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.
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.