If You Have Suffered a Maritime Injury...
.....it is important to speak with experienced admiralty, Jones Act, and Louisiana maritime lawyers to learn what your options are. The attorneys of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. work with clients across Louisiana who seek compensation following serious maritime injuries. The Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. Louisiana maritime lawyers have established a long and proud reputation for protecting workers' rights. We have worked with unions and their members such as the Seafarer's International Union (SIU) to provide full and fair representation when legal help is needed. Whether you were injured on a barge along the inland waterways that stretch from Lake Charles to Lake Pontchartrain, on a vessel in the Mississippi River Delta, or an oil platform in the Gulf Coast, every Louisiana maritime lawyer in our office has the legal experience coupled with extensive resources to pursue compensation for your injuries.
The State of Louisiana Relies on its Maritime Industries
The state of Louisiana borders the Gulf of Mexico and has an abundance of ports and port related infrastructure in large part due to its expansive waterway system. These maritime ports are highly significant as they provide state owned cargo transfer facilities and equipment for many water related industries. As a result, the import-export activities of Louisiana’s ports and the offshore oil and gas service industry are significant contributors to Louisiana’s economy employing thousands of workers.
Stevedoring companies, barge fleeting, anchor salvage, dock maintenance / repair and crew boat operations, marine salvage and emergency response companies offering comprehensive marine firefighting, emergency lighting, and wreck removal services, the offshore oil and gas service industry, commercial fishermen, and cruise ships all employ numerous maritime workers.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Safety and Health Topics
From 2003 to 2010, 823 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job-a fatality rate seven times greater than the rate for all U.S. industries…..The information and resources provided on this web page can help workers and employers identify and eliminate hazards in their workplace.
Many of these maritime jobs are dangerous resulting in personal injuries and even death arising out of all manner of marine hazards. Maritime workers face the possibilities of collisions between vessels, well blowouts, malfunctioning equipment, shifting cargo, improper supervision of loading and unloading, and un-seaworthy vessels. Although it is the duty of the ship’s manufacturer, captain, and management to ensure that proper safety equipment is in place and that workers are thoroughly trained to prevent injury, working offshore is dangerous by its very nature. However, no matter how hazardous the work may be, many people across the state of Louisiana rely on maritime industries for their livelihood.
Highly Respected Maritime Attorneys
When you need a Louisiana maritime lawyer, a skilled, yet aggressive approach to protecting your rights both in and out of the courtroom will best serve you and your family. The Louisiana maritime lawyers of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., a formidable team of seasoned, and highly respected attorneys, understand how important your job and your way of life is to you. We work with people such as your self, who are facing some of the most difficult challenges of their lives. We help our clients put the Jones Act and other federal and state protections, such as General Maritime Law, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, the Outer-Continental Shelf Lands Act, and the law of Louisiana to work for them.
Contact our office today at 800-773-6770 for a free initial consultation to evaluate your claim and find out how our Jones Act and Louisiana maritime lawyers can work for you
- Maritime Attorneys
- Maritime Injury Law
- Maritime Vessels & the Maritime Law
- Find An Offshore Injury Lawyer By City or Port
- Louisiana Jones Act Attorneys
- Remedies Under The Jones Act
Containing or bordering more than 500 miles of the Mississippi River and with more than 300 miles of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Louisiana is the nation’s leading state in waterborne transportation and seafood production. Both inland barge traffic and oceangoing ships and commercial fishing vessels abound in the state creating thousands of maritime jobs. The state has an extensive lock and dam system on inland waterways that allows commercial vessels to connect to the Mississippi River. Many maritime businesses based in Louisiana serve the offshore oil industry. The incidence of ship accidents and collisions depends in part on ship traffic, and the Mississippi River, Intracoastal Waterway and Gulf are heavily used by commercial ships and vessels.
If you are a Jones Act seaman and you have been injured while working on a commercial vessel on the Mississippi River or the Gulf of Mexico, you may have legal rights to compensation under the federal maritime law. After suffering a marine vessel injury, you may be facing substantial medical bills and time off work, so it’s important to understand your legal rights to full compensation. Families of maritime workers who die in preventable accidents may be entitled to compensation as well.
The lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., are maritime attorneys licensed to practice in Louisiana and Texas. If you have been injured in a towboat accident, a commercial fishing accident or an offshore accident, it’s important to make the right call when choosing a Jones Act attorney to represent you. Call 800-773-6770 or fill out the online contact form to receive a free initial consultation.
Louisiana Marine Accident Injury Lawyers
Louisiana’s oil and gas production is heavily dependent upon offshore activities. Nearly 80 percent of the nation’s offshore oil and gas comes through Louisiana ports and terminals. The ports carry nearly 500 million tons of commerce annually, which is almost one fifth of all waterborne commerce in the United States each year. Yet the hazards of offshore work remain a daily concern for platform workers who understand the unique demands of the job.
Offshore workers and platform workers can sustain serious head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, back injuries and spinal injuries while performing routine tasks such as lifting of pipe, construction, hooking and unhooking loads and working around heavy equipment. Crane accidents pose a serious risk of injury to deckhands, roughnecks and roustabouts who help out with crane operations on offshore rigs. A rigger can be struck on the head by a swinging load or be crushed by a dropped load if a sling breaks.
If you are an offshore worker or a supply vessel deckhand and have been injured, you may have substantial medical bills and be unable to work for an extended period. You need to clearly understand your rights to maintenance and cure and other benefits under maritime law. A Louisiana offshore injuries lawyer at Gordon, Elias and Seely, L.L.P., can explain your rights under maritime law after a serious offshore injury.
Maritime Injury Lawyers in Louisiana
Louisiana has a number of large ports, such as the port of New Orleans and Port of South Louisiana, that handle the cargo of oceangoing ships, bulk carriers and cargo tankers from the Gulf of Mexico. Tugboat crews often assist large ships in gaining anchorage or getting out of port and move barge tows on inland waterways. But it’s dangerous work, particularly when a seaman is exhausted from many hours on duty without rest.
Serious accidents are unfortunately common. A deckhand’s foot or leg can get crushed between two barges. A line can entangle your hand and cause a devastating loss of limb. Falls from ladders, unguarded ledges and heights can cause spinal damage or a traumatic head injury. A serious spinal injury can leave you physically unable to return to work and unable to earn income to support your family.
Jones Act seamen also are susceptible to serious injury as tows and barges are transiting Louisiana’s system of locks. Louisiana has more than two dozen locks on its waterways. A number of the locks connect waterways to the Mississippi River. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway also has six heavily used locks. Older locks that do not accommodate longer modern tows of barges require the uncoupling and reconnecting of barges. Situations for potential injuries abound. Suffering a crushed hand or foot or the loss of a limb if entangled in cables while securing barges, boat collisions, falling overboard while uncoupling barges or be pinned between a vessel and a gate if a gate has a strong outdraft and a barge or towboat moves unexpectedly, are just a few scenarios.
Maritime employers have a duty to provide a seaworthy vessel and maintain equipment adequately. Unfortunately many marine vessel injuries are caused by a maritime employer’s failure to provide an adequately trained crew or equipment failure.
At Gordon, Elias and Seely, L.L.P., we hold maritime employers accountable when a serious marine vessel injury or offshore accident is a result of employer negligence or another crew member’s carelessness. Speak with one of our Louisiana maritime attorneys. We have helped many families on the Gulf put their lives back together after a devastating injury or loss.
Louisiana Fishing Vessel Accident Lawyer
One out of every 70 jobs in Louisiana is related to seafood. Shrimping, oysters, crabs and other seafood are vital to many Louisiana families’ livelihood. But a serious fishing vessel accident can turn your life upside down and leave you with a stack of medical bills and no income. Commercial fishing and shrimping in the Gulf of Mexico is rewarding but dangerous work, and injuries are common. More than 100 commercial fishermen died in the Gulf of Mexico from 2000 to 2009, including many from falls overboard and from traumatic on-board injuries.
Many serious fishing vessel accidents and deadly accidents could have been avoided if the vessel owner had been more attentive to proper vessel upkeep and equipment maintenance and focused on crew safety. Talk to a Louisiana maritime lawyer who has a thorough understanding of the Fishing Vessel Safety Act and how it applies to your accident. If you were injured through the carelessness of a vessel owner or another crew member, you may have a claim.
The Louisiana fishing vessel accident attorneys at Gordon, Elias and Seely are committed to holding negligent fishing vessel owners accountable if they endanger the safety and health of a Jones Act seaman. We’ll review your accident at no charge and talk you through your legal options.
Call Louisiana Marine Vessel Accident Lawyer
If you are a barge or tugboat deckhand, an offshore worker, or a commercial fisherman working on a shrimp or crab boat in Louisiana and have been injured in a marine-related job through the fault of another, you may have legal rights to compensation under federal law. The Louisiana maritime attorneys at Gordon, Elias and Seely, L.L.P., can make sure you understand your rights under the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act.
Call 800-773-6770 or fill out the online contact form to receive a free initial consultation.
Maritime Attorneys Primary Focus
Primary Focus: Maritime Law & the Jones Act
Maritime attorneys are lawyers who practice the law as it pertains to navigable waters in the United States and on the open water such as the Gulf of Mexico. Their primary focus is on issues pertaining not only to maritime law, also known as admiralty law, but also the Jones Act. Admiralty law refers to the United States laws and regulations, including international agreements and treaties, governing the activities in any navigable waters or the open sea. It is a federally recognized law that formalizes the long-standing maritime traditions of maintenance and cure. The Jones Act, formally known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, safeguards specific rights of seamen, by allowing seamen to bring legal actions against ship owners, ship captains or other crew members. Other maritime laws that form the basis of offshore and maritime injury law include the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, which provides certain workers' compensation benefits for maritime workers who are not seamen and Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). The Death on the High Seas Act provides a venue for the widow or dependents of a maritime worker to seek compensation for his death due to negligence or the un-seaworthiness of a vessel operating more than three nautical miles from shore.
Why You Should Involve A Maritime Lawyer
If you or a loved one is injured while employed as a maritime worker, it is important to involve maritime attorneys who know the differences among these complex maritime laws and can get you the compensation you deserve. Since not all maritime statutes will apply to every case, it is imperative to contact the professionals who are able to give you accurate, detailed information regarding maritime law and your legal rights. Since maritime law is such a complex set of laws and regulations, it is better to consult with experienced maritime attorneys, rather than just a personal injury lawyer.
A Client Focused Approach
Based on the Gulf Coast, the maritime law firm of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., represents offshore workers, longshoremen and Jones Act seamen and their families in accidents involving serious injuries and fatalities. We have successfully represented injured workers and families in some of the biggest maritime cases in the U.S., including the BP Transocean accident.
The firm of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., consists of partners Steven J. Gordon, Todd Elias, and Jeff Seely, have dozens of years of combined legal experience and a proven reputation for successfully litigating on behalf of injured maritime workers. We have the dedication as well as the resources to handle Jones Act / Maritime Law cases for clients in all kinds of maritime professions.
Our Law Firm Also Represents Families
Many seamen and offshore workers have legal rights under the Jones Act and general maritime law to seek compensation for an injury caused by the negligence of an employer, vessel owner or other crew. Our law firm also represents families who have lost a loved one in a maritime accident in filing wrongful death claims. It’s important to talk to a Louisiana offshore injury lawyer who understands seamen's rights under the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act and the Fishing Vessel Safety Act. Our maritime attorneys will review your case and explain your legal options free of charge.
Our Law Firm is Committed to Our Clients’ Health and Well-being
The maritime attorneys of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., are committed to our clients’ health and well-being. If a maritime employer is refusing you needed medical treatment for a serious injury or condition, we’ll make sure that you get to a doctor and receive the treatment you need. In some instances, we will pay for an injured maritime worker’s medical care or advance money for necessary expenses, including food, shelter, clothing and medical care. It’s part of our commitment to the hardworking maritime workers and their families we are proud to represent.
Whether you are a deckhand, a mate, an engineer, a tankerman, a cook, or a captain, if you have sustained a serious injury through the fault of others, maritime attorneys of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. want to help. We treat our seamen clients as we would wish to be treated. We give clients our cell phone numbers so we can be reached at any time.
Contact us today to put our aggressive, client-focused approach to work for your or your loved one's maritime injury.
Maritime Injury Law
Fighting For the Rights of Injured Maritime Workers
Maritime Injury Law is a complex specialized area of the law that protects maritime workers who have been injured. Experienced Maritime and Jones Act attorneys from the law office of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. will fight for the rights of injured seamen. Under those circumstances where a maritime workers are improperly denied maintenance and cure benefits by the employer, our maritime injury law attorneys will work so that deserving seamen may also receive an additional award for damages. In the tragic cases where a seaman is killed our Maritime Injury Law attorneys will seek damages under the Death on the High Seas Act.
Land based maritime workers that do not fit the definition of a "seaman" are not eligible for the protections offered by the Jones Act. However, they may be eligible for compensation under The Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act.
What is Maintenance and Cure?
As an injured offshore seaman, you have maritime injury law rights regardless of who was at fault. Maintenance and Cure Benefits as it pertains to a seaman’s rights is a complex issue that is frequently litigated. Maintenance and Cure is a system of caring for seamen when they become injured or ill while in the services of their vessels. It is the duty of the ship owner to provide this basic benefit at no charge to the seaman. However, ship owners frequently and improperly contest an injured worker’s right to Maintenance and Cure.
Maintenance is a daily allowance until the seaman has reached maximum medical cure or is fit to return to duty. Unfortunately, the monetary maintenance is typically very low and in many cases is not enough to meet minimal basic living expenses. However a recent Supreme Court's ruling has resulted in an increase to the maintenance rate.
“Cure” is related to the initial medical bills from the injury, as well as medical expenses related to your recovery from the injury. Medical bills can include all treatments deemed necessary for the injured person to reached maximum "medical cure" such as: doctors and hospital bills, diagnostic procedures like x-rays, MRI or CT scans, EMGs, EEGs, medical prescriptions, emergency transportation, nursing services, as well as recovery services such as physical therapy, and in home health care and even pain clinic treatments. Some unscrupulous employers and insurance companies may try to steer injured seamen to one of their recommended doctors in an attempt to save money by not having to pay out large amounts of “cure” monies. Medical treatments can be expensive, but you should want the best medical treatment possible to assure the best long-term outcome for yourself. Therefore, find your own health care providers. If your physicians advocate a costly treatment, be aware your maritime employer may request that you go to another physician they recommend to get a second opinion. Do not be intimidated if the second opinion countermands your doctor’s opinion. Most insurance companies should resolve the issue in favor of authorizing further treatment as your primary doctor requests. However, if there are problems you consult a maritime injury law specialist to make sure your rights are not being trampled.
Many offshore maritime workers spend weeks away on their job. If an injury or illness, during the seaman’s employment contract, prohibits the worker from being able to perform his/her duties during some portion of the voyage, the maritime worker is entitled to the contractual wages until he/she is fit to return to duty. Seamen do not have to prove negligence or fault on the part of the ship owner in order to receive their unearned contractual wages.
The Jones Act: Protection for Maritime Workers
The Jones Act reflects the reality of maritime work, namely that a maritime vessel can be a very dangerous place to work. However, a maritime employer may be held liable if a failure to provide a safe working environment equipped with appropriate equipment and safety gear and competent crew members contributes to a seaman's injury. Maritime employers cannot use the excuse that the worker was aware of the high risks involved in his dangerous work. Jones Act litigation seeks to recover damages for both past and future economic and non-economic losses of the injured party. It is a powerful law that allows injured seamen to seek compensation for injuries resulting from the negligence of not only their employers, but also co-workers during their employment on a vessel. Vessel owners have a duty to provide a seaworthy vessel that is reasonably fit for its intended use. If the vessel is unseaworthy at the start of the seaman's employment or if it becomes unseaworthy during the time of employment and a serious injury occurs as a result, seamen can make a claim against the vessel's owner on the basis that the vessel was not seaworthy.
At Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., we recommend that if you are an injured seaman or maritime worker, do not settle a claim with your employer before consulting with a knowledgeable maritime injury law attorney. We do not want you to accept a substantially lower settlement amount than you could have obtained with the help of one of our Maritime Act / Jones Act lawyers. Many employers attempt to take advantage of the quandary of an injured seaman, and the often-desperate financial situations that result.
The maritime injury attorneys at our firm understand the complexities of maritime law. Call 800-773-6770 or contact us to schedule a free initial consultation.
Maritime Vessels & the Maritime Law
Named for Senator Wesley Jones during the administration of President Woodrow Wilson, the Jones Act, otherwise known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 has given injured maritime seamen legal remedies.
Whether your maritime work is on a barge, tugboat, towboat, crew boat, supply boat, an offshore oil rig, self-propelled MODUs, platforms, MODUs DPV (mobile offshore drilling units that are dynamically positioned vessels), jackup, or as a seaman in the fishing, fishery, or shrimping industries, you should seek the advice of an experienced Louisiana maritime attorney after a serious injury to find out if you qualify for the maritime protections provided by maintenance and cure, the doctrine of “un-seaworthiness,” and the Jones Act.
Because there is no workman’s compensation available to seamen, maritime workers rely on Maintenance and Cure benefits, which employers must provide to maritime workers who suffer an injury or illness while in the service of the vessel. Maintenance and Cure benefits are separate and different from other damages that an injured seaman may be entitled to through the Jones Act and / or unseaworthiness claims.
Supposedly, "Maintenance" compensates the seaman’s reasonable expenses of room and board while ashore, until the worker reaches maximum medical improvement. However the amounts of monies tend to be very low and do not cover all expenses. "Cure" is the reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred by the seaman for treatment. Therefore, employers have the duty to furnish adequate medical treatment aboard the vessel after a seaman is injured. Unfortunately, the law is very complex in the area of maintenance, and different circuit courts consider different factors when making a determination regarding whether a seaman is even entitled to maintenance and cure. If you are having difficulty receiving Maintenance and Cure benefits, look for an experienced maritime lawyer, such as those who practice at the offices of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
When a piece of equipment such as a crane, rope, winch, pulley, ratchet, tagline, personnel basket, transfer basket, ladder, valve, cable, deck, EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), vest, transom, stair railing, rigging, drilling fluid, pipe etc is in some way a cause of the accident that injures a maritime worker, the law calls that an "unseaworthy" condition. Maritime workers have certain protections under Admiralty Law from an unseaworthy condition or an unseaworthy vessel.
Finally, the Jones Act applies to any seaman working on a US owned and registered vessel who is injured while on the job. The laws providing maritime protections are very complex. If you are seeking a lawyer to see if you qualify as a "seaman" and to help you understand your rights, seek attorneys who are maritime specialists, not just practicing as a personal injury lawyers.
The Law Offices of Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP Maritime Law Specialists
Each Jones Act attorney at the law offices of Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP has years of experience and proven success representing Jones Act and admiralty law clients. Although our law firm has a national scope, we have also built an effective Louisiana practice that addresses injuries suffered on vessels plying the Louisiana inland waterways, vessels passing through locks connecting waterways to the Mississippi River and ports, to oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Seek the advice of the experienced Louisiana maritime attorneys of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. if you have suffered serious injuries while on such vessels as:
• Supply boats
• Floater platform rig
• Jack up rigs
• Ocean going vessels
• Offshore Rigs
• Commercial fishing vessels
Call us at 800-773-6770 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.
Find An Offshore Injury Lawyer By City or Port
Louisiana: Leading US State in Waterborne Transportation and Seafood Production.
Louisiana has both inland barge traffic and oceangoing ships and commercial fishing vessels. Many maritime businesses based in Louisiana primarily serve the offshore oil industry while other businesses are located on the inland waterways and port cities. Louisiana contains or borders more than 500 miles of the great Mississippi River and has more than 300 miles of land along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The state has an extensive lock and dam system on its inland waterways, allowing commercial vessels to connect to the Mississippi River. Since the Mississippi River, Intracoastal Waterway and Gulf are heavily used by commercial ships and vessels, there is a higher chance of ship accidents and collisions. You can check on marine vessel accidents using the US National Transportation statistics.
Port Cities & Water-Related Industries
Louisiana has an abundance of port cities in large part due to its expansive waterway system. The inland ports are appropriate for shallow-draft vessels and are cargo and/or industrially based. The shallow-draft coastal ports serve as industrial sites for water-related industries such as stevedoring companies, barge fleeting, anchor salvage, dock maintenance / repair, crew boat operations, and marine salvage and emergency response companies. They also service the offshore oil and gas industry, and commercial fishing fleets plying the waters in the Gulf of Mexico. There are also a number of deep draft ports in Louisiana where large quantities of port related cargo are transferred. Louisiana deep draft ports routinely rank among the top tonnage ports in the United States.
As a consequence, these water related companies provide numerous maritime jobs, both on land and off shore. Many of these maritime jobs are dangerous resulting in serious injuries and even death.
Injured? Seek a Maritime Attorney to Represent You.
The maritime attorneys of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. have dozens of years of combined legal experience in this complex field of maritime law and a proven reputation for successfully litigating on behalf of injured maritime workers. We have the commitment, as well as the resources to litigate Jones Act / Maritime Law cases for clients in all kinds of maritime professions.
We work with clients all across the Gulf Coast states and throughout the state of Louisiana including from such Louisiana cities and ports as:
If you live in Jackson, Mississippi yet work on the Mississippi River you may prefer to speak with Jackson Mississippi maritime attorneys if you have suffered a serious maritime injury.
Many marine vessel injuries are caused by a maritime employer’s failure to provide an adequate and well-trained crew or equipment failure on an unseaworthy vessel. Maritime employers have a duty to provide a seaworthy vessel and maintain equipment adequately.
The maritime lawyers of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. hold maritime employers accountable when a serious marine vessel injury or offshore accident is a result of employer negligence or another crew member’s carelessness. Talk to one of our Louisiana maritime attorneys. We have helped many maritime families in Louisiana put their lives back together after a serious injury or devastating loss.
If you have been seriously injured Call us at 800-773-6770 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.
Louisiana Jones Act Attorneys
If you have been injured on an American flagged vessel due to the negligence of the ship's owner, the vessel's captain, or a fellow crew mate, you should discuss your situation with a Louisiana Jones Act attorney.
The Jones Act protects the rights of most injured marine workers who suffer an injury, resulting from someone else's negligence during the normal course and scope of maritime work. The Jones Act safeguards the rights of seamen as a federally recognized law that formalizes the long standing traditions of maintenance and cure.
The veteran team of lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. provide comprehensible legal advice based on our decades spent practicing federal maritime law. Our Louisiana Jones Act lawyers work with clients across the state, striving to ascertain that the injured seamen receive full and fair compensation for their maritime injuries.
Louisiana Jones Act Attorneys Defend Louisiana Coastal Industry Workers
Whether employed on Gulf of Mexico oil rigs, ferrying supplies and crew to and from land, or working on the busy commercial traffic plying the Mississippi River and other Louisiana waterways, maritime workers frequently encounter difficult and often dangerous situations. However, no matter how potentially hazardous the work is, numerous people across the state of Louisiana rely on the maritime industries for their livelihood.
Have you thought about what happens when someone else's negligence causes you a serious injury? It might occur on a crew boat, on the deck of a barge, or on a floater platform rig? Who will be on your side when you are injured?
From our offices in Houston, Texas, we work with Jones Act clients all along the Gulf Coast and throughout Louisiana. From Lake Charles and along the waterways to Lake Pontchartrain and other Louisiana ports, our Louisiana Jones Act lawyers put decades of combined legal experience and extensive resources to work for maritime clients and their families who pursue compensation for injuries covered by the Louisiana Jones Act.
Our attorneys have established a long and proud reputation for protecting workers' rights. The Louisiana maritime lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. have worked with unions and their members such as the Seafarer's International Union (SIU) to provide full and fair representation after a serious maritime accident.
Experienced Jones Act Attorney in Louisiana
People get hurt in many ways on the water, often in preventable accidents caused by the carelessness of fellow crew or the negligence of an employer. The Louisiana Jones Act attorneys at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., have helped many Gulf families recover from serious injuries and losses. Maritime and admiralty law are a focus of our practice. We represent Jones Act seamen, mariners and longshore workers in New Orleans, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Cameron, Houma, Intracoastal City, Venice, Port Fouchon, Morgan City, Shreveport, Houston, and throughout Louisiana.
Contact our office today for a free initial consultation to evaluate your claim and find out how our maritime law and Louisiana Jones Act attorneys can work for you. A jones Act case becomes more than about just the serious injury. The outcome of the case impacts a seaman and his family’s future as well.
Remedies Under The Jones Act
Jones Act Injury Lawyer in Louisiana
The Jones Act was created because of the dangers that merchant mariners face in doing their jobs. It grants mariners and marine workers who have been injured while in the service of an American-flagged ship or vessel the right to sue for compensation if the accident was caused by negligence or carelessness of a ship owner, captain or fellow crew.
The Jones Act requires that commerce between U.S. ports on the inland and intracoastal waterways be reserved for vessels that are:
- U.S. Built
- U.S. Owned
- Registered under U.S. Law
- U.S. Manned
The exclusive class of persons to whom the Jones Act allows recovery is seamen and fishermen on commercial vessels. To qualify as a seaman you must be a member (man or woman) of the crew of a vessel or someone assigned to the vessel. The crew member's duties must contribute to the function of the vessel, and must have a connection to a vessel in terms of both its duration and its nature of mission.
Some of the maritime jobs covered by the Jones Act include deckhand, deck engineer, tankerman, cook, barge foreman, fishermen on commercial fishing boats such as shrimp and crab boats, and captain. You have a right under the Jones Act to have a jury trial to determine whether your injury was caused by negligence.
Contact the maritime law firm that injured mariners turn to when their future is at stake—Gordon, Elias and Seely, L.L.P. Our admiralty law and maritime attorneys have been successful in securing settlements and verdicts on behalf of injured workers and families of maritime workers who have died in wrongful death accidents.
Negligence may include poor maintenance of a vessel, inadequate or untrained crew, assaults by fellow crewmen within scope of work, faulty equipment or failure to take safety precautions such as failure to avoid heavy weather. Failure to provide medical treatment, and failure to rescue are also included in the list of situations for bringing a negligence suit.
Probably the second most well known legal theory for seaman's claims is one for unseaworthiness against the vessel’s owner. A vessel may be considered unseaworthy, if a piece of equipment such as a crane, winch, sling, hatch or personnel basket breaks and causes an accident. The entire vessel need not be unseaworthy, only the part that caused the seaman’s injury. Often times a vessel may start out seaworthy and then become unseawothy due to unexpected circumstances such a what happened during the Transocean oil rig explosion. Claims for unseaworthiness are brought against the vessel owner, unlike negligence claims which are brought against an employer.
The Jones Act covers deckhands and crews on fleeting tugboats and barge tows on the Mississippi River, tugs and tank barges dedicated to bunker service and crews on towed platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. The Jones Act even covers seamen's injuries that occur as marine vessels are locking through a lock on an inland waterway. In addition, injuries are covered are not directly work related, such as if a seamen's injury occurs during their living aboard the vessel or in his/her coming or leaving the vessel.
As a maritime worker, you work hard to earn a living. It’s important to find a Jones Act lawyer who will work just as hard to assert your legal rights. The Jones Act outlines which mariners and seamen are covered by the law. Jones Act rights cover deckhands, mates, engineers, second mates, relief captains, captains, roustabouts, roughnecks, pipe handlers, drillers, pilots, tanker men, anchor tends and other regular crew. Basically, if you worked on a commercial vessel and contributed to the mission of the vessel in navigation, you may qualify as a Jones Act seaman.
If you do not regularly serve on a ship, your maritime injury may be covered under another part of maritime law, such as the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act or general maritime law. A Jones Act attorney at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., will review your accident and explain your legal options free of charge.
Damages permitted under the Jones Act
Damages permitted under the Jones Act include: medical expense, pain and suffering, loss of wages, loss of support to the seaman's widow or dependents, loss of value of household services, nurture etc., funeral expenses, loss of fringe benefits, and mental anguish.
In survival or wrongful death actions, where a seaman dies, pain and suffering occurring prior to death are recoverable, in addition to medical expenses and wages.
There are time limits on filing Jones Act claims. Typically, the statute of limitation for filing is three years from the date of the accident. You shouldn’t delay in contacting a qualified Jones Act attorney as soon as possible after a serious injury.
Experienced Jones Act Attorney in Louisiana
If you have been injured in a maritime accident, you owe it to yourself and your family to understand your legal options under the Jones Act and other applicable maritime laws. You need a clear understanding of your options so that you can make the best decision about your future. If one of our Jones Act attorneys represents you, you will not pay any lawyer’s fee unless we obtain money for you.
Call 800-773-6770 or fill out the online contact form to receive a free initial consultation. One of our Louisiana Jones Act lawyers at Gordon, Elias and Seely, L.L.P., can make sure your rights are protected.