Federal law provides injured seamen with certain protections after an accident. If your employer is refusing to pay your medical expenses, will not send you to a specialist, or refuses to pay your maintenance, a competent Iberia Parish seaman injury lawyer may be able to hold them accountable. Hiring an experienced maritime injury attorney could let your employer or insurance company know that you intend to stand up for your legal rights.
Protection Under the Merchant Marine Act
Commonly referred to as the Jones Act, this law was created in 1920 to govern liability for vessel operators and employers with maritime workers. Since it is a federal law, all seaman injuries fall under the same liability standards throughout the entire United States.
For example, under 46 U.S.C. § 30104, seaman have the right to sue their employers if they are injured at work. Furthermore, they can file the lawsuit in state or federal district court, and they can choose a jury trial.
It is essential to understand that this act is not the same as worker’s compensation. Without filing a lawsuit, maintenance and cure payments are not guaranteed to an injured seaman. However, if the seaman can prove negligence on the part of their employer, then they may be able to hold vessel owners, operators, officers, and even fellow employees accountable under the law. For more information about the Jones Act, contact a knowledgeable lawyer.
Who Qualifies as a Seaman Under the Jones Act?
A seaman is someone who does the majority of their work on a ship or a boat of any type. Part-time seaman must spend a minimum of 30 percent of their working hours in a vessel to be covered under the Jones Act.
Additionally, the vessel a seaman is assigned to must be afloat, in operation, capable of moving (not necessarily moving at the time), and on navigable waters. The Jones Act also specifies that a seaman must be contributing to the work of the vessel. Injured workers may want to seek the counsel of a qualified Iberia Parish seaman injury attorney to find out how the Jones Act applies to their case.
Jones Act Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a lawsuit. Generally, the Jones Act provides up to three years from the date of the injury to file a claim. Exceptions to this rule include seaman on vessels that are owned, operated, or contracted by the federal government. An injured seaman who wants to pursue legal remedies will want to consult with a seaman injury lawyer in Iberia Parish to make sure a case is filed on time.
Speak with an Iberia Parish Seaman Injury Attorney Today
As an injured seaman, you have rights under federal laws. While many employers or vessel owners would like to keep you in the dark about your rights, you deserve to be informed.
Using the protections provided by the Jones Act, a well-versed Iberia Parish seaman injury lawyer may be able to recover compensation for your lost wages, past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. Contact an attorney today to schedule a consultation.