Jones Act, Merchant Marine Act
If you're not a sailor, you may never consider the very complicated world of maritime law. For instance, what happens when you have grievances against the owner of your ship, the captain of the ship, or your colleagues? What happens if you are injured due to one of those aforementioned persons' negligence? Over time, questions such as those caught the attention of the government. Consequently, it became more and more obvious to the courts that sailors needed rights and laws governing them; hence, the Jones Act came into being.
The Jones Act is also called the Merchant Marine Act (and that seems to be a moniker that is often used in media descriptions and news reports.) Begun in 1920, the Jones Act provides, among other things, that: "Any seaman who shall suffer personal injury in the course of his employment may...maintain an action for damages at law, with the right to trial by jury..." (46 U.S.C. 688[a]) Much of the language and structure of the Jones Act was actually taken from a similar act used to protect railroad employees.
Thus, the Jones Act operates as a protector for sailors and crews aboard merchant ships. However, after Hurricane Katrina, the Jones Act was waived. This has led to many new lawsuits surfacing.
If you feel that you or someone you love have or has incurred an injury that might be covered under the Jones Act, whether before or after Hurricane Katrina, we urge you to contact our offices today. Unlike other law firms, we have legal representatives on staff who are well-versed in the Jones Act. Therefore, we can offer you the most up-to-date representation.
Remember – not all attorneys understand the inner workings of the Jones Act. Provisions such as the Jones Act are very specific, and although some lawyers may flippantly state, "I can just learn the Jones Act and try the case," it's simply not that easy. Understanding the needs of a merchant marine or seaman takes years of practice, as our knowledgeable attorneys can attest to.
Contact our offices today via telephone or email to set up a consultation on your Jones Act related claim. If you choose to use us for representation, you will get our top-notch legal reputation working in your favor. We'll give you the honest truth regarding your issues, and always treat you like the individual you are. Call us now and don't delay.