Jones Act Claims involve injuries to offshore employees. Our Maritime Injury Lawyers in Texas and Louisiana know what needs to be done immediately. The Jones Act is the body of law that regulates compensation to workers who have been injured on or near the water, which our Maritime Accident Lawyers use to protect injured maritime workers. The vast majority of workers who are injured on or near the water are eligible to file a Jones Act claim, if the injured worker is employed as a member of the crew of a vessel or offshore oil platform.
Jones Act Settlements are typically quite large. The decision to hire an effective Maritime Injury Lawyer or just a Personal Injury Attorney to handle a Jones Act claim can mean the difference between thousands or millions of dollars. When choosing a maritime accident lawyer to represent you in a Jones Act claim, it's vital that you pick a personal injury attorney who also understands the value of maritime cases and knows how to handle such a case in order to get your just payments.
History of The Jones Act
The Jones Act was passed to make sure that injured
seamen received adequate medical care and
compensation following a disabling injury. The law
basically extended benefits to injured offshore
workers that had previously been written into law for
other railroad workers. Before the Jones Act was
written in 1920, laws did not exist to make sure that
injured offshore workers would be taken care of.
Prior to 1920, injured maritime workers could only file
a general maritime law claim. Maritime lawyers (often referred to as admiralty lawyers) is a mixture of common law passed down by ancient seafaring nations. Over time, it was integrated into the American legal system thanks to the efforts of great Admiralty Lawyers and Maritime Injury Attorneys.
Jones Act Maintenance & Cure
There are two types of compensation under the Jones Act that that a Maritime Injury Lawyer will focus on. 1) Maintenance and 2) Cure. "Maintenance" is the legal term for room, and board (or more simply said it is the money for food and shelter while your are injured at sea). "Cure" is the legal term for medical care.
Jones Act Maintenance
First, Maintenance is paid to injured seamen to help provide room and board to offshore workers who are not able to stay onboard a vessel during recovery. Maintenance is calculated per diem (by the day) at a rate equal to the company's otherwise normal room-and-board expended for the worker before he or she became injured. Sadly, the courts have consistently upheld maintenance amounts ranging from a mere fifteen to 30 dollars per day. These benefits will be paid until the injured employee has been determined to have reached "maximum medical cure". If you do not hire the right Maritime Injury Lawyer to handle your insurance claim, this may be your only legal remedy.
Jones Act Cure
Next, an injured offshore worker who falls under the protection of the Jones Act is entitled to Cure. In other words, an injured seaman is entitled to all reasonable and necessary medical care as it relates to the offshore injury. The concept of Cure may also be extended to include future medical care for the injury, and a settlement may be reached to that end. This is where your Maritime Lawyer can make a difference in your case against vessel owners.
Damages for Pain And Suffering
If the injury was the result of negligence, then the injured worker will also be entitled to compensation for "pain and suffering" associated with the injury. Additionally, if your Maritime Injury Attorney proofs the injury was also partially the result of the vessel's lack of seaworthiness, then the injured worker will have additional claims for damages as well.
A vessel is considered unseaworthy if the vessel or its crew were not reasonably fit for their intended use and that the lack of seaworthiness caused or contributed to the injury. The courts are typically very liberal in their determination of whether vessel's are seaworthy, and normally, unseaworthiness claims have not been difficult to prove. An experienced Maritime Injury Lawyer knows how to pursue such a maritime insurance claim.
If you have questions and need to talk to a Jones Act Lawyer as a result of injury any where near Louisiana or Texas, Contact Us to have a Maritime Lawyer answer any questions about an injury you have suffered or to report a personal injury case you have.
Maritime & Jones Act Claims
"Offshore injuries are particularly damaging because of the worker's future disability. Energy and shipping companies have great reserves of wealth and should take responsible care of their injured workers." Peter LaPray