Louisiana Jones Act Lawyer
Energy exploration workers are used to sacrifice. They often spend long months on offshore oil rigs and other platforms without spending meaningful time with friends and family. Shore leave is almost unheard of. Cruise ship workers, especially people who toil on the lower decks, have similar experiences. These jobs are also quite hazardous. Injuries are common, and the nearest large medical facility isn’t just around the corner. So, the federal government makes special injury compensation provisions in these cases.
The Jones Act, a victim-friendly piece of legislation that shipping magnates have repeatedly tried to water down or eliminate, applies in these cases. Originally, the Jones Act protected merchant marine sailors during World War II. Today, the Jones Act gives similar protection to most offshore workers engaged in commercial activity. That category definitely includes offshore platform workers.
The dedicated Louisiana Jones Act lawyer at Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe knows what it takes to obtain maximum compensation in these matters. This compensation includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. This dedication includes basic values, like hard work every day, commitment to our clients, and open communication throughout the process.
Qualifying for Jones Act Benefits
Overall, sailors who work on vessels are eligible for Jones Act compensation. Not all shipboard workers are “sailors” and not all offshore energy exploration vehicles are “vessels.”
According to the Jones Act, sailors are people who spend at least 30 percent of their time aboard ship, at least in most cases. This narrow definition sometimes comes into play when dock workers get hurt when they’re aboard ship for some reason. These individuals are entitled to compensation, but from another source, usually workers’ compensation.
Energy exploration technology is constantly changing. Therefore, what’s a “vessel” at one point may not qualify as a “vessel” at another time. Generally, qualifying vehicles include drill ships, crew boats, barges, dredges, supply boats, and floaters. Once again, if you were hurt aboard another kind of vessel, compensation is usually available from a different source.
Because of these complexities, an experienced Louisiana Jones Act lawyer from Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe should always thoroughly evaluate your case.
Proving Your Claim
Jones Act injury claims are basically negligence claims with a twist. Most civil claimants must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that negligence, or a lack of care, caused their injuries. Jones Act claimants must prove that negligence contributed to their injuries.
Falls, one of the most common workplace injuries on land or sea, are a good example. If Horace falls during a bad storm, the violently-pitching deck might be the primary cause. However, a loose handrail, which the owner has a duty to maintain, could be a contributing cause. Even if the handrail was only slightly loose, that’s sufficient.
Additionally, injured seamen are entitled to room and board (on the same basis as that which was provided onboard the vessel) and medical expenses. Such benefits are available regardless of whether the employer was at fault for the injury, if claimants establish they were injured while working.
Reach Out to a Diligent Lafayette Parish Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Louisiana Jones Act lawyer, contact Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, LLC. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.