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The Jones Act is the most comprehensive statute that protects workers on U.S. waters and ports. It was established in 1920 and later revised in 2006. 

At The Maritime Injury Law Firm, we understand the protections given to offshore workers under the Jones Act in great detail and will fight to represent your interests. Contact us if you have suffered an offshore injury in Louisiana or throughout the Gulf Coast.

What offshore workers are covered under the Jones Act?

Injured seamen who receive protection under The Jones Act can include any of the following:

  • deckhands, 
  • engineers, 
  • captains, 
  • mates, 
  • pilots, 
  • drillers, 
  • fishermen, 
  • cooks, 
  • stewards, 
  • drivers, 
  • anchors, and more.

Essentially – any employee that works on navigable water and contributes to the vessel’s function for at least 30% of their work hours is covered under this maritime law act.

(Navigable waters refer to an offshore vessel that can navigate on water. This means the ship is not under construction or being built but is fully operational. Note that fully operational ships that are docked for repair also count, since they are considered active vessels.)

What is the purpose of the Jones Act?

Simply put, the Jones Act requires employers to provide seamen with a reasonably safe place to work. 

It also requires them to keep the vessel that the seamen are working on in a reasonably safe condition. Unsafe conditions could include grease or oil spills, broken equipment, equipment not maintained correctly, a lack of proper equipment, a failure to train the staff on protocol, and assault. 

If an accident occurs, injured seamen can sue their employer for negligence – providing they meet specific criteria.

The Jones Act: What compensation and benefits do offshore workers receive?

As stated before, The Jones Act is one of the most comprehensive labor protections there is. The Maritime Injury Law Firm’s years of experience working with Jones Act cases allows us to fight for offshore workers and their families throughout Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. 

The Jones Act covers:

  • Maintenance and cure: Maintenance refers to payments for your mortgage or rent, food, utilities, property insurance, and property taxes, whereas cure covers the cost of medical care until the offshore worker reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI).
  • Loss of Earnings: Two types of loss of earnings are covered – lost wages and lost earning capacity. Lost wages refer to the loss from the time the injury occurred (as well as during medical treatment). Lost earnings capacity refers to future wages lost due to a permanent disability.
  • Medical Expenses: In addition to maintenance and cure, there are cases where medical expenses are not covered – in which case they would be covered separately. This can include travel expenses to medical facilities in another city or state, occupational therapy, physical therapy, mental health counseling, and nursing care.
  • Pain and Suffering: This covers injuries to the employee’s body, as well as the emotional distress caused by those injuries.
  • Punitive Damages: If an employer refuses to pay maintenance and cure, punitive damages can also be sought.
  • Wrongful Death: Family members of qualified loved ones who suffered a fatality can bring a wrongful death action up under the Jones Act. The family member must have died due to a work injury or illness during their employment (on a qualified vessel) and be the result of employer negligence.

The Maritime Injury Law Firm: Fighting for Louisiana Offshore Workers and Their Families

Just because these protections are provided to offshore workers under the Jones Act does not mean that employers are willing to pay. Here at The Maritime Injury Law Firm, we make sure that Louisiana offshore workers and their families receive the compensation they are due. If you have been injured or made ill while working offshore, schedule your free and confidential consultation today.

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