The state of Louisiana is the central hub of the United State’s maritime industry. With over 70,000 jobs it is by far the number one state in maritime jobs as well as a major shipyard state. What most people do not realize is that maritime jobs are regarded as being among the most dangerous. Extreme cold, heat stress, and potentially dangerous tools are just a few of the hazards that can be found in many industries including this one. However, when you throw in the element of water, it takes the dangers to a whole new level. Isolation, lack of modern conveniences at hand, damage to watercraft, water immersion, severe storms, and working in small living spaces are just a few examples of the challenges that are unique to maritime workers.
Prior to the 1920s, maritime workers who were injured while on the job were not entitled to any compensation and the family of those killed due to a maritime accident did not receive any compensation either. This changed in the summer of 1920 when President Woodrow Wilson signed into legislature the Jones Act. Our New Orleans Jones Act lawyers are experts in helping injured seaman receive the compensation they deserve.
What is the Jones Act in Louisiana?
The Louisiana Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act, offers protection and compensation for Louisiana maritime workers who are injured while on the job. It extended the protection that many on-land industries, such as the railroad sector, already had to those working on the water. This law allows seaman to receive appropriate compensation for injuries that are a result of employer negligence, claims of unseaworthiness, or inadequate working conditions.
Are You Eligible to File a Claim Under the Jones Act?
In order to file a claim under the Jones Act, you must be a maritime worker that spends at least 30 percent of your time at sea. This doesn’t mean that you have to be aboard a traditional ship to qualify. Many different types of floating vessels or platforms fall under this act. In some cases, even onshore maritime workers who aren’t necessarily assigned to jobs in the middle of the ocean may qualify. It is important to understand that just because you or a loved one doesn’t fit the traditional mold of a seaman, doesn’t mean that you aren’t covered. Our attorneys are experienced in the Jones Act and are happy to review your case to see if it qualifies.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
There is a statute of limitations on the Jones Act. Individuals and/or their families have 3 years from the time of the incident to file a report. This seems like a long time. However, there may be quite a bit of information and paperwork that must be gathered prior to filing a claim. The Jones Act claims the process can take time to do correctly. It is advisable to not wait until the end of the 3 year period, but rather, to go ahead and begin the process as soon as possible. This will increase your chances of success. The last thing you want to do is to become ineligible because you ran out of time.
What Compensation Can Be Awarded?
Under the Jones Act, individuals may be awarded compensation for medical expenses, maintenance and cure, ongoing therapies or treatment, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Each individual case is different. The details of your particular incident will determine which areas of compensation you are eligible for.