What Is the Jones Act?

Kurt Arnold discusses the Jones Act, and how it can benefit workers who have been injured.

Our firm does more maritime cases than anybody in the country. We litigate more Jones Act cases than anybody in the country. The Jones Act is an old federal law that applies to, essentially, mariners working on vessels. The Jones Act has certain benefits. For example, if you file a case in Texas, you’re entitled to preferential trial setting. It means you get to go ahead of everybody else. Well, that’s good because you want speedy resolution.

Additionally, under the Jones Act, one of the most important factors is that your employer must pay all of your medical expenses that relate to the accident. They are not supposed to pick and choose. They have a duty to pay. If it happened on the rig, if it happened on the vessel, they have an absolute duty to pay. A lot of times, the companies will try to direct you only to their doctor—with threats or otherwise. Or they will try to say that they won’t pay for certain treatment. If they don’t pay your medical bills, and they don’t have a good reason, you can get punitive damages against them, to encourage them to do the right thing.

So the Jones Act allows you to see the doctor of your choice and requires the defendant to pay all of the medical bills. We help ensure that we get to court faster, get you the best medical care faster, and that we get you a resolution faster as a result.

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They made me feel very secure…They were looking out for my best interests, and they cared about the things that were going on with me.”
-Deepwater Horizon Crew Member