The Jones Act was created to regulate the shipping industry and also provide legal protection for workers that have employment on a naval vessel. Plaintiffs suing under the Jones Act are often severely hurt and entitled to large settlements.
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The Jones act allows injured sailors to make claims and collect from their employers for the negligence of the ship owner, the captain or fellow members of the crew. It operates simply by extending similar legislation already in place that allowed for recoveries by rail workers and providing that this legislation also applies to sailors.
“Any sailor who shall suffer personal injury in the course of his employment may, at his election, maintain an action for damages at law, with the right to trial by jury, and in such action all statutes of the United States modifying or extending the common-law right or remedy in cases of personal injury to railway employees shall apply…”
Often workers on vessels are placed in difficult situations that may unexpectedly become dangerous workplaces. The Jones Act help protect these workers by giving them legal recourse if they are hurt in the line of duty.
This allows U.S. seamen to bring actions against ship owners based on claims of unseaworthiness or negligence. These are rights not afforded by common international maritime law.
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