How does the Jones Act protect workers on ships?

Frank S. Clowney III

When they think about being injured at work, most people think of workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation benefits protect many workers within the San Diego area. However, there are many workers based in San Diego who work in maritime industries and are not covered by California’s workers’ compensation system.

However, injured maritime workers may still be able to obtain compensation for their medical bills and lost income while they are recovering from their injuries through other means. They may be able to obtain benefits through the Jones Act.

Protections under the Jones Act

In order to receive compensation under the Jones Act, the worker needs to be classified as seaman. Generally, to be considered a seaman, a worker must be working on the ship while it is sailing. Workers within the industry who do not travel with the ships may still receive benefits, but this may be done through a different law.

If the worker meets the requirements as a seaman, then they may actually be able to receive more compensation from those who only qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Under the Jones Act if the employers were negligent and caused the injury through their negligence, the employees may be able to receive the full amount of their lost income as well as compensation for the medical bills.

There are many people in San Diego who work on ships and in the shipping industry. This can be a dangerous job. When accidents happen, the workers can suffer serious injuries. The worker may miss time at work and incur significant medical bills as a result. While these injuries are devastating, the injured workers may be entitled to compensation through the Jones Act. Experienced attorneys understand workers’ rights under the law and may be able to guide one through the process.