If you work on a seafaring vessel and suffered injuries, the Morris Bart law firm may be able to help. It may be possible to develop a Jones Act case against the boat owner, captain, or another liable party and recover compensation.
A lawyer from our team will review your offshore injury accident case today for free. You can speak with our offshore injury and Jones Act attorneys in Birmingham at no cost to your family. We will explain your options for taking legal action and determine how our attorneys can help.
Recovering Compensation Based on Your Offshore Accident and Injuries
State statutes that provide a path to financial recovery do not always apply to seafaring vessels. The Jones Act establishes several duties for boat owners and captains, making it possible to take civil action against them when they fail to uphold these duties. Recoverable damages include:
- Treatment for injuries, both current and those that may develop in the future
- Lost income, including wages and benefits
- Additional expenses paid out of pocket
- Pain and suffering damages
When a severe accident causes fatal injuries, the Death on the High Seas Act may apply. This law allows a family who could typically pursue wrongful death damages following a loved one’s passing to take legal action even though the victim was offshore when their injuries occurred.
Your family may be able to file an insurance claim or lawsuit based on this statute if:
- Your loved one was hurt or died more than three nautical miles offshore
- The accident took place on a seafaring vessel
An offshore injury and Jones Act accident lawyer in Birmingham will work to identify recoverable losses suffered by our clients as a part of investigating these injuries and pursuing justice via a negotiated settlement or court award.
For a free legal consultation with a Offshore Injury and Jones Act Accident lawyer serving Birmingham, call (205) 380-4158
What Is a Reasonable Settlement for a Jones Act Claim?
Jones Act claims, like most personal injury lawsuits, typically settle out of court. They may settle for as little as a few thousand dollars or as much as $75,000. A reasonable settlement for your particular case will allow you to recover your accident-related expenses and lost wages.
Our team of Birmingham offshore injury and Jones Act accident attorneys can consult with you to determine what amount you should pursue.
Birmingham Offshore Injury and Jones Act Accident Lawyer Near Me (205) 380-4158
Do I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation or Another Option for Benefit?
In most cases, offshore workers who qualify to pursue a claim under the Jones Act do not have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This is because the laws regarding workplace accidents on land do not apply to injuries on the open ocean.
The offshore injury and Jones Act attorneys in Birmingham at Morris Bart & Associates, LLC can assess your legal options for free following your accident. This consultation includes a review to see if you can file:
- An offshore injury claim
- A Jones Act lawsuit
- Another type of legal claim
In some cases, 46 U.S. Code § 30104 provides the only option for a sailor to recover compensation based on their injuries and expenses. This is the section of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly called the Jones Act.
It applies to workers on seafaring vessels and structures, including:
- Cargo ships
- Passenger ships
- Oil rigs
- Other types of boats
Where Does the Jones Act Apply?
The Jones Act only covers qualifying sailors who sustained injuries or suffered illnesses because of offshore incidents on a seafaring vessel. This includes boats in:
- The Gulf of Mexico off the Alabama coast
- Other international waterways
- On rivers or lakes shared by more than one state
What if I Was Not at Sea When My Injuries Occurred?
In some cases, a sailor or another offshore worker suffered injuries in a work-related incident that happened when the vessel was not in the Gulf of Mexico or on the open ocean.
The worker may still qualify to pursue damages through the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. This statute allows sailors to seek justice after getting hurt while working on or around a seafaring vessel. This could include:
- Ships in dry dock
- Pier injuries
- Accidents while the boat is in the harbor
- Injuries that occur on deck or in a cargo hold nearshore
Our Birmingham Jones Act and offshore injury lawyers can help you understand the laws that apply in your case and how you may be able to seek compensation for your medical care, lost wages, and more.
Who Is Liable for a Jones Act Accident?
If a crew member purposely harmed you or failed to maintain ship safety, that crew member is liable for your injury. However, a shipowner is also held responsible for a vessel’s seaworthiness and the ship’s crew.
If your employer does not own the ship, both your employer and the shipowner may be liable for your injuries. Our offshore injury and Jones Act accident lawyers in Birmingham can help you determine the liable party in your case.
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Proving Negligence in Jones Act Case
In most cases, an offshore worker’s only option for compensation following a worksite injury is to file a Jones Act lawsuit. Jones Act claims are not the same as workers’ compensation claims. With workers’ comp claims, fault does not come into play. An offshore worker must prove that an accident was caused by negligence to recover compensation after an injury.
To be successful, your Jones Act case will have to establish liability by demonstrating:
- A dangerous situation existed
- Employees were not properly trained
- Worker safety standards were poor
- The ship was not seaworthy
Luckily, the burden of proof in a Jones Act case is not as great as a personal injury lawsuit. You do not need to prove that your employer was 100% to blame for your accident. There may have been multiple contributing factors. So long as you can prove that employer negligence was partly responsible, you may win your case.
Timeline for Pursuing Compensation in a Jones Act Accident Lawsuit
Your offshore injury case could settle out of court, and you may never need to file a lawsuit or make a court appearance. Many cases never go to trial. However, in some cases, this may be a vital step in securing fair and just compensation.
In general, those who qualify to take action under the Jones Act have up to three years to act under 46 U.S. Code § 30106. This deadline applies to:
- Preparing the paperwork to name the liable party as the defendant
- Filing the documents to begin the lawsuit in civil court
There are some reasons why the three-year deadline may not apply in your case. You could have more time, or the deadline could arrive sooner. We can help you determine the deadline that applies in your offshore injury case during your free consultation.
Morris Bart & Associates, LLC Can Help With Your Offshore Injury Case
If you were an employee on a qualifying offshore vessel who suffered a work-related injury or illness, you may be able to hold one or more parties accountable under the Jones Act. The liable parties in these cases often include:
- The worker’s employer
- The owner of the boat
- The boat captain
- Another party tasked with keeping the worker safe
An offshore injury and Jones Act accident attorney in Birmingham from our team will work with you to file your claim. We can assess your case for free today. Our contingency fee firm represents injured sailors and other qualifying workers from 16 locations across the Gulf South, including our Birmingham office.
You also have rights if you suffered injuries on an ocean-going vessel as a:
- Contract worker
When choosing the right representative for your case, consider the Morris Bart law firm. We’ve secured compensation for 6,500 clients in 2019, and we have helped injury victims for more than 40 years. We want to help you, too.
Speak With an Offshore Injuries Attorney Serving Birmingham for Free Today
A Birmingham offshore injury and Jones Act accident attorney from the Morris Bart law firm may be able to help if you suffered injuries in an offshore injury and Jones Act accident in Birmingham. Let an attorney review your case at no cost to you. You can speak with an attorney from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC by calling us or filling out our online contact form.
Questions?Call (205) 380-4158
to find a Morris Bart office near you.