Newport, Rhode Island and Boston, Massachusetts, two port cities Bottaro Injury Lawyers practices in, are where thousands of people work to support themselves and their families. The Jones Act allows these workers to recover damages, if injured on the job. Therefore, today I briefly highlight what the Jones Act is, how we determine if you qualify for recovery, and how any changes to the law may affect you.
Can I Recover A Settlement After A Boating Accident?
If you have suffered personal injuries in a boating accident, then you very well may have legal rights including the right to obtain monetary compensation. Laws surrounding boating accidents vary and can be complex. Therefore, it is important that you consult with us as soon as possible after your injury so that we can obtain the facts and investigate right away. For example, your case may or may not apply under federal law known as the Jones Act.
What is the Jones Act?
In simplest terms, the Jones Act, a federal law, has two major components. First, it regulates maritime shipping practices in the United States. In general, the law requires that when a vessel ships U.S. cargo between the states, it must be mostly owned, built, and manned by U.S. citizens. The second component is more important to personal injury recovery matters. The Jones Act provides legal remedies to “seamen” to recover damages for injuries their employer’s negligence caused them.
Does the Jones Act Apply to My Boating Accident?
Possibly. There are many precise legal factors that go into determining whether someone is qualified to recover for their injuries under the Jones Act.
First, you must determine if you are a “seaman.” Different federal circuit courts have debated what “seaman” means in the eyes of the law. Generally, a few factors you must meet include:
- Your work relates to an assigned vessel or fleet of vessels in navigation and contributes to the vessel’s function or mission.
- You have a substantial connection to an assigned vessel or fleet of vessels in navigation, in terms of the nature of your work and time spent with the vessel.
A skilled personal injury attorney will also likely examine how many hours you spend on the land versus the sea. Seaman status determination requires a combined legal and fact-driven analysis that attorneys, like us, are trained to do.
If you are eligible to recover from your employer under the Jones Act, we will building a negligence case against you employer. If you are not eligible under the Jones Act, you may be able to recover under a different law, such as Rhode Island or Massachusetts workers’ compensation acts. Call Bottaro Injury Lawyers immediately to discuss your recovery options.
What Happens if the Jones Act is Reformed (Changed) or Repealed?
People have been calling for the Jones Act’s repeal or reform for many years, but not necessarily because of its seamen protections. Congress enacted the Jones Act as a WWI recovery tactic to boost the U.S. shipping industry. Most Jones Act detractors are concerned with the U.S. built, owned, and manned requirements that make shipping things to places like Puerto Rico expensive. In short, reform measures mainly attempt to address so-called unfair shipping practices.
However, changes to the Jones Act could mean trouble. If federal law no longer requires U.S. worker quotas, it could take away seamen’s injury remedies and jobs. At Bottaro Injury Lawyers, we keep a close eye on this matter for our clients.
Call us immediately if you find yourself injured in a boating accident!
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At Bottaro Injury Lawyers, we care for people. Attorney Mike Bottaro and his award-winning legal team handle all types of personal injury cases, including boating accidents, throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. We can even help on cases in other states as well. We pride ourselves on our honesty, integrity, and results. Contact us 24/7 in any method you prefer for a fast, free, and confidential consultation about your case. Feel free to text or call us at 401-777-7777, or fill out our free and confidential online form. We are here to serve and help you!