Maritime work can be dangerous, and sometimes even deadly, but brave Americans go to work offshore every day to maintain the maritime industry.
However, it’s unfortunate that an offshore accident often results in workers sent home injured and unable to work – even without benefits.
Here at The Maritime Injury Law Firm in New Orleans, LA, we know the typical tactics of the industry. George Vourvoulias has decades of experience as a maritime lawyer, and he has what it takes to make sure you get the benefits you deserve after employer negligence causes your injury.
Read on to learn more about your Jones Act rights while facing employer negligence in Louisiana.
What is the Jones Act?
The maritime industry is a unique business, and seamen and offshore workers have special privileges for the work they do. However, they sometimes don’t know all the rights they’re entitled to.
Most people know that the average worker is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when struck by an on-the-job injury. However, this isn’t the case for injured seamen.
Instead of typical workers’ compensation benefits, injured offshore workers are entitled to benefits under the Jones Act.
The Jones Act is a federal law that applies to Louisiana, as well as the entire United States. Injured seamen are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits under the Jones Act when they sustain injuries, whether or not they were due to employer negligence.
Can I sue my employer under the Jones Act in Louisiana?
Thanks to the Jones Act, any injured seaman is entitled to maintenance and cure.
- Maintenance is compensation for the cost of living, which can include a mortgage, utilities, food, property taxes, insurance, etc.
- Cure, on the other hand, is compensation for the cost of medical expenses, including transportation to and from medical appointments.
Injured seamen do not need to prove employer negligence to receive maintenance and cure benefits under the Jones Act. Due to the dangerous nature of the job, any injured worker can receive maintenance and cure benefits, regardless of what conditions led to their accident.
However, if an offshore worker can prove they were injured due to employer negligence, then they may be entitled to further compensation. Seamen who can prove employer negligence led to their injuries can take compensation one step further, and sue their employer for their fault in the accident.
Employer negligence under the Jones Act in Louisiana
In a Louisiana offshore injury, the ability to prove employer negligence can give you the ability to sue your employer. It’s important to hold your employer accountable and to win all the benefits you’re entitled to if they did not protect your rights and safety as a Gulf Coast offshore worker.
Some examples of employer negligence include:
- Requiring seamen to work in dangerous weather conditions
- Failure to provide seamen with adequate training
- Failure to provide workers with adequate equipment
- Enabling other dangerous conditions for workers
The Jones Act is also unique due to its comparative negligence requirements. Under some workers’ compensation laws, injured workers have to prove their employer was more at fault for the accident than any other party.
However, under the Jones Act, injured workers only have to prove employers were negligent in any way. Even if the employer is only found to be 5% at fault, then they are still required to pay 5% of the damages to which the employer is entitled. This is known as comparative negligence.
What damages can I recover if employer negligence led to my offshore injury?
If you can prove your employer’s negligence led to your injuries, then you can sue for additional benefits.
Some of the damages you could recover include:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses – past and future
- Lost wages – past and future
Contact The Maritime Injury Law Firm in New Orleans, Louisiana
The maritime industry is unique, with its own laws like the Jones Act. You can’t rely on lawyers without the appropriate experience to fight for your case with the determination and know-how you deserve. You need an experienced maritime injury lawyer like George Vourvoulais.
George Vourvoulais has two decades of experience defending seamen and offshore workers. Don’t let your employer’s negligence take control of your life without winning the benefits you deserve. Contact the Louisiana-based Maritime Injury Law Firm for your initial consultation today.