Jones Act

Airplane accident lawyers handling cases nationwide- The Jones Act

The maritime (or admiralty) law known as the Jones Act was passed by Congress to compensate seaman who were injured on the high seas. In most cases, federal courts have jurisdiction over state courts in maritime / admiralty law cases. The Jones Act applies to a number of situations that at first might not appear to be admiralty matters.

Because of the Jones Act’s liberal definition of the term “seaman,” the term can include employees who are injured in an aircraft whose primary function bears a significant resemblance to traditional maritime activity.

Examples of aviation cases in which admiralty jurisdiction applies would be helicopters transporting workers to offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, a sea plane transporting workers to or from company-owned facilities and commercial aircraft on transoceanic flights.

Examples in which admiralty jurisdiction would not apply include cases in which aircraft crash in navigable waters due to pure misfortune, such as a hypothetical flight between Portland and Los Angeles that crashed into the Pacific after deviating from its flight plan to ensure landing gear had locked correctly. In such a case, the aircraft’s flight had no relationship to traditional maritime activity.

As you can tell, these matters are very complex. If you or a family member is injured in an airplane accident, consult Slack Davis Sanger. Our airplane accident lawyers have the knowledge to understand which laws will be applicable in your particular case.\