More than 500 million tons of cargo move through Louisiana each year, making merchant marines a critical part of the state and national economies. If you are a seaman injured due to negligence while on a vessel, you may have grounds for a claim. We often help ensure employees who are subject to maritime laws receive the compensation they deserve.
According to the Transportation Institute, the Jones Act applies to vessels that can engage in coastwise trade. In addition to providing domestic shipping regulations, it addresses the responsibilities regarding the safety and well-being of ships’ crews.
Negligence under the Jones Act
This employee-friendly law requires that your employer provide a reasonably safe workplace. Unsafe conditions include the following:
- Improperly maintained equipment
- Oil or grease on the deck
- Improperly trained crew
- Unsafe work methods
- Lack of proper equipment to complete work duties
- Negligence of co-workers
For a successful case, you must prove employer negligence played a part in your injuries. You can receive damages even if other issues were more significant causes of your accident.
Compensation under the Jones Act
If you seek compensation under the Jones Act, you must be a “seaman,” defined as a person who performs a significant amount of their job on a ship or boat. The legislation allows you to file a claim against your employer for negligence. You can sue for the same damages as other types of personal injury lawsuits. These damages include pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, lost wages, past and future medical expenses. You must file your lawsuit within three years of the injury date.