The Jones Act, which was Screenshot_2015-01-29-15-34-46_Fotor formerly known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, provides individuals who qualify as “Seamen” with a remedy for injuries or death that result from the negligence of an owner or master of a vessel, or a fellow Seaman. The Jones Act entitles Seamen, or their survivors in the case of death, to sue their employer if their employer or fellow crewmember was negligent (careless) in causing the Seaman’s injuries or death. Whether you qualify as a Seaman under the Jones Act can be very challenging for an injured party to determine. The courts look at a number of factors in determining whether an injured party qualifies as a Seaman, including, but not limited to: (1) the type of vessel that was involved in the incident, (2) the duties assigned to the worker, (3) the percentage of work performed over navigable water (which includes seas, rivers, and lakes), (4) the worker’s connection to a vessel or fleet of vessels, and (5) other significant considerations. Making certain you hire a knowledgeable and experienced Jones Act Attorney assures an accurate determination of your status as a Seaman, which is critical in obtaining a fair and just result for you. The attorneys at Discon Law Firm, LLC have a history of over 90 years of experience handling Jones Act claims across the country, as well as internationally. In the United States alone, Discon Law Firm has handled cases from New York to Florida to Hawaii and Alaska, and everywhere in between. In addition, we have handled overseas accident cases where Seamen were injured in Europe, Asia, Indonesia, Africa and the Middle East. We have helped thousands of workers and are confident that we can help you too.


When a serious maritime accident occurs, the employer or owner of the vessel will immediately begin an investigation of Screenshot_2015-01-29-15-44-00_Fotorthe accident, utilizing the expertise of defense maritime attorneys who are retained to look out for the interests of the employer and/or vessel owner.   After an accident occurs, it is critical for you to take the steps necessary to properly document and memorialize your accident and injuries in order to adequately preserve your Jones Act claim.

First, always report any accidents and/or injuries in which you have been involved. Most importantly, make certain an accident report is fully completed immediately following your reporting of the accident to your Captain or senior supervisor. This should be done even if the injury seems minimal. Many times, when workers do not report an accident because the injury seems minimal, it is later determined that the injury is more serious than first believed. Not reporting an injury timely, no matter how slight, can negatively affect your Jones Act claim.

Second, if you suffer an injury and are hurt or in pain, stop all work immediately. Do not continue to “work through” your injury. More times than not, attempting to work through an injury can aggravate your condition or injury, which could negatively affect your Jones Act claim. “Working through” an injury also provides the shipowner and/or employer with evidence that you may not have suffered an injury when in fact you did.

Third, use your mobile phone to take photographs and/or video footage of the accident scene, equipment involved in your accident, the unsafe condition involved in your accident and/or your injuries from the accident. This provides you with tangible evidence of the conditions of the vessel and/or equipment at the time of your accident and/or your injuries related to the accident.

Fourth, request medical treatment with a doctor of your own choosing. Usually, your employer will immediately take you to a company doctor, who typically looks out for the interest of the company. The company doctor will have you take a drug screen and minimally treat your injury. Even if you have seen a doctor for the company or visited an emergency room for treatment, still request to see a doctor of your own choosing. During your visit with the company doctor and/or your own chosen doctor, make sure you document and memorialize all complaints and/or injuries with the doctor, no matter how slight. Injuries that appear to be minimal can easily develop into disabling ones.

Fifth, write down the names and contact information for any co-workers and/or other individuals who witnessed your accident. You may not see or have contact with them after you leave the vessel.