The terms “Jones Act” and “maritime law” are often used together, sometimes even interchangeably. However, maritime law and the Jones Act are two distinct legal terms. Put simply, maritime law—also called admiralty law—is an entire area of law that deals with a variety of incident types and failures to observe industry regulations. The Jones Act is only one part of maritime law.
The Jones Act is an aspect of maritime law that deals specifically with the rights of seamen who suffer personal injury or harm while working on ships traveling navigable waters. Maritime law, as a whole, governs all kinds of seafaring industry issues, such as environmental harm, financial fraud, and contractual disputes.