Understanding Your Rights Under The Jones Act

Along with providing rights to injured maritime workers, the Jones Act protects passengers in the event of personal injury or property damage. The law also provides “exceptions to the rule” to protect ship owners from events completely out of their control. The Houston maritime personal injury attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law are here to help.

If you have questions about your eligibility for benefits, get the answers you need by calling our Houston maritime injury attorneys at (800) 444-5000 or by completing a FREE initial consultation form now.

Passengers’ Rights

If a passenger, whether on a cruise ship or other vessel, suffers injury or property damage due to the ship owner’s neglect to comply with vessel regulations or properly man the ship, or because of a known defect in the hull of the vessel, he has a right to compensation.

Also, a passenger can sue for personal injury loss because of negligence, willful misconduct, or refusal to obey laws that govern a vessel’s navigation. The burden of proof is on the passenger to show that that the ship owner was negligent.

The Statute of Limitations is generally three years, but a suit against a cruise line may have unique requirements. If you were injured as a passenger on a cruise, call us immediately, and we’ll help determine if you have a case.

Exceptions for Vessel Owners

If the owner of a vessel exercises due diligence—takes the proper steps attempting to make the vessel seaworthy and regulation compliant—then he is not liable for loss or damage caused by an error in navigation or management of the vessel.

Owners are also not liable for loss or damage caused by several reasons, including the following:

  • acts of God
  • dangers of the sea or other navigable waters
  • inherent defect, quality, or vice of the goods
  • public enemies
  • saving or attempting to save life or property at sea