Everything You Need to Know About the Maritime Jones Act


The Jones Act is a federal law offering specific protections and benefits to maritime workers who get injured on the job. Most maritime workers are not covered under worker’s compensation insurance plans so they must partner with attorneys like the Jones Act law firm to recover compensation. 

Working aboard a maritime vessel presents unique challenges because the work environment is more hazardous than other environments. Unfortunately, many on-the-job accidents happen aboard seaworthy vessels because of the unique environment or because of carelessness.

Continue reading the article below to learn more about the Jones Act. 

What Is the Jones Act?

The Jones Act is also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. It is a federal statute that was established as a way to protect maritime workers, or seamen, in a way that land-based laws couldn’t. Ships and other maritime vessels are not subject to the laws of a particular state or territory. 

Injured seamen can seek to recover compensation for on-the-job injuries with an experienced Jones Act law firm under the law. If an illness or injury occurs while the seamen are working due to the negligence of the employer or another employee, they may be eligible for benefits or compensation for their injuries under the Jones Act. 

Work Contributions and Navigable Waters

To be eligible for benefits under the Jones Act, seamen must work on navigable waters. This means the seamen’s main job function must be offshore on a vessel capable of navigating on water. The vessel is not being built so its construction is completed and it is used for work purposes in the economy of the sea. It’s okay for the vessel to be docked as long as it is seaworthy.

The seamen must also contribute to the vessel’s goals in the water, regardless of specific job function. This means that barbers, cooks, stewardesses, and more can all be eligible for compensation after an injury under the Jones Act. They must contribute at least 30 percent of their work time to the seaworthy vessel. Typically, any seamen who work on the vessel in navigable waters are eligible for compensation under the Jones Act when they suffer an on-the-job injury.

Covered Benefits Under the Jones Act

The Jones Act provides multiple benefits for seamen who are injured in an on-the-job accident aboard a maritime vessel. Every situation is different, but some examples of benefits commonly paid include lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages may also apply depending on the specific circumstances of your individual situation.

Call a Jones Act Law Firm Today

If you’ve been injured in an on-the-job accident while working aboard a maritime vessel, call a Jones Act law firm today. A Jones Act law firm can help you recover the compensation you may be due under the Jones Act. They will listen to your specific story, answer any questions you may have, and fight for your rights under the Jones Act. 


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