Injuries at sea are common, and they can be expensive to treat. Many of these injuries require victims to leave their vessels for treatment, which means valuable time off work.


There are legal remedies for some people who are injured while working at sea, but in order to pursue compensation, you may have to qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act. Most seamen have little understanding of the Jones Act until they suffer an injury. A personal-injury lawyer can demystify this legislation and help you pursue the maximum compensation.

If you were in an accident at sea, contact a Shreveport injury attorney from Morris Bart. We can help you avoid mistakes such as settling for an amount that will not cover your ongoing health-care costs. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a consultation.

Until then, read on to learn the answers to three common maritime injury questions:

  1. Who qualifies as a “seaman?”

There are two general types of maritime workers: those who work near or on water, and those who legally qualify as seamen. Many people assume that because they were on a ship or boat, they have the right to claim damages under the Jones Act as seamen, but this is not always true.

In most situations, a seaman is a person who spends his or her time employed as a captain or crewmember on a ship or boat. In order to qualify as a seaman, the ship or boat must be “in navigation” at the time of the accident:

  1. What is the “vessel in navigation” requirement?

According to the International Risk Management Institute, a vessel in navigation is a watercraft that is intended for use in navigable waters. In practice, this means the boat must be in operation, afloat and capable of moving. The vessel must also be on navigable waters in order to make a claim under the Jones Act.

The vessel does not have to be at sea or even moving in order for you to qualify as a seaman, but it must be capable of moving. This movement can be with the use of an engine or a sail.

If the accident happens when the boat is moored or tied up, you may still qualify as a seaman. This is not the case if it is out of the water or in a dry dock.

  1. What are “navigable waters?”

This is a legal term that relates to a body of water, such as a dam, river or lake, which can be used for foreign or interstate commerce purposes. Oceans and rivers are navigable waters. Landlocked lakes may qualify if they have a river that flows into another state, or if their banks extend into another state.

If you were injured while at sea, contact a Shreveport injury attorney from Morris Bart. We can evaluate your accident to determine if you may have valid grounds for a claim under the Jones Act. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a consultation.

March 15, 2016 | Categories: Legal Tips, Personal Injury |