Jones Act: Protecting Those Injured On Commercial Vessels

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, better known as the Jones Act, was enacted following the Titanic disaster. Still in effect today, the Jones Act provides compensation for seamen who suffer injuries at sea due to the negligence of their employers or supervisors. It also compensates seamen for injuries suffered while working on a vessel that was not seaworthy.

At the law office of Saunders & Chabert, our Baton Rouge Jones Act attorneys have nearly 25 combined years of experience representing injured seamen in Louisiana and Mississippi. Our clients include everyone from deckhands to ship captains. We understand the hard work and difficult conditions seamen endure. We know how to apply the complex rules of the Jones Act to our clients' claims in an effort to obtain full and fair compensation.

If injured on a commercial vessel or in an offshore accident, we will explain your legal options. For a free consultation with one of our lawyers, please call us at 225-341-5739.

Who Is Protected By The Jones Act?

The Jones Act is very specific in the type of worker that it covers. The Act allows seamen to file lawsuits against employers and ship owners. To qualify as a seamen, a worker must:

  • Spend at least 30 percent of his or her time serving on a vessel in navigable waters (rivers, oceans, etc.)
  • Be assigned to a vessel or fleet of vessels. A vessel could be a tugboat, an oil tanker, a supply ship a cargo boat or any number of other vessels.
  • Work on a vessel that is still "in navigation," meaning that it can still be moved from place to place.

To recover compensation, an injured person must prove that the employer or ship owner was at fault for the accident.

Benefits The Jones Act Provides

The Jones Act allows injured seamen to recover greater compensation than they would under workers' compensation laws. We have helped clients recover money for:

  • Living expenses incurred while unable to work, known as "maintenance"
  • Medical bills, treatment and rehabilitation, known as "cure"
  • Job training, if you cannot return to work at sea
  • Past and future loss of income, pain and suffering, and disability

How We Can Help

Maritime law is very complex, and unraveling it in a given situation to determine what laws apply takes a high level of skill. It can be challenging to figure out whether the Jones Act applies or if instead the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act applies instead. Our legal team knows how to analyze injury cases and take the appropriate steps to help clients. Much of our practice is devoted to handling these kinds of claims, so we have the knowledge and ability to handle even the most complex issues.

Get Started Today

If you were injured while working aboard a vessel, the Jones Act may apply. To learn more about your options, schedule a free consultation at Saunders & Chabert by calling 225-341-5739 or sending an email.