Were you hurt while working on an offshore vessel near Louisiana? If so, you could be able to get compensation for your medical expenses and other losses through the Jones Act. Find out more about the steps to take to secure compensation with a New Orleans Jones Act lawyer.
You may start getting legal advice today from the Morris Bart law office. It is easy to reach a member of our legal team. Begin working on a claim to secure compensation for your losses by calling us at (504) 613-4771.
Get Familiar with the Jones Act in New Orleans
According to the Legal Information Institute (LII), the Jones Act protects the health of individuals working on offshore vessels. You may also hear this act called the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. As you may have guessed by the name of the act, this law has been on the books for a century.
Many workers on offshore vessels depend upon the Jones Act because seamen are not technically allowed to apply for workers’ compensation. The Jones Act steps in to provide seamen with compensation for their lost wages and their medical expenses.
However, you may only be covered under the Jones Act if you are legally considered a seaman as defined by U.S. Code Title 46 §10101. In order to qualify as a seaman, you must:
- Be on a vessel that is in navigation
- Have a substantial employment relationship aboard the vessel
- Contribute in some way to your vessel’s purpose
You may wish to contact a Jones Act lawyer right away if you are unsure about your status as a seaman. The team at the Morris Bart law office can assess your situation to help you determine if you qualify as a seaman or if you do not. Call us today at (504) 613-4771.
For a free legal consultation with a Jones Act lawyer serving New Orleans, call 800-537-8185
Determine the Definition of a Vessel in Louisiana
In many cases, the Jones Act applies to individuals who were hurt while working on a boat or a ship. However, offshore vessels may apply to structures besides traditional boats. In fact, semi-submersible rigs may even be classified as vessels in some cases.
However, determining the definition of the craft where your injury occurred can be difficult. Your employer may try to argue that the craft was not a vessel, to avoid providing you with compensation under the Jones Act.
You may get help establishing the craft you were working on at the time of your accident by contacting a lawyer. Investigating your case and defining the nature of the craft may allow you to get the damages you need to cover medical expenses and other losses.
Types of Compensation Under the Jones Act
As we mentioned, many seamen are not eligible to receive workers’ compensation after an on-the-job injury. Instead, you may be able to secure compensation through the Jones Act. The Jones Act offers two primary types of compensation:
Maintenance is the first type of compensation you may be able to receive under the Jones Act. Maintenance compensates a seaman for their living expenses while they are unable to work during the recovery period.
You may also receive cure after an on-the-job injury as a seaman. Cure may cover your healthcare expenses. You may have all of your medical expenses covered until you recover completely or until you reach the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI occurs if you are unable to recover completely from your injuries.
Move Quickly to Seek Compensation Through the Jones Act
You may need to seek legal help quickly if you are hurt while working as a seaman in New Orleans. You only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit after your accident. In most cases, you have only three years to file a lawsuit under U.S. Code Title 46 §30106. However, you may have less time if your case involves the U.S. government.
In most cases, it is recommended that you begin working on your claim as soon as your injury occurs. You may need to:
- Stop working right away
- Take pictures of your injuries and the place where the accident occurred
- Speak with witnesses who saw your accident
- Inform your supervisor that you are hurt
- Get medical help quickly
Note that your supervisor may encourage you to see a company-approved doctor in this situation. However, you are not required to follow this recommendation. In fact, you may want to see an independent doctor, as company doctors may be primarily concerned with getting you back to work and ignoring the severity of your injuries.
Additionally, you may want to contact a lawyer as quickly as possible after your accident to ensure you can get legal advice.
Get Help from a Jones Act Lawyer in New Orleans
A lawyer may step in to help you file a claim through the Jones Act after an accident on a marine vessel. You have the option to get legal assistance right away by contacting the Morris Bart law office. Our New Orleans Jones Act lawyer is standing by to assist you. We may:
- Investigate the situation surrounding your accident
- Speak with anyone who saw the accident
- Review your medical records
- Build a claim to help you get maintenance and cure
Our team may also take over communication with your employer and insurance agents. We may also look over any offers made by insurance agents. We recommend that you do not sign any papers regarding your accident before you speak with a lawyer. Your employer may try to get you to admit fault for the accident or to deny the severity of your injuries, which can impact your compensation. Go over your legal options in this situation by contacting us now.
Work with a New Orleans Jones Act Lawyer at Morris Bart, LLC
If you suffered injuries while working on a marine vessel anywhere around the New Orleans area you may want to get help from a New Orleans Jones Act lawyer. You may start working on a claim right now with the Morris Bart law office. Reaching us for assistance is simple. Just complete our online contact form or call (504) 613-4771.
A team member may be able to offer you a legal consultation today.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.