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The Turley & Mara Law Firm, APLC

What is a Jones Act case?

“We always use plain English, with no sugarcoating, no lawyer talk, no double talk. Just old fashioned, unsweetened truth.” Jones Act Attorney - Bill Turley

You have to be brutally honest about everything. It is the best thing you can do in helping you win your Jones Act Case.

I have handled Jones Act Cases since 1987. I have gained a lot of knowledge on these types of cases. My goal is to help injured seamen earn the money they lawfully deserve.

That is why I wrote my book, Win Your Injury Case. It is jam-packed with crucial information for your Jones Act Case. I will send it to you for free and cover shipping.

What is the Jones Act?

The Jones Act creates benefits for sailors which are very, very powerful.  Seaman are entitled to maintenance and cure. Which means your employer must pay you a daily stipend and provide medical care to treat your injuries. In addition, you can also sue for damages if your injuries were caused by Jones Act negligence on the part of the ship's owners or other crew members.  Or if the vessel was unseaworthy.   These damages include death benefits, in the event that Seaman are killed while in the service of the vessel.

In essence, the Jones Act provides you powerful remedies under maritime law against your employers for injuries arising from negligent acts of the employer or co-workers.  Jones Act negligence has a “feather weight causation standard.”  The vessel is liable for your injuries if it is unseaworthy.   No other worker in America has these powerful rights and remedies.

Seaman Status:

Briefly, if you spend at least 30% of your time on a vessel in navigation (or an identifiable fleet of vessels); then you probably qualify for “Seaman Status.”  Meaning, you qualify for powerful Seaman’s rights and remedies.   You don’t have to be a “Blue Water Seaman” in order to have Seaman Status.  There are many “Brown Water Seaman.”  And many Seaman that spend the night in their own bed at night. 

Everyone that works aboard vessels may qualify as a Seaman.  Including, all staff on board ship, from the Captain down to the mess helper. Generally, benefits provided by the Jones Act may be significantly higher than benefits for land based workers.

The U.S. Congress adopted the Merchant Marine Act in 1920, formerly 46 U.S.C. § 688 and codified on October 6, 2006 as 46 U.S.C. § 30104. The Act formalized the rights of seaman which have been recognized for centuries.

"From the very beginning of American civilization, courts have protected seaman whom the courts have described as 'unprotected and in need of counsel; because they are thoughtless and require indulgence; because they are credulous and complying; and are easily overreached. They are emphatically the wards of admiralty.'" Capitol Hill Hearing Testimony, Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee; Testimony by John Hickley, attorney at law. Congressional Quarterly. March 27, 2007.

The Jones Act allows you - - an injured Seaman - - to obtain damages from your employer for the negligence of the shipowner, the captain, or fellow members of the crew.  The Jones Act extends  similar legislation already in place that allows  for recoveries by railroad workers. Its operative provision is found at 46 U.S.C. § 688(a), which provides:

"Any sailor who shall suffer personal injury in the course of his employment may, at his election, maintain an action for damages at law, with the right to trial by jury, and in such action all statutes of the United States modifying or extending the common-law right or remedy in cases of personal injury to railway employees shall apply..."

This allows you to bring actions against your ship owner based on claims of unseaworthiness or negligence. Powerful rights and remedies.

Additional Jones Act information:

William Turley
“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”

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