What is the Jones Act?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2023 | Maritime Law

The Jones Act is a law that was enacted in 1920, and it has been protecting the seaman’s working environment since. The act covers many topics, such as safety, job security and the vessel’s seaworthiness.

It provides medical benefits and compensation for employees who are injured while working on navigable waters. 

The law was in response to WWI

The Jones Act was initially intended to help build up the American merchant marine fleet after World War I to protect and promote the American maritime industry. The law, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, requires that any cargo shipped between two U.S. ports must be carried by ships that are built, owned, and operated by Americans. This means that foreign vessels are not allowed to transport goods from one U.S. port to another, boosting the U.S. economy and strengthening national security.

The Jones Act also emphasizes safety. Most people realize that maritime workers often put themselves in dangerous and physically demanding situations while performing their duties. The Jones Act allows injured workers who have been hurt due to the negligence of their employer or vessel owner to receive compensation for lost wages and medical expenses. And while trials by jury aren’t typically a part of maritime law, the Jones Act gives plaintiffs that right in personal injury lawsuits.

If you or a loved one works in the maritime industry, knowing what rights and legal options are available under the Jones Act is essential. Knowing that you have financial security should an injury or tragedy at sea occur, you can have peace of mind.