Jones Act Lawyer

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What is a Jones Act Lawyer?

A Jones Act lawyer is an attorney who specializes in maritime law, particularly the Jones Act. The Jones Act, formally known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a federal law in the United States that provides legal remedies to seamen who are injured or become ill while working aboard a vessel. It is a crucial piece of legislation designed to protect the rights of maritime workers.

Key aspects of a Jones Act lawyer’s role include:

  1. Jones Act Claims:
    • Handling legal claims brought under the Jones Act on behalf of maritime workers who have suffered injuries or illnesses while working on vessels.
  2. Representation of Seamen:
    • Representing seamen, including sailors, fishermen, offshore oil rig workers, and other maritime employees who qualify as “seamen” under the Jones Act.
  3. Negligence Claims:
    • Pursuing claims based on the negligence of shipowners, operators, or fellow crew members, which resulted in the seaman’s injury or illness.
  4. Maintenance and Cure Claims:
    • Seeking maintenance and cure benefits for injured seamen, which includes compensation for living expenses (maintenance) and medical expenses (cure) during the recovery period.
  5. Unseaworthiness Claims:
    • Pursuing claims based on the unseaworthiness of the vessel, alleging that the ship or its equipment was not reasonably fit for its intended purpose, leading to the seaman’s injury.
  6. Investigation and Documentation:
    • Conducting thorough investigations into the circumstances of the injury, gathering evidence, and documenting the details necessary to support the legal claim.
  7. Litigation:
    • Representing clients in court if a settlement cannot be reached, presenting the case, cross-examining witnesses, and arguing on behalf of the injured seaman.
  8. Negotiation and Settlement:
    • Negotiating with opposing parties, such as shipowners or their insurers, to reach fair settlements for injured maritime workers without going to trial, when possible.

The Jones Act provides seamen with a unique set of legal rights and protections that differ from other workers’ compensation laws. It allows injured maritime workers to pursue compensation for their injuries through negligence claims, and it imposes a duty on vessel owners to provide a safe working environment for their crew.

Jones Act lawyers play a crucial role in helping injured seamen navigate the complex legal process and obtain the compensation they need for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from work-related injuries or illnesses at sea.

Proven Track Record

Our results speak for themselves. We have a proven track record of achieving favorable outcomes in Jones Act cases. Our dedication to thorough preparation, meticulous attention to detail, and aggressive representation have led to successful settlements and verdicts for our clients. When you choose Carlos Moore Law Group, you can trust that your case is in capable hands.

Maritime Workers and Maritime Injury Claims

Regardless of their position, Maritime workers are exposed daily to the hazards of working offshore, on inland waters, at the docks, and along the coast. The working conditions of seamen, dockers, harbor workers, and shipyard workers are generally more dangerous than that of the typical job onshore.  Injuries in these settings fall under the umbrella of maritime law and provide specific benefits and remedies not afforded to workers in traditional shore-based jobs.

When a maritime worker is injured on the job, one of the first steps that must be taken is to determine which body of law controls – the Jones Act, the Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or general maritime law. This often comes down to two questions: are you a “seaman” and working aboard a “vessel.”

Seaman status does not require a worker to be assigned to an ocean-going vessel in a traditional maritime capacity. Instead, it is determined by the job duties a claimant performs. First, a claimant must serve or assign duties that further the vessel’s purpose. Therefore, all vessel crew members, from the captain to the cook, are considered seamen for Jones Act protection. Second, the claimant must have at least a semi-permanent connection to a vessel that is in operation. This definition extends seamen status to underwater workers and divers who work off a vessel even though their duties are not carried out aboard the ship.

Although “What is a vessel?” seems simple enough to answer, it is often controversial. The courts have extended vessel status beyond traditional ships, barges, and boats. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the term vessel includes every type of craft or vehicle capable of being used for transport on water.  This extends vessel coverage to special-purpose vessels such as mobile offshore drilling units, including jack-up and semisubmersible rigs, dredges, and pontoon rafts.

Suppose you have been injured while working offshore, along the coast, or inland waters from Mississippi to St. Louis. In that case, you should consult with an experienced maritime attorney for assistance in determining your rights under the law and which statutory scheme applies to your claim. Because maritime law is one area in which many of the law details are decided by judges rather than statutory law, it is essential to speak with an attorney who is experienced in this practice area and understands the nuances buried in these laws.

Contact Carlos Moore Law Group

We offer a free consultation to discuss your Jones Act case. During this confidential meeting, we will review the details of your situation, answer any questions you may have, and provide an initial assessment of your legal options. This consultation allows you to decide about proceeding with Carlos Moore Law Group as your legal representation. 

The mission of the Carlos Moore Law Group is to provide all our clients with the highest level of personal and professional service for their legal needs. Please contact the firm to discuss any specific situation to see how we can assist in reaching a successful resolution. 

Local Expertise

Choosing Mississippi-based lawyers for your Jones Act case offers distinct advantages. As local attorneys, we deeply understand the state’s laws and regulations related to maritime matters. Our familiarity with local courts, judges, and procedures allows us to navigate your case efficiently and effectively.

If you or a loved one requires legal representation for a Jones Act case, don’t hesitate to contact the Carlos Moore Law Group. Our dedicated team is ready to provide you with the support and guidance you need during this challenging time.

Remember, time is of the essence in maritime cases, so reach out today to schedule your free consultation. Let us fight for your rights and help you secure the compensation you deserve.

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