Jones Act Claims

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Houston Jones Act Lawyers

Morrow & Sheppard are privileged to assist seamen, crewmen, and passengers who are injured offshore, on the high seas, or on navigable waterways.

Please click here for a free, confidential consultation with a Houston Jones Act lawyer to discuss your legal rights before they are jeopardized by a corporation, employer, or insurance company.

Jones Act & Maritime Law Questions?

Please click here for answers to common questions regarding the Jones Act, maritime law, and Death on the High Seas Act.

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History and Purpose of the Jones Act

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 is commonly referred to as the “Jones Act.” It is named for Wesley Jones, a United States senator from Illinois who sponsored the legislation.

Prior to the Jones Act, in a line of cases beginning with The Osceola in 1903, the United States Supreme Court held that an injured seaman had no remedy against a negligent shipowner or fellow seaman other than maintenance and cure. Instead, a seaman could only recover compensation for injuries based on the unseaworthiness of the ship.

Congress changed all that with the Jones Act. Congress outlined why it was important for the national defense of our country to have a strong maritime industry, which means protecting those who work offshore and on the high seas.

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Some key provisions of the Jones Act are as follows:

46 U.S. Code § 50101 – Objectives and policy

(a) Objectives.— It is necessary for the national defense and the development of the domestic and foreign commerce of the United States that the United States have a merchant marine—

(1) sufficient to carry the waterborne domestic commerce and a substantial part of the waterborne export and import foreign commerce of the United States and to provide shipping service essential for maintaining the flow of the waterborne domestic and foreign commerce at all times;

(2) capable of serving as a naval and military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency;

(3) owned and operated as vessels of the United States by citizens of the United States;

(4) composed of the best-equipped, safest, and most suitable types of vessels constructed in the United States and manned with a trained and efficient citizen personnel; and

(5) supplemented by efficient facilities for building and repairing vessels.

(b) Policy.— It is the policy of the United States to encourage and aid the development and maintenance of a merchant marine satisfying the objectives described in subsection (a).

No Fee Unless We Win

At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we understand the hardships injured workers or victims and their loved ones face as they try to heal and make sense of their accident. That’s why we work on a contingency-fee basis, which means no fee unless we win your case. Our fee is a percentage of the verdict or settlement we obtain for you.

Seamen’s Rights

The “savings to suitors” clause, 28 U.S.C. § 1333, permits injured maritime and offshore workers to bring Jones Act, maritime law (unseaworthiness), and maintenance and cure claims in a state court lawsuit.

All three claims can be brought at once. An injured mariner does not have to choose between them.

The Jones Act incorporates but expands the rights available to railway employees under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), stating:

46 U.S. C. 688(a) Application of railway employee statutes; Jurisdiction

Any seaman who shall suffer personal injury in the course of his employment may, at his election, maintain an action for damages at law, with the right of trial by jury, and in such action all statutes of the United States modifying or extending the common-law right or remedy in cases of personal injury to railway employees shall apply; and case of death of any seaman as a result of any such personal injury the personal representative of such seaman may maintain an action for damages at law with the right of trial by jury, and in such action all statutes of the United States conferring or regulating the right of action for death in the case of railway employees shall be applicable. . .

Bringing A Jones Act Claim

Investigating and bringing claims under the Jones Act involves complicated legal issues and analysis. If you or a loved one has been injured while working offshore or on a vessel or ship, it is important that you hire an experienced Jones Act lawyer.

Morrow & Sheppard have unparalleled experience, both as partners at prestigious firms handling maritime cases for corporations, and now as trial attorneys representing the injured.

We also have membership and access to resources of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, arguably the most prestigious maritime law and Jones Act organization in the country.

Please contact us now for a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case with a Houston Jones Act attorney.

Request A Free Case Consultation Today!

Complete the form below and an attorney will reach out within 24 hours regarding your inquiry.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

These guys were there when I needed help and advisement..Don’t waste your money or time going elsewhere..thank you Nick and thank you to Chris also..great people
Steven Kemp
Steven Kemp
14:43 05 Jan 19
Nick Morrow and John Sheppard are the best. I was paralyzed in a work injury. Several other lawyers turned down my case. Morrow & Sheppard hired expensive experts, took dozens of depositions, and proved my case. I saw them in court against a team of defense lawyers, and the defense lawyers didn’t stand a chance. Morrow & Sheppard took my case all the way when nobody else would. Now my family is set up for life. Throughout the process, they kept me updated and made me feel like I was more than a number. I still talk to Nick to this day. Morrow & Sheppard exceeded my expectations in every way, and I cannot recommend them enough. If you are injured at work, call Morrow & Sheppard.read more
jeff holloway
jeff holloway
23:20 17 Oct 18
John Sheppard and Nick Morrow were two of the brightest stars in my law school class and my class of lawyers at Fulbright & Jaworski, one of the most elite and prestigious law firms in Houston and Texas. I have known both of them for well over a decade now and throughout that time they have both always lived up to the highest standards of intellect, tenacity, and professionalism. They are both winners. If you need a Houston lawyer who will stand up for your rights and get you the justice you deserve, I wholeheartedly recommend Morrow & Sheppard. read more
Holt Lackey
Holt Lackey
20:39 17 Jul 15
John Sheppard, with Morrow & Sheppard LLP, is brilliant. On more than one occasion, he successfully represented various affiliated companies I was part of. John is very diligent, thorough and fights hard for righteousness. There were numerous times that he helped us through extremely difficult moments. John is very professional, responsive and respectful. I highly endorse Morrow and Sheppard LLP for legal representation and/or legal assistance needs. read more
Don Knight
Don Knight
21:19 15 Jul 15
My experience with John, at Morrow and Sheppard, during my company’s litigation was better than I could have imagined (considering the circumstances of being involved in litigation). What stood out to me the most, was John’s tenacity in preparation. I later realized this came from two places, one he didn’t want to lose and two (and most importantly) he CARED so much about me getting justice. I cannot stress this enough, when you are dealing with a lawyer that truly cares, then all of the other stresses I had around the case seemed to go away. I was always kept up to date with what was going on in our case, and he always made it very clear he was just an email or call away! In addition to these attributes, he also knows the law and is willing to fight for what is right! It would be tough to find another lawyer that is as highly effective, skilled, knowledgeable, ethical and has such an impeccable reputation (which is well deserved). I would recommend Morrow and Sheppard to anyone seeking out a law firm, in the event they needed counsel.read more
Brian R
Brian R
16:04 14 Jul 15
Nick and John are a great team. They are both honest, trustworthy and have a tenacious work ethic on behalf of their clients. They stand behind these qualities, having left partnerships at great law firms to commit 100% to achieving results for individuals and businesses. They will fight for you and I'm proud to call them clients and friends.read more
Jim Bell
Jim Bell
13:58 13 Jul 15
John and Nick are outstanding lawyers. They are both extremely sharp, skilled, hard-working, and passionate about what they do. I would highly recommend either of them to anyone looking for high-level service that also happens to be affordable.
Will Moore
Will Moore
22:08 10 Jul 15
Morrow & Sheppard LLP is an outstanding law firm. I have known Nick Morrow for many years. He is honest, hardworking, and very attentive to his clients. I could not recommend him enough for your legal needs.
Caroline Bean
Caroline Bean
21:25 23 Jun 15

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