If you or a loved one suffered injuries on an offshore vessel, you may qualify for financial recovery through the Jones Act. You could recover medical costs and compensation for your lost income. But you don’t want to try navigating the murky waters of an offshore injury claim alone.
Maritime law can sometimes be complicated, as it differs slightly from personal injury law and workers’ compensation claims. But an offshore injury and Jones Act lawyer in Lafayette from the Morris Bart law firm can help you navigate the complex process of seeking compensation through the Jones Act.
Financial Recovery for Injuries Caused by Negligence
If an employer’s actions or failure to act contributed to your offshore injury, you may be entitled to compensation for injury-related losses through the Jones Act. You could recover compensation for your:
- Medical costs
- Living expenses or “maintenance”
- Lost wages from missed work
- Pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Definition of Negligence for a Jones Act Claim
Most personal injury claims are based on an allegation of negligence. However, the standard for what constitutes negligence is much lower for the Jones Act than it is under most state personal injury laws. You may be entitled to compensation through the Jones Act if your employer’s negligence contributed in any way to your injuries.
If your employer made an oversight or mistake that somehow caused or worsened your injuries, you may qualify for full coverage under the Jones Act. There are typically four main components to a negligence-based claim:
- Duty: Your employer owed you a legal duty to ensure a safe working environment.
- Breach of duty: Your employer failed to uphold the duty.
- Causation: You were harmed by your employer’s breach of duty.
- Damages: You suffered damages such as medical costs and lost income.
A Lafayette Jones Act attorney from the Morris Bart law firm can investigate the circumstances of your offshore injury and determine if you are entitled to recovery under the Jones Act.
Jones Act Claims for a Fatal Offshore Incident
The Jones Act also protects workers who are killed in an offshore accident caused by employer negligence. If your loved one was a seaman who died in the course of performing their job, you may bring a Jones Act claim on their behalf. Jones Act claims are brought on behalf of the deceased seaman’s estate by a personal representative.
For a free legal consultation with a Offshore Injury and Jones Act Accident lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 446-4571
Seamen’s Rights Under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920
Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act is referred to as the Jones Act. This legislation describes some of the rights afforded to seamen.
Through the Jones Act, injured seamen may be entitled to reimbursement for lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. However, the worker and the circumstances of the injury must meet certain criteria for the worker to be covered under the Jones Act.
Who Counts as a Seaman?
Maritime workers who may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act include:
- Masters and members of a ship’s crew
- Fish processors
- Certain offshore oil rig workers
- Other seamen
Per 46 U.S. Code §10101, a “seaman” is defined as someone who:
- Spends a substantial amount of time working on a vessel “in navigation” or a vessel that is afloat, in operation, and on navigable waters
- Contributes to the vessel’s purpose
“Maintenance and Cure” Compared to Compensation through the Jones Act
The maritime industry is one of the most dangerous industries in which someone can work. Severe injuries onboard vessels are not uncommon. Injured seamen are generally entitled to “maintenance and cure” benefits.
Maintenance and cure is no-fault, which means that an injured seaman does not need to prove that the injury was due to another party’s negligence to get compensation. Maintenance and cure compensation is typically limited to:
- Medical care until the seaman reaches “maximum medical recovery”
- Modest compensation for daily living expenses
Bringing a claim under the Jones Act may allow an injured seaman to collect a much greater amount of compensation than what they would receive under maintenance and cure alone. Unlike maintenance and cure, a claim under the Jones Act is a negligence-based claim.
How a Lafayette Jones Act Lawyer Can Help
If you or your loved one were hurt while working as a seaman aboard an offshore vessel, you may be entitled to financial recovery through the Jones Act. However, there are strict rules about who qualifies for compensation.
Our Lafayette Jones Act lawyers can assess your situation and explore all your legal options with you. Our team can provide the legal help you need to navigate complicated maritime laws. TWe can:
- Explain your legal rights under federal maritime law
- Interpret confusing legal language
- Ensure that your rights are protected
- Help you value your damages
- Advocate passionately on your behalf during your case
- Handle communication with your employer’s insurance company
- Represent you during settlement negotiations
- Take your case to trial if needed
Let our team handle your case for you so that you can focus on recovering from your injury.
Statute of Limitations for Offshore Injury Cases
There is a statute of limitations that restricts when you can bring a case under the Jones Act. Per 46 U.S. Code § 30106, your injury or death case must be brought within three years of the incident. Exceptions can shorten your deadline.
Call Morris Bart, LLC for a Free Case Consultation
If you are a seaman who was injured in an offshore incident or your loved one was killed while working offshore, you may be entitled to compensation for your physical and mental injuries through a claim brought under the Jones Act.
A Jones Act lawyer in Lafayette from the Morris Bart law firm can evaluate your injuries or your loved one’s death and explain the types of compensation that you may be entitled to. Call us or fill out our online contact form for a free case assessment.
Questions?Call (337) 446-4571
to find a Morris Bart office near you.