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Jones Act

What is the Jones Act?

Workers in the maritime industry have more extensive options than just worker’s compensation if they become sick or are injured through this federal maritime law statute, called the Jones Act. This law was designed for the well-being of maritime commerce, to protect workers injured or sick due to poor maintenance or lack of safety on a vessel in which they work. This is also called the Merchant Marine Act of 1920.

Who does the Jones Act protect?

This act is designed to protect employees who regularly face dangers work while at sea in order to support American maritime commerce.

What does compensation under this law provide?

This law and provide compensation for issues that may include medical care, physical pain or suffering, lost wages while injured or sick, living costs and even mental anguish.

What type of lawyer do I hire?

Not all attorneys are qualified to represent you in a Jones Act case. You will need to research attorneys to find one qualified and experienced in maritime law.


  • How much time does the injured worker have to file a lawsuit under the Jones Act?

Typically, one has three years from the time of the accident or on-site to file suit. However, this is just a general rule and time can vary based on the situation.

  • Does the Jones Act cover all maritime employees?

No, just seamen that meet certain qualifications. Other maritime workers may be covered under the Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA).

  • What qualifies as unseaworthiness?

This refers to the safety of a vessel and how seaworthy it is. This Act entitles workers to a vessel that is well run and maintained, that meets a variety of conditions to be called “seaworthy.”

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