A Jones Act Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights
If you are a maritime worker and you have been injured on the job, attorney Michael E. Shelton can provide legal representation, and help pursue a claim against your employer. As a maritime worker, you are protected under The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. For more than 40 years, The Shelton Law Firm has been representing clients and their families throughout Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas, seeking compensation for their injuries and hardships. If your employer has improperly maintained a safe work environment, has acted in a negligent manner, or has simply failed in their responsibility to protect you from injury, a Jones Act lawyer from our firm can review your case and seek justice for you and your family.
Compensation for Injured Offshore Workers
What is The Jones Act?
The Jones Act is a federal statute, commonly referred to as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 that regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports. As part of the statute, seamen and sailors are protected from injuries they may sustain while working. This act allows the injured party to file a claim and seek compensation for damages. As part of the statute, no matter if the injury is a result of any negligence or actions of the employer, the injured worker must be awarded certain medical and living expenses.
Qualifying Under the Statue
If you are currently employed or were previously employed as a maritime worker, and suffered an injury on your work vessel, or as part of your daily job functions, you may qualify to bring a lawsuit against your employer. However, due to vague language presented within the statute, which states that the law only applies to “seamen,” your right to qualify may be challenged.
Unlike many land-based places of employment that can restrict and limit the amount of damages because of workers compensation coverage, seamen and those covered under The Jones Act can seek more extensive economic and non-economic damages.
The courts have interpreted the term to mean an individual who is assigned to a vessel or fleet that operates in navigable waters, and spends a “significant amount of time upon the vessel.” While some courts interpret this amount of time to be 30 percent of an individual's time onboard, this is by no means a definitive percentage, which can be ultimately used to prove your qualifications. To help sift through some of the complexities of these types of cases, an experienced maritime attorney should be attained to help you with your case.
If negligence or hostile acts by the ship owner, managing crew, or a coworker has contributed to your injury, The Jones Act allows you to seek damages in a negligence lawsuit. Unlike many land-based places of employment that can restrict and limit the amount of damages because of workers compensation coverage, seamen and those covered under The Jones Act can seek more extensive economic and non-economic damages.
Learn More About Your Rights
If you have suffered an injury as a maritime worker, turn to an experienced personal injury lawyer with a proven track record of fighting for the rights of his clients. At Shelton Law Firm, our primary goal is to fight for justice and to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable. We will aggressively seek compensation for your injuries, hardships, and if necessary, we will file an additional negligence lawsuit. To schedule an appointment to discuss your case, please send us a message, or give us a call at (713)807-0700.