Most people do not understand workers’ compensation laws until they suffer an injury or illness on the job. Recovering money for health-care costs and time off work can be a complex process. Each case is unique.
If you were injured at sea, then you may be able to make a claim under the Jones Act. However, there are several requirements that you must meet to make such a claim.
If you were injured while working on a boat, contact a New Orleans accident attorney from Morris Bart. We can can evaluate your case, gather evidence, structure your claim and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a consultation.
Here is a brief overview of “seaworthiness” as the term relates to injury claims:
What is an “unseaworthy” vessel?
According to USCourts.gov, whether or not a vessel is seaworthy may impact the nature of an injury claim. The legal definition of seaworthy may differ from your general understanding of the term.
In order for a vessel to be seaworthy, its hull and equipment must be reasonably adequate in design and maintenance. The crew must also have the ability to operate the ship safely.
The vessel may be unseaworthy if it does not provide the seaman with the necessary tools and equipment to perform their work safely. In most cases, if the workplace is not safe or places the crew at risk, then the vessel is not seaworthy.
Many people believe that the entire vessel must be severely damaged and near sinking in order for it to be unseaworthy, but this is not necessarily true. Also, a simple mechanical breakdown does not necessarily render the vessel unseaworthy.
Duty to Provide a Seaworthy Vessel
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According to Berkeley.edu, the ship owner has a duty to provide a seaworthy vessel and crew. If the equipment, vessel or crew is inadequate for the job and this causes injuries, the ship owner may be liable for damages. An injured seaman may be able to file a claim against either the vessel owner or his or her employer in the event of an offshore injury.
Challenges Facing Jones Act Claimants
Recovering damages after a work-related injury is rarely a straightforward process. Your employer or the insurance company may try to find a loophole to deny or undervalue your claim.
An accident attorney can represent your interests and help you avoid mistakes during the claims process. You should never accept a settlement offer or sign release documents without the approval of an injury attorney.
Your lawyer can evaluate your injury and gather evidence to prove liability and negligence. Unfortunately, critical evidence may disappear over time, so it is essential that you initiate the claims process as soon as possible.
A New Orleans injury attorney from Morris Bart can evaluate your accident, gather evidence and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf. Schedule a consultation today by calling 800-537-8185.