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Gulf Coast, Mississippi Maritime Injury Attorneys

Jones Act

Biloxi, MS Jones Act Lawyers

The Jones Act is a part of Maritime Law that protects seamen who are injured on the job. It is not a form of Workers’ Compensation. To be entitled to compensation beyond Maintenance and Cure under the Jones Act, you will have to prove employer negligence. The compensation you can receive is much higher than in a Workers’ Compensation case, and employers are held to a higher duty of care under the Jones Act than what is expected of defendants in everyday negligence cases.

Seamen Covered by the Jones Act

You must qualify as a seaman to be covered by the Jones Act. A seaman is a master or crewmember of a seagoing vessel. A seagoing vessel provides transportation on a navigable waterway and is not permanently moored. This can include floating platforms and oilrigs. In most cases your injury must have occurred while you were working on the vessel. You may also be covered if you were performing duties off the vessel, but “in service of the ship.”

If you do not qualify as a seaman you may still be covered by the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act (LHWCA).

Employer Responsibility under the Jones Act

Employers are held to a high duty of care under the Jones Act, and with good reason. Maritime work is dangerous enough under the best of conditions. Careful safeguards and basic maintenance must be maintained to the highest standards at all times to minimize the likelihood of disaster. If something goes wrong on the water, quick and appropriate action is the only chance of saving lives. Reckless behavior by other crew members can turn deadly. Under the Jones Act your employer may be held responsible for:


Unseaworthiness claims are brought against the owner of the vessel. If your employer was also the owner of the vessel, your unseaworthiness claim will be part of your Jones Act claim. If your employer did not own the vessel, you may have a separate unseaworthiness claim against the owner.

Jones Act Compensation

If you qualify as a seaman it is important that you pursue a Jones Act claim rather than a LHWCA claim, even if you are eligible for a LHWCA as well. Under LHWCA you can only receive minimal benefits and they may not cover all of you damages. Under the Jones Act you may be entitled to compensation for:

If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance in Biloxi, Mississippi or anywhere on the Gulf Coast, please call Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC at (228) 374-5151 or toll free (877) 377-5152 or submit an online questionnaire. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.