Jones Act and Merchant Maritime Law

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 is better known to historians and maritime attorneys as the Jones Act. Along with a variety of provisions designed to govern domestic and international sea and waterway trade, the Jones Act also provides protections for workers on ships and allows them the right to sue their employers for personal injuries sustained on the job.

At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, our maritime lawyers work with sailors to ensure they receive the compensation they need and deserve for their injury claims. Our Texas City-based maritime lawyers have over 45 years of combined legal experience and can provide you with the support and representation necessary to secure maximum compensation, including maintenance and cure specific to maritime workers.

Causes of Action Under Jones Act and Maritime Law Provisions

According to the Jones Act, sailors and other shipboard employees can receive compensation for injuries sustained in the course of their duties if one of the two following conditions is applicable:

  • The accident was caused by the negligence of the employer or of other employees.
  • The accident occurred on an unseaworthy vessel.

These protections were not available for U.S. sailors prior to the enactment of the Jones Act.

Determining Unseaworthiness

For sailors who have been injured on the job, demonstrating the unseaworthiness of the ship on which they work can ensure that the injured parties receive full compensation for their injuries. In general, a ship is considered to be seaworthy if it meets the following criteria:

  • The physical structure of the ship is in good condition and suited for its intended use.
  • It is fitted with the necessary equipment and technological systems to maintain operations.
  • Safety measures have been put in place to protect crew and passengers from injury.

Failures to measure up to the expected standards in any of these three areas can result in a ship being deemed unseaworthy, and thus, compensation related to your claim for injury and loss.

Negligence and Unsafe Working Conditions

Our attorneys are well-versed in the intricacies of maritime law and the Jones Act. We can provide effective help for sailors, cruise ship workers, harbor workers, and oil and mineral industry workers who have been injured due to the negligence of others or because of unsafe working conditions. We have handled a broad variety of cases on behalf of injured workers, including:

We provide legal services for sailors, shipboard workers and harbor workers to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve for injuries and losses sustained in the course of their regular duties.

Please call us at 409-359-4865 or email our team to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney you can rely on for support and proactive representation.