Abbott Clay & Reed

Posts Tagged ‘oil platform’

Will I Be Covered by the Jones Act If I’m Working on a Moored Vessel?

In Jones Act Law, Legal Representation on July 9, 2009 at 3:46 PM

The definition of what kinds of seagoing vessels are covered by the Jones Act has certainly been cause for confusion in the past. Court cases have continuously emerged over the course of the last several decades that have expanded and refined the definition of which workers are covered under the act and which are not. One example of the fine lines that the courts have drawn is moored vessels. If you happen to work on a moored vessel, you may find the following information very helpful if you are ever injured while performing the duties of your job.

The coverage of an employee working on such a vessel depends mostly on the degree to which the vessel is moored. As the definition has evolved, certain things such as floating oil platforms, which, while moored, are afloat and being worked on while at sea, have been determined to be covered under the Jones Act. So, if you’re working aboard a floating oil rig, a stationary barge, or other similar type of vessel, there is a good chance that you’re going to be able to receive benefits under the terms of the Jones Act in the event that you are injured while at work.

However, there are vessels which are not covered under this act. This includes those which have been permanently moored to the shore or the banks of any body of water. This includes structures like dry docks, wharves, and certain boat structures, which are no longer counted as vessels. This would also exclude any boats which are connected to the infrastructure systems of the city in which they are located, such as a boat which is receiving electricity, water, or telephone connections from the city they are docked in. So again, whether or not your vessel is moored is less important than the degree to which it is considered to actually be a vessel under the terms of the Jones Act, when determining whether or not you could receive Jones Act benefits if injured while at work.

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What, exactly, is the Jones Act?

In Jones Act History on May 27, 2009 at 8:05 AM

If you work in any maritime profession, on board a ship or on an oil platform then there is a good chance that you’ve heard the term the “Jones Act”, but might be slightly unsure as to what that refers to. Sometimes the Jones Act is referred to as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, as it was originally called, but is usually just referred to as the Jones Act. It is important to note that this is a federal law that applies to any state that you might be working on a sea born vessel in.

The Jones Act exists to ensure that there is a system of compensation in place in the case of an injury to a sailor or other maritime employee. This is similar to the systems that are in place for workers compensation in other jobs, however, the Jones Act is Federal rather than State Based, and is actually quite complex compared to regular workers compensation laws. Also, it is important to realize that settlements reached under the Jones Act have the potential to be much larger than other settlements in the case of worker injury in non sea related fields, something which makes companies often struggle very severely to avoid having to make a payout under the act.

The Jones Act may pay out what is known as both maintenance and cure benefits. This means that it may cover the medical expenses that a worker incurs as a result of their on the job injury, and will also make payments in order to cover their normal living expenses. These expenses need to be carefully proven and documented, and that need coupled with the complexity of the act itself makes it highly advisable for anyone making a Jones Act claim to hire a lawyer who specializes in Maritime Law before filing any kind of initial claim.