The Jones Act may apply to airlines, but determining if it applies in your case is complex, as many US court cases have demonstrated.
Since airlines are “common carriers,” they have to provide a high duty of care to those who use their services. Many also provide workers’ compensation benefits for employees.
The best way to understand if you may be eligible to take action against the airline is to speak with an attorney familiar with these laws. In many cases, you may be able to pursue compensation even if the Jones Act does not apply to your case.
Understanding What the Jones Act Does
The Jones Act is a series of statutes that govern maritime commerce, including shipping and cargo rules. Under 46 U.S. Code § 30104, the Jones Act also provides certain rights to workers on vessels who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses.
This statute allows qualifying workers to file claims against the boat owner, their employer, the boat captain, other crew members, or other liable parties.
Regardless of if the Jones Act applies to airlines, there may be options for seeking compensation for damages. You could qualify for workers’ compensation if you were working.
Additionally, international passengers injured on flights may be able to recover compensation for medical care, lost wages, and other losses under the Montreal Convention 1999 (MC99). This international agreement creates liability for the airline’s negligence in the event of injuries or death.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Qualifying for the Jones Act
Before the Jones Act applies in your case, you will need to show you meet several qualifications outlined in these statutes. For example, you cannot file a claim based on the Jones Act without providing evidence that:
- You meet the definition of a “seaman” as defined in the Act.
- You were working on or contributing to the work of a vehicle that meets the Act’s definition of a “vessel.”
- The “vessel” was engaged in commerce on navigable waters or was ready for transportation on navigable waters when the injury took place.
Additional Laws Similar to the Jones Act
While the Jones Act is one of the most well-known laws that apply to vessels in international waters, other statutes could also apply, depending on the facts of your case. These could include:
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, 33 U.S. Code § 901, is another law meant to provide compensation to injured or sick workers on ocean-going vessels, in navigable waters, dry docks, decks and cargo holds, piers, and harbors.
The Death on the High Seas Act
The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) applies to those who pass away due to a maritime accident that is more than three nautical miles from U.S. shores. It also applies to commercial aviation accidents that occur more than 12 nautical miles from shore.
Let the Morris Bart, LLC Team Evaluate Your Case
At the Morris Bart law firm, we provide free case evaluations. Our team can determine if the Jones Act may apply to your case against an airline or another liable party. The damages recoverable following injuries on an airliner could include:
- Treatment you received or will need in the future for injuries or qualifying illness
- Additional expenses related to medical care
- Wages and benefits you lost while out of work
- Impaired capacity to earn going forward
- Death benefits
Depending on the applicable laws, you might also be eligible for additional economic and non-economic losses. This could include pain and suffering damages and other intangible losses.
There are time limits for taking action under the Jones Act, state personal injury laws, and other pertinent statutes. Reach out to us as soon as you can to let our team assess your case. Our Jones Act accident lawyers can help you prepare your case and meet the deadlines you face.
Speak to a Team Member About Your Airlines Accident Today
The Morris Bart law firm may be able to help if you suffered injuries on a commercial airliner over the Gulf South, the Gulf of Mexico, or another nearby area. We are a contingency fee firm, so you pay nothing unless we win your case.
Call (800) 537-8185 today to discuss your injury case with a team member for free.
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