Injured Marine Worker Sitting on a DockThe Jones Act provides a wide variety of benefits to U.S. maritime workers, but also to the national economy. One of the provisions of the law is that it prohibits any foreign vessels from engaging in coastwise trade within the United States. In order to move cargo from one U.S port to another, the cargo must be transported by a vessel that is owned, built, and crewed by United States citizens. However, there are certain circumstances where a waiver of these provisions may be granted.

A Waiver Should Not Interfere with Your Jones Act Injury Claim

A waiver may be granted by the Department of Homeland Security in cases of national emergency (such as hurricane relief) or matters of national defense if there are no U.S. vessels available. While the nationality requirement may be waived for certain journeys, Jones Act waivers do not affect workers' compensation portion of the law.

If your employer is using a waiver to deny Jones Act injury benefits, you should speak to an attorney immediately. In addition to maintenance and cure, our maritime injury lawyers can help you pursue additional compensation for:

  • Punitive damages. Denying or delaying benefits, failing to pay maintenance and cure, failing to pay the full amount of benefits, or sudden termination of a seaman’s benefits may qualify for punitive damages.
  • Negligence. We can investigate your claim to determine if shipowner negligence or unseaworthiness of the vessel contributed to your injury.
  • Retaliation. If you were fired, demoted, threatened, placed on leave, or otherwise discriminated against after filing for compensation under the Jones Act, you may collect additional damages for illegal retaliation.

If you or a loved one has been injured while performing maritime work, our attorneys can determine who may be liable for your accident and what you are owed under the law. Call 1-800-3-MAY-DAY today to set up your initial consultation or download your complimentary copy of Are You a Seaman Injured in a Maritime Accident? Know Your Rights today.


Paul T. Hofmann
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Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.
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