At Cueria Law Firm, our Louisiana personal injury attorneys have vast experience in handling cases involving the Jones Act. When it comes to working in the maritime industry, the employment positions come with a high-risk of injury or death. Large equipment and heavy loads are dealt with on a large vessel which can be dangerous within itself, not to mention the difficult conditions on the water that can lead to even more risk. When you suffer an injury while working as a seaman, it is important to know your legal rights and understand if the Jones Act applies to your case.
Understanding the Jones Act
The Jones Act is a federal statute that was enacted to help maintain and govern the maritime commerce that is transported from ports in the United States. General regulations are included in the Jones Act along with provisions for employees. With protection under admiralty law, a United States citizen that is working in the maritime industry who is injured or becomes ill due to the negligence of a vessel or company, they can file a claim based on the Jones Act. The goal of the Act was to ensure that seamen receive just compensation for injuries that occur out on open water.
Settlements involving the Jones Act can include compensation that covers the following:
- Medical care
- Physical pain, disfigurement or suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Cost of living during the recovery process
Legal Rights Under the Jones Act
The Jones Act will provide qualifying seamen with the option to seek compensation after an illness was developed or an injury occurred while on a vessel. Compensation can be sought for any injury that takes place based on the negligence of the owner of the ship, operator or another employee on board. The vessel owner must ensure safe operation of the ship as well as the maintenance of equipment used.
Seamen Rights Under the Jones Act Include:
- Right to a safe work environment
- Right to a legal claim based on injury caused by negligence
- Right to compensation related to the illness or injury; known as maintenance and cure
- Right to compensation if the vessel is found to be unseaworthy; also includes crew
- Right to punitive damages if payment of maintenance and cure is wrongfully refused
At Cueria Law Firm, we can review your case and determine if you have the right to file for compensation based on the Jones Act. We understand the legalities involved in the maritime industry and are prepared to assist with your case. Schedule a consultation today so we can review your injury and/or illness and help you take legal action based on your individual circumstances.