Maritime jobs are incredibly risky, but they are a critical function in New Orleans. The men and women who carry out these tasks provide a great service to our economy. However, when a seaman is injured on the job, it can create serious disruption, financial pressure, and a painful path to recovery.
The process to get compensation for your damages can be complicated, and there are many different rules you must follow to protect your rights. A good way to learn more about whether you should file a claim is by working with a New Orleans seaman injury lawyer.
You can get in touch with Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation to discuss your situation. Call us at (504) 777-7777.
Understanding the Jones Act
The Jones Act, 46 U.S. Code § 30104, is a federal law that gives various legal rights to seamen who are hurt at work. Initially, the statute was designed to give benefits to the injured seamen and their dependents because the other laws allowing for workers’ compensation benefits did not cover their injuries.
Today, the Jones Act allows you to file a civil case to seek benefits after you were injured at work as a result of your employer’s negligence. You can also recover compensation for your medical expenses associated with the injury.
Qualifying for Damages Under the Jones Act
One of the first questions you should explore is whether you are eligible to file a claim under this act. For example, only seamen are permitted to pursue compensation for their employer’s carelessness. You will be required to prove that it is your profession according to the law.
In general, a seaman is defined as someone who is working on a vessel and supports the vessel’s work or mission. To contribute to the vessel’s work or mission, you must typically work at least 30% of the time on the boat. Here are a few examples of occupations that usually satisfy this requirement:
- Ship officers
- General crewmen
There are also different types of vessels that qualify under the act, including:
- Floating cleaning barges
- Drilling platforms
- Semi-submersible drilling platforms for deep-water
- Production storage and offloading units
If you have questions about whether you are eligible to bring a claim pursuant to the Jones Act, contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today. A New Orleans seaman injury lawyer may be able to represent you and help you pursue the financial compensation that you deserve. Call now at (504) 777-7777.
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving New Orleans, call (504) 777-7777
Your Employer Owes You a Duty of Care
Working in the maritime industry is incredibly dangerous for most employees. On a daily basis, you face risky situations and different variables that can affect your safety. Although there are clear regulations that require employers to provide a broad range of safety measures, not all employers follow these rules or pay enough attention to what is happening on their vessels.
If an employer does not ensure that the workplace is reasonably safe and a seaman is hurt as a result of that failure, the injured employee can bring a lawsuit in civil court pursuant to the Jones Act. There are many different ways that an employer’s conduct may fall short of this standard. Examples include:
- Lack of proper safety equipment
- Lack of employee training
- Hiring unqualified employees
- Forklift accidents
- Slipping or tripping and falling
- Improper equipment maintenance
- Failure to adopt and enforce safety policies
- Workers engaged in dangerous conduct
- Lack of sufficient lighting
- Failure to ensure safe driving in the shipyard
- Failure to store dangerous chemicals correctly
- Operating a vessel that is not seaworthy
There may be other ways that your employer was negligent. If you do not see your situation on this list, it is still a good idea to consult a maritime injury lawyer to explore your potential right to financial recovery.
New Orleans Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (504) 777-7777
Working with a Maritime Injury Lawyer
A regular civil claim for negligence can be complicated enough, but when you have to pursue compensation according to a complex federal statutory system, it can be even more difficult.
Consulting a lawyer who has experience in this area of law can take a lot of the legwork, guessing, and frustration out of pursuing compensation. Instead of having to research the Jones Act on your own, your lawyer can explain the system to you and how it applies to the facts of your situation.
Your lawyer can also fight to help you receive the full amount of compensation you are entitled to under the law. The Jones Act entitles an injured seaman to maintenance, cure, and unearned wages when they are able to prove that their employer acted negligently. These damages include:
- Maintenance: reasonable expenses for room and board while the worker is required to stay ashore through recovery
- Cure: reasonable medical expenses that the seaman incurred for treatment until they are deemed fit for duty or reach maximum recovery
- Unearned Wages: wages the seaman would have earned had they not become injured, through the end of the season or period that the seaman was hired to work
Let Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Protect Your Rights
There are a few steps you can take to help ensure that you receive the benefits and compensation that you deserve under the Jones Act. First, take photographs of your injuries and/or the condition that led to your injury if you are able.
You should also get the contact information for any individuals who were in the area at the time you were injured. They may be able to testify on your behalf. Finally, see a doctor as soon as possible to get the treatment you need and begin recording your injuries.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to help you pursue your claim for compensation. To find out more about working with a New Orleans seaman injury lawyer, call (504) 777-7777 now.