Maritime employees are vital to many businesses around the country. Whether seamen are employed on freighters, fishing boats, or cruise ships, these individuals have an important role in their industries. However, their jobs are often extremely hazardous.
While many employees can seek workers’ compensation benefits for on-the-job injuries, seamen are not protected by these traditional policies. However, they may be able to seek compensation through litigation against their employers.
Anyone considering filing such a claim may wish to consult a Lafayette seaman injury lawyer about their specific case. Retaining a well-practiced injury attorney could help a sailor understand the unique laws that govern maritime injuries, prepare a comprehensive claim, and pursue fair compensation.
Seamen’s Rights Under Federal Law
Though sailors and other maritime employees are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance policies, they are not barred from collecting compensation through other means. Unlike most injured employees, maritime workers have the unique ability to sue their employer directly for injury-related losses.
46 U.S.C. 30104, which is part of the Jones Act, explicitly allows injured seamen to seek legal action for injuries they sustained on the job. Though the statute specifically names seamen, the term in this context includes any individual who works primarily in navigable waters, including rivers, oceans, and lakes.
Generally, any seaman’s injury that occurred while performing work duties is compensable, even if the ship was docked. However, an injured party may still benefit from discussing a potential claim with their Lafayette sailor injury attorney.
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 777-7777
Common Compensable Ship Injuries
Despite best intentions and safe practices, injuries can and will happen on ships and docks alike. From rough weather to dangerous cargo, working on a boat carries many hazards, any of which can easily cause injuries.
Whether an injury occurred due to another’s actions, dangerous circumstances, or even an injured party’s negligence, harmed seamen may pursue a personal injury lawsuit against their employer under the Jones Act. Any injury that requires medical care and results in time lost at work could lead to potential compensation.
Damages available under the Jones Act generally include losses incurred as a result of an injury, such as medical costs or the value of lost wages. However, a dedicated lawyer may also be able to help injured Lafayette seamen demand payments for emotional trauma. No matter what compensation an individual chooses to pursue, a legal advocate could work with a potential plaintiff to evaluate their losses and help prepare a claim for filing.
Lafayette Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Iberia Parish Seaman Injury Lawyer
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 a Lafayette Seaman Injury Attorney Today
Even seemingly safe positions on ships could introduce employees to hazards, and accidents on these vessels can have long-lasting effects on an employee and their family. For this reason, it may be beneficial for injured parties to seek financial recovery for their losses through the Jones Act.
If you were hurt in a maritime accident, you may not wish to add the stress of a lawsuit to an already unwelcome situation. However, a Lafayette seaman injury lawyer could streamline the process by providing personalized guidance and support.
A strong legal advocate may assist with gathering evidence, calculating the value of your losses, and preparing to file a lawsuit. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more and discuss any potential claims.