Short Summary of the Jones Act


The primary purpose of the Jones Act is to allow injured seamen to sue their employer for its negligent acts in causing their injuries. There are many different aspects of Jones Act claims, but we’ve compiled this short overview of all the important points to make it easier to remember.

Your Rights as a Jones Act Seaman

The Jones Act is designed to protect you as a seaman. Moreover, your employer has a continuing duty to provide a reasonably safe place to work for the entire crew and to use ordinary care to maintain the vessel in a reasonably safe condition.

If you get injured while performing your job, you can receive an entire range of compensations for:

  • medical bills
  • lost wages
  • pain and suffering, and more.

The rule of thumb to follow is to file your Jones Act claim within three years of the accident, or you might lose your chance for financial recovery.

The Consequences of Jones Act Negligence

Strict rules apply to vessel employers for their Jones Act negligence. Seamen must only prove that the employer’s negligence played some part, even in the slightest, in causing their injury. So, there is only a featherweight burden of proof, which offers you protection under the law.

Another valuable benefit to you is that your contributory fault won’t prevent you from pursuing your claim. It would only reduce the amount you would be entitled to recover.  

Following a personal injury, you could be entitled to other remedies apart from those owed to you under the Jones Act. Find more about the damages you can recover.