The Jones Act was passed in 1920 to support the needs of the American Merchant Navy. Although there were laws in place at the time under international maritime law, the Jones Act went beyond these existing laws and protective clauses. The provisions of the Jones Act are extremely complex and if you are injured at sea you will soon find out the importance of choosing a Jones Act Lawyer. The true act is officially called the Merchant Marine Act but become commonly known as the Jones Act after the Senator who sponsored the bill, Senator Wesley Jones.
Prior to the enactment of the Jones Act sailors had very little protection afforded them if they suffered an accident while at sea or on board a merchant ship. Knowing full well that working aboard ship is inherently dangerous the Act was passed to allow the injured seaman an opportunity to claim for damages and compensation. Personal injury attorneys take Jones Act cases as part of their specialty as the act falls under tort law. The importance of choosing a Jones Act Lawyer cannot be over emphasized as the law is fraught with loop holes and pitfalls that only a well trained attorney with special knowledge can comfortably negotiate on behalf of the injured part.
The Jones Act is broken down into two distinct sections, one section deals with manning levels and ship construction crews and the other deals with injuries to sailors. The act is designed to heavily support and promote American ships, those owned, built and manned by Americans. The act places certain restrictions on the crew nationality and the percentage of foreign materials and labor that can be used in construction and repair.
For the seaman who is most at risk from accidents at sea the act created a number of benefits that proved to be very far reaching. It specified that any sailor who was injured at sea was to be given maintenance money and care. It stipulated that a daily stipend be paid and all medical care needed to treat the injury be provided. It also stipulated that if the injury was the direct result of negligence on the part of the owner that he had the right to sue for damages. Negligence was specified as an accident that was the fault of the owner, other crew members or a unseaworthy vessel. As you can see from this, if you are a seaman and you suffer an injury caused by negligence the importance of choosing a Jones Act Lawyer is of paramount importance as the suit can claim for physical pain and suffering as well as emotional trauma, loss of wages and loss of ability.
As a merchant sailor you no doubt know the importance of choosing a Jones Act Lawyer. The best in the business can be found at The Ferrell Law Firm in Houston. Do not hesitate to call and take advantage of a free case review.