and injuries which include; damages for pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, lost wages and future wages, medical expenses, lost earning capacity, and vocational and educational retraining costs.
Seamen are also entitled to maintenance and cure benefits under the Maritime Law. Maintenance and Cure pays you a certain portion of your wages while you are unable to work. Seamen are entitled to these benefits under the Jones Act or Federal Maritime Law.