What Is the Jones Act?

Written by: Roy Boujaoude

How Seaman Can Receive Compensation After an Injury

When a worker is injured on the job, they can recover damages by filing a workers’ compensation claim. Injured employees who are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits are typically not eligible to sue their employer for additional damages. However, the Jones Act creates an exception. Below, we explain what the Jones Act is and how this Federal law affects maritime workers' ability to secure compensation.

Were you injured while working aboard or in connection with a vessel? If you are a seaman or other maritime worker who sustained injuries or suffered an illness while on the job, our Houston Maritime Jones Act lawyer can help. Mr. Boujaoude is committed to defending the rights of injured seaman and works tirelessly to secure maximum compensation from the responsible party. Contact us online or call (713) 999-8575 to speak to an attorney for FREE.

What Is the Jones Act?

The Jones Act is a Federal law enacted to regulate maritime commerce. Under the Jones Act, goods shipped between U.S. ports can only be transported on vessels built, owned, and operated by U.S. citizens. 

The law also allows those who work on or around ships to secure damages from a negligent employer in the event of an injury or illness. Given the exceptionally high risk of injury maritime workers are exposed to while on the job, the Jones Act provides essential legal remedies to seaman who become ill or injured as a result of their work.

What Is the Difference Between Workers’ Compensation and Jones Act?

Although both are designed to compensate injured employees, there are some key differences. The role of fault is perhaps the most significant difference between the two. With workers’ compensation, you can receive compensation without having to prove your employer was at fault. However, to secure compensation under the Jones Act, you must prove the employer or employee was negligent and that the negligent act caused your injury.

Another notable distinction is that workers’ compensation only covers medical expenses and lost wages. In contrast, in addition to medical expenses and lost wages, injured workers who are eligible under the Jones Act can seek compensation for pain and suffering. Injured seaman may also be able to punitive damages in some circumstances. Punitive damages are often awarded in cases where employers are found to be especially reckless or harmful.

Who Is Eligible?

The Jones Act only affords the right to recover compensation to those who are considered “seaman.” To qualify as a seaman, you must meet the following criteria.

  • You work on a vessel that is not permanently moored or docked.
  • Your work responsibilities contribute to the function or mission of a vessel.
  • You spend at least 30% of your work time on a vessel

What You Need to Prove in a Jones Act Claim

To be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act, three criteria must be met.

  • You must be considered a “seaman.”
  • You must have sustained the injury or developed the illness during the course of your employment.
  • Your illness or injury must have resulted from your employer’s or fellow employee’s negligence.

Speak with an Experienced Maritime Law and Jones Act Attorney in Houston

Maritime accidents are all too common in Houston and along the Gulf Coast. If you became ill or was injured while working on or around a ship or other vessel, you may have the right to seek compensation under the Jones Act. 
As one of Houston’s top maritime accident lawyers, Roy Boujaoude has the knowledge and resources to help you recover damages resulting from someone else’s wrongdoing. Maritime accidents can forever change your life. That is why Mr. Boujaoude and his team won’t rest until they get you the justice you deserve. And you won’t need to worry about our fees, as we only get paid if we win your case. Get started today by calling (713) 999-8575 and scheduling your complimentary case evaluation.

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Call or Contact Us Online Today!

No matter what the circumstances of your case, Attorney Roy Boujaoude can help. Contact our office today at (713) 690-2277 for a free case consultation. Our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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