Basics of the Jones Act for Offshore Injured Workers

Basics of the Jones Act for Offshore Injured Workers

If you are a Louisiana resident who makes your living on the water, severe injury and death on the job are realistic prospects you must prepare for potentially occurring. Most offshore injuries are a reality to Louisiana’s residents who work offshore because of the inherent danger of the job.

The Jones Act is intended to protect offshore workers from injury by creating obligations that your employer must meet to prepare a safe work environment for workers on the water. The Jones Act protects offshore workers in a variety of ways.

The Jones Act allows for you to sue for the negligence of your employer.

If you suffer an injury on the job while working on or near the water, it is likely that the Jones Act applies to your injury and could give you an opportunity to make your employer liable for their negligence that led to your injury. The Jones Act would require you to make an initial showing that your employer or superior was aware the vessel you worked on was defective or inadequate. The Jones Act would also require you to connect the defective or inadequate nature of the vessel to your offshore maritime injury.

Damages for injured offshore workers.

The Jones Act also provides for damages to be awarded to maritime offshore workers who are injured on the job. If you can show your employer or superior was negligent, you may be awarded damages attributable to your pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical bills, and other damages associated with the offshore injury.

The Jones Act helps enforce a safe environment for maritime workers.

The Jones Act’s protection for maritime workers helps create an environment that prevents workers on the water from being put in unsafe and dangerous conditions. It creates mandates and guidelines for medical care which must be provided to you when an injury on the water occurs. Additionally, it helps require various elements of boat maintenance, licensing, training, on-deck safety equipment, and compliance with various federal regulations which ensure the work environment is as safe as possible for workers on the water.

The Jones Act has specific time periods under which you must file suit.

The Jones Act also has specific requirements under which you must initiate a proceeding for damages associated with your injury. Those time periods generally are capped at three (3) years from the date of your injury. However, it is important to note not all maritime workers qualify under the Jones Act to be considered a seaman. Therefore, contacting a reputable attorney familiar with maritime law as soon as possible after your injury is preferable to protect your rights. Our maritime lawyers have over a decade of experience in maritime litigation.