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Who Qualifies For A Jones Act Claim



0:07 Who qualifies for a Jones Act claim?  A lot of potential clients will call us and they’ll ask us is this something that I qualify for?  Is it something that I can file a suit under?

0:15 Well in order to qualify for the Jones Act you have to be an injured seaman.  And what being a seaman means is that you’re more or less permanently assigned to a vessel in navigation.

0:26 I’m going to try to break that down very quickly for you and make it simple.

0:30 More or less means about 30 percent or more of your time is spent being assigned, meaning the company puts you on a vessel.  They assign you to a vessel.  And a vessel under the Jones Act is pretty broad.  It can be regular tugboats.  It can be oil rigs.  It can be any type of structure that’s floating and moved around on the water.  Barges qualify as vessels.

0:52 So again, you’re about 30 percent of your time being assigned to what the law calls a vessel and the vessel can be in navigation.

1:00 Now this does not actually mean that it’s moving.  A lot of people say I’m injured at dock or I was injured on a barge that had been sitting in a fleet for a while or an oil rig.  That’s a great example.  Jack‑ups, semi-submersibles, even though they stay in one place and they’re not moving you are still a seaman if you have an injury on that type of a structure.

1:18 So give us a call if you have any questions about being a seaman which would then allow you to qualify for a Jones Act claim.  It’s a very important status that you have to prove being a seaman and it can make a world of difference as far as what your rights and your recovery may be after an injury off shore.