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Maritime Accidents

Legal Help After a Maritime Accident

Baton Rouge Jones Act Lawyers

Maritime workers face unique hazards in the course of employment, which is why a special set of laws, one of which is called the Jones Act, protect them and their rights to compensation for injuries or death.

Maritime workers labor aboard fishing boats, supply vessels, yachts, processing vessels, tugs, crew boats, transfer boats, menhaden (pogie) boats, and shrimp boats, but also on jack-up oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Maritime accidents can even occur on helicopters transporting workers to an offshore rig.

Maritime workers include seamen, but many also are oil drillers, roustabouts, deckhands, cooks, and riggers.

Employers often fight Jones Act work injury cases by claiming the injured worker did not qualify as a seaman or that the ship or offshore oil rig was not a vessel. Or they offer unreasonably low amounts for maintenance and cure.

The maritime attorneys at Daniels & Washington understand the tricks employers use to try to deny benefits to injured seamen. We have the experience you need to challenge an employer if you or a member of your family suffered a serious or fatal injury.

Get legal advice before signing any settlement contract.

Unseaworthiness and Other Areas of Employer Liability

An unseaworthiness claim can be pursued if the employer is the owner of a vessel and an injury was caused by an unsafe condition on the vessel. An employer can be held responsible for:

  • failing to provide a safe place to work - an unsafe vessel or another place under the employer's control
  • violation of a safety statute
  • failing to provide adequate medical care
  • negligence of other others under their employ, including the negligent actions of the seaman's co-workers

An independent contractor can sometimes be viewed as an employee under the Jones Act.

Does a Seaman Have to be on the Vessel for a Claim?

Not necessarily: a seaman may be protected by the Jones Act even if he or she is temporarily working elsewhere, even on shore, as long as the work was "in the service of the ship."

Overboard Accidents and Death on the High Seas Act

An employer must search for and attempt to rescue a seaman if he jumps or falls overboard. The search must continue for as long as it is feasible that the seaman could be alive in the water. Failure to do so can result in liability under the Act.

If a seaman dies in an oil-rig accidentor other maritime accident, a wrongful death claimcould be brought based on the Jones Act, on general maritime law, or on a separate federal statute called the Death on the High Seas Act.

Time Limits for Filing a Jones Act Claim

A Jones Act claim must be brought within three years of the injury, in federal court or state court. Your lawyer will decide where to file the claim in order to recover maximum compensation for you.

The injury lawyers at Daniels & Washington represent injured people throughout Louisiana from our Baton Rouge offices. If you would like to discuss a Jones Act or maritime injury claim, contact us to arrange a free and confidential consultation. We will respond quickly to your inquiry.

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