“Plain English, with no sugarcoating, no B.S. lawyer talk, no double talk. Just old fashioned, unsweetened truth.” Harbor Pilot Attorney - Bill Turley
The First Step
When handling your Jones Act Case, you must always tell the truth. Nothing is more important then your credibility. If a judge assumes you are being dishonest, your case will be thrown out and you will be left with nothing. I have seen it happen to many people.
The Next Step
Take the proper steps now, and do your research. 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].
This book is loaded with TONS of information on winning your Jones Act Case.
Harbor Pilot - Ship’s Pilot Lawyer - Injuries Aboard Vessel
A ship's pilot is a person duly qualified to conduct a ship into and out of a port or in special waters and who, while in charge, has the whole conduct of the ship's navigation. A harbor pilot faces many unique hazards. First, harbor pilots or ship’s pilots have to board and disembark vessels under the worst of circumstances and situations. They constantly face unique and unknown conditions and vessels. Too often, harbor pilots are injured.
It is not uncommon for pilots to be injured on a Jacob’s ladder, accommodation ladder or combination ladder. In addition, there are a number of ways harbor pilots can ne injured while aboard vessel - just like regular crew members. Pilots can be injured due to slip and falls, trip and falls, falling equipment, and the like
When this happens, you may be able to bring suit against the vessel. You may not a Jones Act seaman because you don’t have a permanent connection to the vessel. However, in California, you may qualify as a Sieracki Seaman. In the alternative, you may be able to bring a Lonsghore 905(b) vessel owner negligence claim under the Longhore Act or under common law. Although there are cases that say that harbor pilots can bring Jones Act claims and other cases that say they can bring Longshore 905(b) claims.
It is my take, however, that harbor pilots do not fall under Longshore jurisdiction. And, in California, they certainly qualify as Sieracki Seaman. In other States and jurisdictions, that may not be the case. However, if you are a harbor pilot or ship’s pilot injured in California, you can and should bring your action in California State Court in order to avail California law regarding Sieracki Seaman.
Whether you are a Jones Act Seaman, Sieracki Seaman or fall under the Longshore Act, if you are injured while aboard a vessel in navigable waters you have a potential maritime injury claim.
You can be a “Seaman” and not qualify as a “Jones Act Seaman”
I hear lawyers say all the time, “In order to qualify as a ‘Seaman,’ the worker has to spend 30% of their work time on the vessel.” This is only partly true. In order to qualify as a “Jones Act Seaman,” you need to spend 30% or more of your time on a vessel or identifiable fleet of vessels. However, what these lawyers (mostly non maritime lawyers or uninformed maritime lawyers) fail to realize is that a worker can not spend 30% of their time aboard a vessel and still qualify as what is called a "Sieracki Seaman.”
America’s Leading Jones Act Lawyers - We regularly are asked to teach other Lawyers about the Jones Act
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