Maritime Jones Act Attorney

Houston Maritime Law and Jones Act Attorney

Maritime accidents are common in Houston, as it is home to one of the busiest ports in the world. The federal government codified regulations protecting the sailors and crew (seamen) of vessels under the Jones Act.  At the Law Office of Roy A. Boujaoude, P.C., we help seamen and other maritime workers who have been injured on the job obtain compensation. Our lawyers have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of clients in Houston and throughout Texas. If you were injured while working on a boat or other vessel, contact our office at (713) 690-2277 to schedule a free case evaluation. 

What Is the Jones Act?

The Jones Act, also known as Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, allows seamen to bring a claim if they are injured (or die from those injuries) in the course of employment.  Under 46 U.S.C. § 30104, a seaman injured in the course of employment (or the personal representative of a seaman who dies from their injuries) may elect to pursue a civil action including a trial by jury against their employer.  The Jones Act provides protection for American seamen otherwise not afforded by maritime law. It is essential that if you are a seaman injured on a vessel in Houston, TX, you retain an experienced maritime lawyer. Bringing a Jones Act claim can result in complex legal proceedings best handled by a knowledgeable attorney.

Who Can Recover Under the Jones Act?

If you are injured on a vessel covered under the Jones Act, you may be entitled to a number of damages including maintenance and cure benefits. Maintenance benefits generally refer to your lost wages while cure benefits cover your medical treatments.  To qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act you must:
  • Be assigned to a single vessel or fleet of vessels owned by the same party; and
  • Spend a significant amount of your employment contributing to the mission of your vessel or fleet of vessels (generally at least 30% of work must be completed aboard the vessel).
To be covered under the Jones Act, the vessel must be in navigation which means that it must be afloat, capable of moving, and operational. The injury, however, does not need to happen while the vessel is out to sea or moving. If you were injured onboard a ship you need experience you can count on; you need Attorney Roy Boujaoude in Houston, TX to get you the maximum recovery allowed under state and federal law.

How Do I File a Jones Act Claim?

If you are a seaman injured on a vessel, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim under the Jones Act. You need to act fast to preserve your rights and get the best results in your case.  Individuals who may be able to file a Jones Act claim include a:
  • Captain
  • Crew member
  • Shipworker
  • Commercial fisherman
  • Ship chandler
  • Cruise ship workers
  • Ship chef
  • Dive instructors and dive masters
If you are injured while working on a ship, make sure that you seek medical attention immediately after your injury and provide a copy of all medical bills to your attorney. Never stop medical treatment unless advised by a medical professional. Additionally, you need to make sure that you report your injuries to your supervisor.

What If the Vessel Is Unseaworthy?

You deserve to be on a seaworthy vessel free from unsafe conditions. If your injuries were the result of an unseaworthy vessel, you might be entitled to additional compensation.  While the Jones Act allows seamen who suffer an injury within the course of their employment to maintain and cure benefits, it goes further for individuals injured because of an unsafe or unseaworthy ship.  Seamen injured because of an unseaworthy vessel may be eligible for compensation to cover their pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more. 

What Are the Most Common Reasons for a Jones Act Claim?

Jones Act claims can arise out of several situations, but in many cases maritime accidents and injuries are preventable.  Common causes of maritime accidents:
  • Insufficient training or supervision
  • Lack of safety equipment
  • Poor maintenance
  • Crew fatigue
  • Assault
  • Crewmember negligence
  • Equipment failure
  • Captain incompetence
  • Violation of regulatory standards
If your employer failed to provide a safe work environment resulting in your injury, you might be entitled to damages. The Jones Act allows seamen to pursue compensation against their employers for injuries that occur within the course of work. To secure the recovery you deserve you need an experienced maritime accident lawyer. 

How Soon Do I Need to File a Jones Act Claim?

You have only three (3) yearsfrom the date of your injury to file a claim under the Jones Act. Failure to bring a claim against your employer within those three years may result in your case being dismissed or denied.  While there are a few exceptions that extend the three year statute of limitations, it is always in your best interest to consult with an attorney as quickly as possible.

One of the most important decisions you will make following a maritime injury is which attorney to hire.

You need one with experience and proven results. Houston maritime lawyer Roy Boujaoude is well-versed in Jones Act claims and will help you get the largest recovery available in your case. You cannot afford to wait. You have a very small window to file a claim, contact the Law Office of Roy A. Boujaoude today at (713) 690-2277 for a free case evaluation.
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