Determining who is covered by the Jones Act is not always a simple matter. Per the law, there is a three point status test toward determining who is covered by the Jones Act. To quality as a seaman, an individual must pass this seaman status test which will look into vessel assignment, contribution, and connection. Put into its simplest terms, an individual is covered by the Jones Act if they are a seaman who has been working on a vessel that is operating on a navigable waterway; they must be contributing to the vessel's function and must have a substantial connection.
Should an individual qualify as a "Jones Act seaman," they may be able to file a claim, but only if they can prove that their injury is tied to the negligence of the owner of the vessel, master, fellow crewmember, or employer. They may also have grounds to pursue a claim if they can prove that their injury was caused by unsafe condition (ex: an "unseaworthy" vessel). If there was no negligence involved, filing under another maritime law may be the best option. An offshore accident lawyer will be able to review your case and determine your best options.
If you are covered by the Jones Act, you will be able to take advantage of the protections that it offers. It allows seamen to file a lawsuit against their employers if they were treated with negligence or required to work in a dangerous environment. Employees could be given compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical care, emotional trauma, and more. As employers and insurance companies can be reluctant to give injured workers a sufficient amount of compensation, having a strong legal advocate on your side could make all the difference!
Arnold & Itkin represented nearly a third of the crewmembers injured in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Because maritime law is so complex and so complicated, it is crucial that you work with an attorney who has an in-depth understanding of how it works and who has proven themselves in similar cases before.