According to 46 U.S.C. § 30104, the Jones Act for workers’ compensation is a way to ensure that injured maritime workers can get financial assistance after a workplace accident. The Act:
- May cover workers’ compensation claims for those who work in a marine setting, whether they are on a boat or not at the time of the accident
- Gives workers the right to file a lawsuit, or “civil action,” against their employer, if they have reason to believe their employers’ actions led to the accident
- Gives workers the right to trial by jury
If you currently or formerly were a marine worker who was injured on the job, or if your loved one was a marine worker who died due to a workplace injury, you could be eligible for financial coverage under the Jones Act or other relevant statutes.
Much of Louisiana’s Workforce Depends on the Water
Due to its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana is inextricably linked to marine professions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that Louisiana has the highest number of water vessel captains, mates, and pilots of any state in the country.
Some of the occupations that may require extensive time on the water—and may qualify for coverage under the Jones Act—include:
- Industrial sailors
- Oil rig workers
- Ferry tour guides
- Marine biologists
- Boat captain/navigator
Vessels on Which Jones Act Workers May Operate
The Jones Act can apply to workers who carry out responsibilities on the following marine vessels:
- A freight vessel
- A towboat
- A fishing vessel
- An oil tanker
- A barge
- Another type of watercraft covered under the Jones Act
This is not designed to be an exhaustive list. You still may be able to pursue compensation for an injury, even if you were injured in a marina or on a dock. A personal injury lawyer can help you to do so.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Bringing Legal Action Under the Jones Act
Depending on your occupation, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation under the Jones Act or another statute governing workers’ compensation for marine workers.
A law firm can provide free case reviews to injured seamen considering legal action under the Jones Act.
Some of the tasks your legal team can undertake for you include:
- Drawing up and filing a motion to initiate a lawsuit, if necessary
- Collecting evidence that assigns negligence to the responsible party
- Estimating the cost of your accident-related damages
- Consulting experts on maritime workers’ compensation issues
- Representing you in settlement negotiations or at trial
- Speaking with the responsible party’s representatives on your behalf
- Protecting your rights and pursuing any compensation to which you may be entitled
- Keeping you updated throughout the legal process and answering whatever questions you may have
If your case is successful, you may be able to recover the expenses associated with your injuries. If it is not, then your lawyer will not charge you attorney’s fees. Your lawyer only gets compensated when you do.
Negligence on the Water May Entitle You to Compensation
Just as employers on land have a duty to provide reasonable safety measures for their employees, those who employ others in a marine setting have the same obligation.
Being injured while on the job can have a variety of negative implications for your life and future. If you were injured in the course of your job, then you may be entitled to recover:
- Loss of income: This is the money you could not earn while your injuries were still healing. You may have had to stay home or work part-time or light duty.
- Loss of earning capacity or employment: This refers to money you expected to earn in the future but now cannot because you have sustained permanent, debilitating injuries.
- Medical expenses: You had to go to the hospital after the injury, or you sought out any type of medical treatment to manage symptoms or make life easier.
- Disability: Your injuries caused a temporary or permanent disability that affected your physical or intellectual capabilities, or your injuries worsened a preexisting disability.
If you want more information about the Jones Act and other statutes under which you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, your lawyer would be happy to explain these laws to you.
Wrongful Death Damages
If you lost a loved one in a maritime workplace injury, you may have the right to seek compensation under the Jones Act. This compensation may take the form of:
- Lost financial support: This is the estimated income that the deceased would have earned over the course of their lifetime.
- Funeral expenses: Laying someone to rest in the manner they deserve can be expensive. You could receive compensation for funeral and burial expenses.
- Other end-of-life expenses: For example, you may have had to hire a lawyer to settle the deceased’s estate.
- Emotional loss: The shock and grief associated with losing your loved one, as well as the long-term effect of the deceased’s disappearance from your life, may be compensable injuries.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
The amount you can recover for a maritime injury under the Jones Act depends on many factors, such as:
- How seriously you were injured
- The circumstances of your injury
- How much money your injury cost you/will cost you in the future
In one case, Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers was able to recover $5.5 million for an injured maritime worker. Again, your case’s worth is dictated by the specific, unique details of your situation.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Our roots in Louisiana run deep. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we take pride in defending the workers who make our state’s economy run. If you have been injured while on the job, our team wants to start helping today. For a free consultation, call us at (337) 777-7777. We can explain in more detail what the Jones Act is and how it can help you recover workers’ compensation after an on-the-job accident.