Jones Act FAQs
At Godwin, Morris, Laurenzi & Bloomfield, P.C., we understand that for most folks in Tennessee and throughout the country, the law and how it applies to their individual situation can be incredibly confusing. That is why our attorneys look to answer questions in clear, understandable language.
For maritime workers whose claims fall under the Jones Act, we’ve put together a few of the most common questions we hear followed by general answers.
If you don’t see your question below or simply want to learn more, we encourage you to give us a call to discuss your issue one-on-one with our lawyers during a free initial consultation.
Some Common Questions Regarding The Jones Act
What is the Jones Act?
- The Jones Act is a federal law that covers certain maritime workers who are injured while working in the course of their employment. It allows the crew member of a vessel to sue his or her employer for damages if they are injured as a result of negligence by their employer.
Are all maritime workers covered under the Jones Act?
- No. To be covered under the Jones Act, a person must be a crew member of a vessel in navigation. That is, the person must be assigned to a vessel in navigation to be covered under the Jones Act.
What are common examples of employer negligence that can lead to a Jones Act claim?
- Slip and falls on a boat/barge, lifting injuries, falls in manholes, injuries due to defective equipment, injuries due to the negligence of fellow crew members, etc.
What is the statute of limitations on a Jones Act claim?
- Generally, it is three years for most Jones Act cases. That means an injured person must bring a lawsuit under the Jones Act within three years from the date of the injury.
What damages can be recovered in a Jones Act claim?
- Past and future lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Damages for disability and impairment
- Damages for the loss of enjoyment of life
What are maintenance and cure benefits?
- Maintenance and cure benefits are similar to workers’ compensation benefits for crew members. Maintenance is a daily rate that a crew member is entitled to while they are under the doctor’s care and have not reached maximum medical improvement.
- Cure is the providing of medical treatment or benefits to the injured crew member.
- Maintenance and cure is payable without regard to any negligence or fault on the vessel owner as long as the injury occurred or a condition arose while the crew member was in the service of the vessel.