Seaman Status And Why It Is So Important To You
Seamen have the most powerful rights and remedies of any workers in America. Because of this, sometimes the biggest battle in a Seaman's case is whether or not a worker qualifies as a Seaman in order to be eligible for these powerful rights and remedies.
When you are injured aboard a vessel or in the service of the vessel, one of the most important considerations is whether or not you meet what is called the "Seaman Status test."
This is the test used to determine whether you are entitled to powerful seaman rights and remedies.
Ignore Seaman status and you and your lawyer may well have lost your case long before the employer's summary judgment motion is filed. Steering clear of these treacherous and shallow Seaman Status shoals, however, will depend on you and your attorney's ability to favorably marshal the legally operative facts.
The following is the current seaman status test as directed by the U.S. Supreme Court and followed by the Ninth Circuit:
To prove that you are a "seaman," you must show:
- That the vessel on which you were employed was in navigation,
- That you had a "more or less permanent connection with the vessel" and/or an identifiable fleet of vessels," and
- That your job contributed to the function or mission of the vessel(s).
My Best Advice
Always tell the truth in your case.