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The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, is a compensation legislation intended to allow sailors with injuries recover money to help cover the costs of medical care and health recovery. But it must be noted that it is not a workers compensation law for seamen and maritime workers. It is more and in some cases less. There are additional benefits if the injury is caused by negligence on the part of the employers or the work environment on the vessel. This compensation of the Jones Act will be discussed later.

About the Jones Act
Injured sailors are entitled to many of the same things covered under other workers compensation statutes. Among the benefits they receive are payments while they are incapable of working or otherwise disabled, payment for the cost of medical care and ongoing rehabilitation, as well as transportation costs.

In the case that the injury was caused by a negligent working environment, then the wounded sailor will be entitled to additional damages for Pain and Suffering.

This legistlation covers the injured seamen, and does not apply to workers who work on docks. Other Federal statutes cover those injuries that are on the dock, just as laws are in place to protect workers in general. All Workers Compensation laws have been legislated with the intention of providing a framework for protecting workers when they become injured. It prescribes circumstances under which employers (such as ship owners in the case of the Jones Act) are deemed responsible for the costs of medical care for an injured sailor, as well as for any ongoing healthcare for repairing said injury.

Although the intention may be to assist the worker, the very original idea behind Workers Compensation laws, including the Jones Act, was to reduce the cost of litigation and provide a fair process that would assure the sailor receives the timely medical benefits he/she is entitled to, without having to suffer the financial burden of hiring an Attorney and forcing the employer to come to court and having a judge adjudicate the damages. The law, however, is complex, and it may be in your best interest to seek the advice and counsel of a Jones Act Attorney.

These statutes provide a financial benefit to the employer and employee in the long run. The Jones Act is one of the most farsighted pieces of legislation in the history of the United States government. It has provided a lifeline to many sailors who were injured on the job on sailing vessels. The act has also spawned many a Jones Act lawsuit, despite the intentions of the original law.

Maritime Lawyer Todd Elias, represents injured seaman under the Jones Act nationwide. Contact them at 800-773-6770. The phones are answered 24/7/365.

Jones Act FAQ - Workers compensation faq. A listing of California questions and answers .

Jones Act Information - Find a Jones Act summary through this authoritative resource.