Louisiana Jones Act Attorneys
Baton Rouge Law Firm: Serving Clients Throughout Louisiana & Nationwide
Prior to 1920, workers in the shipping industry had no protection when it came to recovering damages for a wrongful injury they incurred while aboard the ship. Since there was no federal regulation of shipping at all, injured or sickened workers would simply have to suffer in silence and even move on to another line of work. Thankfully, the year 1920 saw a plethora of important legislatures pertaining to the maritime industry; one of these was the Jones Act. In short, it gave legal rights to ship workers to seek financial compensation from those responsible in the event that workers suffer injuries or illnesses aboard a ship because of recklessness, negligence, or the ship’s unfitness for the sea.
Because of this act, any worker on a United States ship owned by a United States company can be entitled to Jones Act rights, as long as he or she technically qualified as a “seaman.”
Compared to common maritime law, this act is much more specialized and restricted. In order to qualify as a “seaman” and obtain Jones Act rights, one needs to spend a minimum of 30% of his or her working time on the ship. Many shipping occupations apply, and if you are unsure whether or not you or loved one does, consult with one of our experts today to know definitively. Finally, compensation under the Jones Act requires proof of fault in the employer or owner of the vessel. This means that it is an employee’s job to show that your employers are to blame for your accident. Hiring a knowledgeable maritime lawyer is your best option for ensuring that fault is properly proven in a court of law.
When to Use the Jones Act
The Jones Act is a specific piece of coverage. Certain conditions need to be met in order to obtain compensation from this particular legislature. One needs to be a qualified seaman, show proof of both negligence in supervising staff and unseaworthiness in the ship, showing overall an inability to provide a safe workplace that directly led to the event of your injury or illness.
The below situations are examples of when the Jones Act applies to a case:
- Your vessel’s equipment was insufficient or improperly maintained
- Your vessel was understaffed
- Your crew leaders practiced ill-advised work methods
- You or another crew member was improperly trained
Once these burdens of proof are met, the Jones Act provides compensation for a number of different expenses related to your injury.
What the Jones Act Compensates For
Unlike other pieces of legislature, namely the Death on the High Seas Act, the Jones Act may have the flexibility to reattribute injured workers and their families for every financial, emotional, or psychological loss stemming from the accident.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, these may include:
- Lost wages: past, present, and future
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish or trauma
- Medical expenses: past, present, and future
In order to be compensated for these aspect of an injury, the court needs to rule that they are necessary. This is when an experienced and successful personal injury firm, such as Arnold & Itkin becomes vital to the success of your Jones Act claim.
Jones Act Legal Protection
If you work in the maritime industry in or near Louisiana and are considering utilizing the benefits provided in by the Jones Act, call Arnold & Itkin LLP at (225) 412-6348. We are experts in this area of law and have won billions of dollars for our clients in personal injury cases alone. Arnold & Itkin LLP wants to be the team to fight back against the large maritime companies and strive toward making the industry a safer place.