What Is Considered A Vessel Under the Jones Act?

What Is A Vessel Under the Jones ActThe Jones Act covers any injury or fatality sustained by an offshore employee as the result of employer negligence. Enacted in 1920 as the Merchant Marine Act, this federal legislation helps seamen recover damages for items including medical bills, lost wages, and mental anguish. Only maritime employees working on a vessel qualify for coverage. What is a vessel under the Jones Act?

Vessel Requirements

The Jones Act requires the vessel to be “in navigation”. The navigation condition can be met using these four points:

  • Afloat
  • In operation
  • Capable of moving
  • On navigable waters

The words “capable of moving” are important as the verbiage allows for maritime employees working on ships in wet docks and shipyards to qualify under the vessel requirements. Dry docked ships are not capable of moving and would not qualify.

Navigable waters are defined as any water system used for commerce. This includes oceans, bays, gulfs, and the waters that connect them, like rivers. Any water capable of use for navigation will qualify. The Jones Act helps to protect the workers on U.S. waters that are vital to the economy. The Jones Act covers over 39,000 commercial vessels that transport approximately one billion tons of cargo.

Important Benefits of the Jones Act

The Houston Jones Act negligence attorneys at Richard J. Plezia & Associates have years of experience representing maritime workers who qualify under the Jones Act and recovering damages. Workers who can prove their injuries were caused either in whole or part by the negligence of an offshore employer can file claims for:

  • Medical expenses, including doctor and hospital visits, imaging, surgeries, physical therapy, medications, and long-term rehabilitation
  • Pain and suffering, including mental anguish
  • Cost to collect benefits
  • Loss of wages and benefits
  • Loss of motility

Houston Jones Act Negligence Lawyer

If negligence by your maritime employer has injured you, contact the maritime attorneys at Richard J. Plezia & Associates for a complimentary review of the facts surrounding your case. Your injury can be caused by many different acts of negligence. A few of these include:

  • Unmaintained equipment
  • The failure to provide safety training
  • Failure to maintain signage
  • Poorly training crews

Contact us today and let Richard J. Plezia & Associates hold negligent employers accountable for the actions that cause maritime injuries.

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