The Merchant Marine Act, one of the three federal laws more commonly known as the Jones Act, was passed in 1920 to protect all types of maritime workers who have been injured on the job. The act allows seamen to file a suit against their employing company in order to recover damages from injuries they sustained while on the job. The act itself has to do with seamen’s rights, and also allows for sailors to receive compensation for injuries from the ship operator as well as fellow sailors. The Jones Act was put in place as an extension of a similar law called the Federal Employers Liability Act that was preexisting for railroad workers in the United States. Sailors are not covered under normal worker’s compensation and other legislation was required to protect seamen.

If you or a loved one has been injured while working on any type of boat, barge, vessel, tanker, freighter or any other type of ship or structure that is not anchored to the sea bottom, you have a legal right to obtain compensation from the company owning/operating the vessel for your injuries. The Jones Act requires injured sailors to prove that their injuries stemmed from another person or party’s negligence. An experienced Missouri maritime law attorney from our firm can aid you to do just that, and more, in your suit against a company or individual. It is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after your injury occurs. The Jones Act statute of limitations is usually 3 years from the date of your or your loved one’s injury.

Common injuries on a vessel include:

St. Louis Maritime Law/Jones Act Lawyer

As evident, the possible injuries one could suffer while working aboard any type of vessel can be very severe and can require days to years of medical treatment. The costs of this type of care can be extremely high, especially if you have a disabling injury requiring medical treatment for a lifetime. The Jones Act is there to protect sailors, but it can be very confusing for a lay person to attempt to navigate the complex legal issues surrounding any type of maritime law suit. A competent St. Louis Jones Act attorney from our firm can assist you through this difficult time while providing you with excellent and aggressive legal representation. Each person’s case is entirely unique and requires its own investigation and research, and your concerns and questions are vital in your case. You will always be able to speak with the attorney handling your case – and even if you are too injured to meet with your representation, travel to your home or hospital room will be arranged. The ultimate goal is for you to recover the damages you are entitled to for your injuries and suffering.

Employer and Vessel Negligence

If a seaman isn’t fit to work, and it’s due to the negligence of the employer or due to the ship being unseaworthy, then that seaman may have a case. There’s no reason why you can’t get what you deserve from your inability to work.

Some examples of employer negligence and vessel unseaworthiness may include:

  • Forcing you to work in weather too dangerous for the safe operation of the ship
  • Improperly stored gear, equipment, or luggage
  • Extreme work demands, such as dangerous weather duties or heavy lifting
  • Improperly maintained passageways and slippery surfaces
  • Loose lines and cables
  • Disregarding established safety procedures
  • Neglecting to provide proper gear and protective equipment
  • Neglecting to maintain the vessel
  • Neglecting to properly train or hire the ship as it should’ve been staffed
  • Neglecting to upkeep lifeboats and essential emergency equipment
  • And potentially many more.

Wrongful Death on the High Seas

In the event of the worst case scenario- namely, losing a loved one to wrongful death, such as a Death On The High Seas Act case- our maritime lawyers are experienced and can help you find the compensation and closure you so rightly deserve. Our admiralty attorneys know the ins and outs of these laws well. Navigating the water is your job- navigating the legal system is ours. And we’ll work as hard as we can to prepare your strongest case. Contact a St. Louis Jones Act attorney from our firm today to discuss your personal injury case: call us now for your free consultation at 314.276.1681 or  1.800.685.3302.