In the United States, workers’ compensation is in place to provide financial recompense to people who are injured during the course of their employment. Workers’ compensation laws in the United States, including in Louisiana, have certain limitations. Among them is that their reach does not extend to workers who are injured as employees of seagoing vessels. The Jones Act is designed to provide compensation to workers on ships who are injured during the course of their employment.
What is the Jones Act?
The Jones Act is federal legislation that has been on the books in the United States since 1920. The law is officially known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. The Jones Act provides people who sustain injuries offshore the legal ability to take action against their employers to obtain compensation for their injuries and losses. The law typically applies to crew members of ships who are injured while on the water working for their employers.
Commonplace examples of Jones Act worker claims
A Jones Act claim for injuries and compensation can take many forms. Some of the more commonplace examples of Jones Act workers claims include:
- Failure to maintain proper railings, ladders and other safety measures on a ship
- Failure to clean up slip hazards on a ship, including dangers like oil spills, in a timely manner
- Request a worker to perform a dangerous or especially and unnecessarily burdensome assignment
- Failure to keep machines and equipment in proper condition
An understanding of maritime law is necessary to pursue a Jones Act claim successfully. Not all workers’ lawyers have experience in this area of the law. Finding one who does is an inherent part of pursuing a successful Jones Act claim for compensation.