Maritime - Admiralty - Jones Act

Maritime - Admiralty - Jones ActMaritime law covers incidents that occur on the water. It covers individuals who are injured on a boat, whether a member of the crew or a passenger. It also covers longshoremen, offshore oilfield workers, and just about any other individual injured on a boat, rig or dock. Maritime law includes:

  • Jones Act - Allows seamen who have been injured by the negligence of their employers or coworkers to bring a claim against their employers for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, etc.
  • Unseaworthiness claims - Applies to injuries caused by a watercraft, its parts, or machinery that are not reasonably fit for the intended purpose. A watercraft can also be unseaworthy if its crew is not reasonably competent or skilled to perform the necessary work. Under the Jones Act, watercraft owners are obligated to provide and maintain a seaworthy watercraft.
  • Death On the High Seas Act (DOHSA) - Federal law that allows a surviving spouse of a seaman to recover damages for his or her spouse's future earnings.
  • Longshoremen and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) - Fills the gap between the Jones Act and state worker's compensation laws. This law provides protection to non-seamen who are injured on or near navigable water.

This area of the law requires specialized knowledge and skill to successfully represent those people, including Jones Act, who have maritime accidents. For the residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, this knowledge is extremely important because of the amount of people that work in the offshore oil business in these states. Workers that the Jones Act applies to include offshore workers on jack-up / drilling rigs, inland water workers, and people working on semi-submersible rigs, barges, drill ships, tugboats, towboats, crew boats, dredging equipment, cargo ships, fishing vessels, or other movable watercraft.

In the case of the Jones Act, the term "seaman" applies to persons assigned a task that fulfills the mission of the vessel or fleet of vessels. Watercraft of this type include oil tankers, cargo ships, towboats, fishing boats, jack-up rigs, ferries, cruise ships, tour boats, restaurant boats, floating platforms, freighters, tugboats, and/or other boats.

A seaman does not have to be on the boat or other watercraft at the time of the injury to be covered by the Jones Act. Boat captains and crew, cruise ship entertainers, deckhands, engineers, cooks, fish processors, and boat maintenance staff are some of the types of workers covered by the Jones Act which mandates that employers provide compensation for injuries or death caused by negligence.

It is the responsibility of the seaman's employer to insure that working conditions are safe and that adequate safety, training, and security measures have been put in place to prevent accidents. In the event that the seaman's employer and/or the owner of the vessel are two different parties, the injured seaman or his/her family can file an unseaworthiness claim against the vessel owner for compensation.

CAUSES OF SEAMAN INJURIES INCLUDE:

  • Defective machinery or equipment
  • Inadequate procedures, training, or safety measures in work settings
  • Poor, inadequate working conditions
  • Construction accidents
  • Crushing accidents
  • Explosions
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Loading / unloading accidents
  • Drowning accidents
  • Boat or ship collisions
  • Helicopter crashes

Compensation under the Jones Act include:

  • Medical treatment expenses
  • Lost income or wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of ability to work
  • And other damages

As your maritime injury law firm, the Accident Attorneys of Paul Snow will make sure that we explore all avenues of recovery for your injury. If the Jones Act does not cover your injury, you may be eligible for recovery under the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, general maritime law, or Louisiana or Mississippi worker's compensation laws.

The Longshoremen and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides injury coverage for shipbuilders, dock workers, harbor employees, shoreside workers, and other workers not considered "seamen" under the Jones Act, general maritime law, or by the worker's compensation laws for coverage purposes.

Injury accidents that the LHWCA covers include:

  • Shipbuilding injury accidents
  • Cargo or equipment loading / unloading accidents involving ships and other vehicles
  • Slip and fall injury accidents
  • Machine or heavy equipment operation accidents, defective tools or other work related products injuries
  • Construction injury accidents
  • And other work related injuries

LHWCA also provides coverage to these workers if they are injured while doing a job on a vessel or offshore.

The statute of limitations for filing for compensation under the LHWCA is short. Please call the Law Offices of Paul Snow now to discuss your claim for FREE to make sure your time period does not run out. LHWCA claims can be filed against the worker's employer, such as the shipping company, a contracting company, or a boat operator or owner.

Insurance companies will often fight to pay the minimum recovery amounts to injured workers. This is another area where our accident attorneys can step in. The Law Offices of Paul Snow are known for their zealous and aggressive handling of our client's insurance claims when seeking justice for our clients and will fight for your compensation.

Paul Snow offers his clients highly effective skills and strategies and an in-depth knowledge of maritime injuries and law that govern the different accidents, hands-on legal representation, and first-rate client service. We want you to call us with your questions about your case and we will respond and answer your questions promptly.

We can also file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against any third party whose negligence may have contributed to your accident. It is important that you contact Paul Snow before trying to negotiate a settlement with any insurance company. The statute of limitations for filing a claim may be short, so don't hesitate. Call Paul Snow now at  601-969-1977 or contact us online to discuss your case FREE of charge.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed on or near the water, contact Paul Snow to insure that your rights are protected. Call us at 601-969-1977 or contact us online to discuss your legal rights FREE of charge.

Click here to read about 8 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Selecting An Accident Lawyer.

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