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.