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Maritime Law Attorneys

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which is commonly referred to as the Jones Act, is a federal law that allows seamen to sue their employers for on-the-job injuries caused by negligence on the part of vessel owners, companies, shipmasters, or fellow crew members. The Jones Act was closely based on the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) of 1908,  which covers railroad employees; it was tailored to fit the needs of maritime workers. The act was created by Congress because standard workers’ compensation rules don’t apply to seamen.  In contrast to laws that regulate liability and negligence for non-maritime workers, the Jones Act makes it relatively easy for qualified seamen to sue their employers if they are hurt while working on a vessel belonging to American owners and operators. Accidents can occur offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, the River Parishes or South Louisiana marshes.