Many people rely on the waters around New Orleans and Louisiana to earn a living. While oil rigs, fishing operations, and other ships can provide quality employment prospects, these are always risky places to work and injuries can happen on a regular basis. The laws that apply to accidents on navigable waters are quite different from laws regarding accidents and injuries on dry land. One law that commonly comes into play is called the Jones Act. This is a complicated law and anyone injured on the water should contact an attorney with specific experience handling Jones Act claims.
What is the Jones Act?
The Jones Act is a federal law aimed at governing commerce traveling the ports of the United States. In addition to providing general guidelines for the maritime industry, the Jones Act also specifically provides certain rights for those injured on a vessel or while working for a maritime company. Some rights for employed seamen include:
- To have a safe working environment
- To file a legal claim if they are injured by the negligence of others
- “Maintenance and cure” compensation for injuries or illnesses
- Compensation if a vessel turns out not to be seaworthy
- Additional damages if rightful payment is refused
Negligence that leads to injuries at sea can be attributed to the vessel owner, company owner, ship operator, or other employees who were onboard. You should consult with a skilled Jones Act attorney who can determine your rights under the law after an injury or illness at sea.
An injury or illness on the water can result in a variety of losses for seamen. Conditions can require significant medical treatment, can keep them out of work, and can cause many other problems in their lives. Compensation that may be available under the Jones Act can include:
- Costs of medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Future lost earnings
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Costs of living while recovering from the condition
While such compensation can be extremely important for injured or ill seamen, too many people make costly mistakes in Jones Act cases that can delay or deny their compensation. Some of these mistakes include:
- Waiting too long to report injuries or illnesses
- Signing paperwork or accepting a settlement too soon
- Retaining an attorney who does not regularly handle Jones Act cases
Signing on the dotted line to accept a quick payment may seem like the right thing to do at the time, however, additional losses may arise and you may be left responsible for anything not covered by your settlement. By taking the time to contact the right attorney and have them carefully review your case, you can best ensure that you are properly compensated in accordance with your rights under the Jones Act.
You Need a Skilled New Orleans Jones Act Attorney on Your Side
Egenberg, APLC regularly brings Jones Act claims for clients and we can assist you after an injury or illness on the water. Please call our maritime lawyers at (504) 229-5700 or contact us online for a free consultation.