“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” Spencer Johnson
The First Thing
If you are an injured seaman, you have rights to be protected under the Longshore Jones Act. The first thing after you are injured is that you should always tell the truth. Nothing is more important than your credibility with the judge and your lawyer. No matter what type of injury or how you were injured, you should never sugarcoat or exaggerate anything.
The Next Step
The best thing you can do before you go to court is research as much information as you can about your Jones Act Case. I have handled these types of cases since the 1980's. I have gained valuable and helpful knowledge these cases. Order my Free book, Win Your Injury Case: The Ultimate No B.S. Guide To Avoiding Insurance Company Tricks That Ruin Your Case [Even before you hire a lawyer]. It is full of useful and helpful information on how to handle your Jones Act Case from beginning to end.
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Are Injuries That Occur Off My Vessel Covered by the Jones Act?
There are many reasons a seaman should fully understand your Jones Act status. One of the essential reasons is to understand whether your injuries will be covered if you are injured in the course of a voyage or if you are injured while you are not on the vesse.
If you are a Jones Act seaman, your benefits should cover you as long as you are performing work in the service of your employer. Jones Act seamen are covered regardless of where their injuries occurred, including:
- Inland waterways. Jones Act seaman are covered if your injuries occur on navigable waterways. However, many seamen travel into bodies of water that are not considered navigable as part of their duties. If you were told that your case is not applicable due to service on an unnavigable waterway, you should speak to a good maritime attorney for clarification on the issue.
- Land and fixed platforms. If you're a Jones Act seaman who is assigned to an active vessel but becomes injured during a short period of time on land, your Jones Act status remains in effect. In addition, any injury that occurs on a platform that is fixed to the seabed (rather than afloat) will be considered to have occurred on land rather than at sea. A Jones Act injury on a fixed platform may take local and state laws into consideration even if the platform has been constructed on a navigable waterway. Docks and other temporary platforms are generally also considered land masses in Jones Act cases.
- Oil rigs. Jones Act seaman who are required to go aboard oil platforms for employment are covered under the provisions of the Jones Act. Workers on oil production platforms are not covered by the Jones Act; however, workers may claim compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act.
In many cases, the location of your injury is not as important as your seaman status. If you have not met minimum work requirements or were not actively engaged in work when the injury occurred, your employer and insurer may attempt to deny your claim. Read our related links to find out more about filing for benefits and suing after a Jones Act injury.
Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley