Skip to main content

If you’ve been injured in a barge accident, the first step is to learn your legal rights under maritime law. From the conditions on the ship to the quality of safety training, everything at the time of an accident can have a real impact on what you may be entitled to under the Jones Act. 

All barge workers, including tankermen, injured during barge accidents or while working are entitled to compensation for daily living expenses and treatment for injuries until fully recovered, even when no one is at fault

This is known as maintenance and cure under the Jones Act

Because the Jones Act is so comprehensive, it can be difficult to figure out where you stand at first glance. But with a knowledgeable team, like ours at the New Orleans-based Maritime Injury Law Firm, you may find you are entitled to more than you first thought. We investigate every detail of your situation to make sure you are protected and even uncover negligence, which can mean more compensation for you.

Common examples of maritime accidents and injuries

The nature of your injury can have large implications for what you may be entitled to under the Jones Act or maritime law in general. 

Here are some things that can go wrong while on the job:

  • Slip and Fall Accidents
  • Equipment Failures
  • Line Handling Injuries
  • Fires and Collisions

It’s important to determine the extent of every injury and what caused it so we can fight for the proper compensation. Severed limbs, spinal cord injuries, and chemical burns are examples of life-altering injuries, but you don’t have to stay silent over smaller injuries either. 

Whatever your case, your well-being matters.

Right to a safe workplace in Louisiana under the Jones Act

Employers and barge owners have to follow certain requirements from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Coast Guard. These regulations help workers know that the working environment is safe. 

The Jones Act provides some of the strictest protections for employees, so the law is on your side.

Employers also have a duty to provide a seaworthy vessel for their employees. If they don’t, your employer may liable for the full extent of your pain, suffering, and losses because they were neglectful.

To be covered under the Jones Act, your injuries must have happened on navigable waters like the following:

  • Ocean
  • Lake
  • River

You can speak up and seek representation no matter how small the injury is or if only a small aspect of your workplace was unsafe. 

Damages you can be compensated for through the Jones Act

So what happens if your employer was negligent? 

The Jones Act is a form of workers’ compensation for tankermen, but it also lets you sue your employer for damages. If they are found negligent, they become responsible for compensating for your:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Humiliation, embarrassment, mental anguish
  • Lost wages
  • Earning power
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Living expenses during your recovery
  • Inability to engage in recreational activities you previously enjoyed
  • Fear of future surgery

In order to have a successful case, you’ll need to prove there was negligence from an employer, barge owner, or even another crewmember.

If your injury was no one’s fault, are you still covered in Louisiana?

Under the Jones Act, injured tankermen are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits

This means your employer must pay for:

  • the cost to maintain housing and other day-to-day living expenses
  • your medical care from the time of injury until you are fit for duty or you have reached maximum medical improvement

As a seaman, you are entitled to these benefits no matter how small or how large the injury is, even if no one is at fault.

If you are a tankerman that has been injured on the job, make sure to limit what you say to your employer, as their interests don’t match yours. You should also remember you can call your own doctor, and you’re under no obligation to talk to the company doctor. 

Finally, it’s beneficial to your case if you write down everything you can remember about the incident with dates and times. 

Call our Louisiana Jones Act Lawyer

We are dedicated to protecting your rights and making sure your employer isn’t taking advantage of you. This area of law is very comprehensive, but The Maritime Injury Law Firm is prepared to answer all your questions so you can rest, recover, and receive any compensation you may be entitled to. Contact us today.

Skip to content