Given the enormous size of modern cruise ships, a Jones Act “Seaman” may be someone who would be doing the exact same job in a hotel on land. Purely land-based workers, such as commercial longshoremen, are not considered “Seamen.” It is important to understand that a “Seaman” who is injured on land in the course of his employment is still covered under the Jones Act.
Determining your status as a “Seaman” can be a difficult legal issue which requires professional guidance. If you have been injured at work and you would like to know if you qualify as a Jones Act seaman, you should contact a maritime injury expert as soon as possible.
A “Vessel in Navigation” explained.
A “Vessel in Navigation” is a legal term of art which is not to be literally construed. A vessel does not to be moving, or even at sea, in order for someone to be considered a “Seaman.” Rather, the vessel need only to be capable of moving under its own power, even if that power is derived from sails. A “Vessel in Navigation” can be tied up at a dock or even be in temporary dry-dock. What exactly is, and is not, a “Vessel in Navigation” has been heavily litigated with mixed-results. The following are clear examples of what Courts consider to be a “Vessel in Navigation”:
- Commercial Transport Vessels
- Crab Boats
- Cruise Ships
- Ferry Boats
- Fishing Boats
- Floating Cranes
Essentially, to be considered a “Vessel in Navigation,” the vessel has to 1) be floating, 2) be capable of operating or moving, and 3) be on navigable waters.
Understanding the Jones Act and who qualifies under it can be difficult to understand. If you would like to speak with an experienced expert who can assist you with you legal rights, please contact the Law Office of Neil T. Lindquist where you can have a free consultation with an experienced maritime attorney.