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Are you a merchant mariner who has been injured at sea? Our maritime attorneys are here to help.

How the Jones Act Protects Merchant Mariners

Brian Beckcom

Brian Beckcom


Merchant Mariners are a vital part of the U.S. economy, bringing goods and services to the nation’s ports. However, they are also at increased risk of serious injury while working on the open seas. The Jones Act was created to protect merchant mariners who suffer injuries while at sea, providing them with rights and benefits not available to most other workers in the United States. In this blog post, we’ll explore what the Jones Act is, how it can help merchant mariners obtain compensation for their injuries, and provide steps they should take after an injury has occurred.

What is the Jones Act?

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, is a set of laws designed to protect merchant mariners from unsafe work conditions, including inadequate safety measures, hazardous equipment, and dangerous working environments. The law requires that owners and operators of vessels maintain safe conditions for their workers. It also allows merchant mariners to bring lawsuits against their employers if they are injured due to negligence or unsafe working conditions.

How Does the Jones Act Protect Merchant Mariners?

The Jones Act provides merchant mariners with rights and benefits that other workers in the United States do not have access to. This includes the right to sue for damages if they are injured while at sea due to employer negligence or unsafe working conditions. Additionally, the law allows them to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs associated with their injury.

After an Injury at Sea

  1. Seek medical attention- Prompt medical care is essential in order to properly diagnose any injuries you may have sustained at sea and ensure that you receive proper treatment.
  2. Report your injury - If you are injured on a vessel at sea, it is important to report your injury right away. Make sure the incident is documented in a written incident report so there is a record of what happened in case legal action needs to be taken later on.
  3. Speak with an experienced maritime attorney - An experienced maritime attorney can provide legal advice regarding your rights under the Jones Act and help you determine what steps should be taken in order to obtain proper compensation for your injuries.
  4. File a claim - In order to receive compensation for your injuries under the Jones Act it is necessary for you to file a claim within three years from the date of your injury or discovery of illness related to your work injury on board a vessel at sea. Your maritime attorney will be able to assist you with this process as well as any other issues related to filing a successful claim under the Jones Act.
  5. Follow all medical advice - Once you have filed a claim it is important that you follow all medical advice given by your doctor in order to ensure that your recovery goes smoothly and that any disability resulting from your injury does not worsen over time due to improper treatment or lack of care on your part.

Contact Our Experienced Maritime Attorneys Today

By understanding their rights under the Jones Act, as well as taking immediate action after an injury has occurred, merchant mariners can protect themselves from further harm while ensuring they receive adequate compensation for any damages suffered due to their job-related injury. To start investigating your case with one of our experienced Jones Act lawyers right away, please contact us at (713) 224-7800. Our maritime lawyers are here to fight for you.