The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 is often referred to as the Jones Act. This is a federal law, meaning it applies to all Americans. This law protects workers at sea, including sailors and other maritime and offshore workers. If you qualify as a seaman and you were hurt or fell ill on the job, the Jones Act protects your right to recover compensation for your injuries from your employer.

Do I Qualify Under the Terms of the Jones Act as a Seaman?

The Jones Act applies only to seamen. Over the years, this term has been interpreted by the court to mean workers assigned to work necessary in the operation of ships / fleets operating in "navigable waters"-meaning, waterways that can be used in the process of commerce, both foreign and interstate.

Qualifying Jones Act vessels may include any vessel used for water transportation, such as:

  • Tugboats
  • Cruise ships
  • Barges
  • Cargo ships
  • Pontoon rafts
  • Mobile offshore drilling units
  • Dredges
  • Jack-up and semi-submersible rigs
  • Floating dormitories

Additionally, these individuals must spend what the court deems to be a significant portion of time on the vessel. One rule of thumb derived from previous court rulings is that the seaman must spend 30% of his / her time onboard the vessel; this is not, however, set in stone. If you have questions about whether or not you qualify as an injured seaman under the terms of the Jones Act, consult a New York City personal injury lawyer from our team at Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP. We can answer all of your questions and provide insightful counsel during this time!

Protecting Maritime & Offshore Workers for Over 100 Years

Protect your future. Call Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP today to discuss your case with a skilled NYC personal injury attorney. We're here to fight for you. You can also fill out a free case evaluation to tell us more about your case. We look forward to guiding you through this complex and often challenging time.

Contact us today at (646) 461-4009 to get fast help.