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Gulf Coast, Mississippi Maritime Injury Attorneys

Jones Act Questions

Biloxi, Mississippi Jones Act Attorneys

What is the Jones Act?

The Jones Act protects seamen who are injured on the job or “in service of the ship.” Typically this applies if you are injured on the vessel, but it can apply if you are performing job duties away from the vessel as well. You are entitled to Maintenance and Cure no matter who was at fault for you injuries. More complete compensation requires that you prove negligence on the part of your employer.

What is a “seaman” under the Jones Act?

Determining if you qualify as a seaman will depend on the facts in your case. Generally, a seaman is a master or member of a crew of any vessel that operates on a navigable waterway and is not permanently moored.

What is a “vessel” under the Jones Act?

The definition of a vessel has changed over time and is found in the case law rather than strictly in the Jones Act itself. A vessel must be capable of providing transportation on a waterway. It cannot be permanently moored in place, but it does not have to move under its own volition. Examples include:

What are Maintenance and Cure?

The right to Maintenance and Cure is based on centuries old Maritime law. Maintenance and Cure are very basic benefits that an injured seaman is entitled to no matter who was at fault for his injuries

Maintenance pays a small amount to cover your living expenses while you are recovering and have to live off the vessel. Cure pays your medical expenses up to a certain point called maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is the point at which your condition will no longer improve from medical care. That does not necessarily mean you have made a full recovery or no longer need medical care.

If I do not qualify as a seaman what can I do?

If you are not considered a seaman under the Jones Act you may still be eligible for compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act (LHWCA). LHWCA covers maritime workers who do not qualify as seamen. The benefits are minimal, but better than nothing, and you do not have to prove fault or negligence.

What can a Maritime attorney do for me?

Maritime law is very complex. It is based in very old laws, and today’s application of the law rely heavily on case law and the facts in individual cases rather than a more simple reading of the statutes involved. There are many grey areas and overlapping areas of Maritime law. Your employer’s attorneys will use these grey areas and overlaps to try and convince the court that your case falls under areas of the law that provide the smallest possible benefit to you, when you may actually be entitled to far more.

An experienced and skilled Maritime attorney can help you obtain the compensation that you truly deserve.

If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance in Biloxi, Mississippi or anywhere on the Gulf Coast, please call Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC at (228) 374-5151 or toll free (877) 377-5152 or submit an online questionnaire. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.