Mississippi Jones Act Lawyer
The Jones Act, or the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a federal law concerning marine shipping issues, the development and maintenance of a merchant marine, and seamen injuries. It is important to know that the Jones Act has a number of applications concerning shipping route and port requirements, but it is also relevant to anyone who is classified as a “seaman” who is injured while working. The Jones Act is similar to the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA), but rather than Contact our experienced Mississippi Jones Act injury lawyer today.
What is the Jones Act for Injured Workers in Mississippi?
Anyone who is classified as a “seaman” on the job in Mississippi is not eligible for traditional workers’ compensation benefits under Mississippi state or federal law. Instead, injured seamen have the ability to seek compensation by filing a Jones Act claim against their employer. Here is what the Jones Act says:
“A seaman injured in the course of employment or, if the seaman dies from the injury, the personal representative of the seaman may elect to bring a civil action at law, with the right of trial by jury, against the employer. Laws of the United States regulating recovery for personal injury to, or death of, a railway employee apply to an action under this section.”
In other words, a seaman who suffers an injury arising out of employment can file a personal injury claim against the employer, and a Jones Act claim is a kind of corollary to a FELA claim.
Who Can File a Mississippi Jones Act Claim?
Who counts as a “seaman” under this law? For purposes of Jones Act claim eligibility, a seaman is a worker who does a majority of their work on a vessel “in navigation.” The seaman must be a worker who contributes to the work of the vessel, and spends a significant amount of time on the vessel. To be clear, a large portion of a person’s work must take place on a boat or a ship in order for that person to be classified as a “seaman.” In order for a vessel to be “in navigation,” it is important to know that it does not have to be literally in navigation at sea. Rather, the following must be true:
- Vessel is afloat;
- Vessel is in operation;
- Vessel is capable of moving; and
- Vessel is on navigable waters, which means waterways that can be used for interstate commerce.
Accordingly, if a vessel is docked and a crew member is injured while the boat or ship is anchored, that worker can still be eligible to file a Jones Act claim. It is also important to recognize that many types of waterways can be used for interstate or foreign commerce and thus are considered to be “navigable waters,” including many large lakes.
Contact Lunsford Baskin & Prieve, PLLC Today
Anyone who was injured while working on a vessel should get in touch with an attorney to find out more about filing a claim. Contact our experienced Mississippi Jones Act injury lawyer today.