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How Much Can I Recover for My Barge Accident Injury?

Articles May 24, 2017

If you were injured while working on a barge or tugboat, you may be entitled to financial compensation under the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a federal law that specifically applies to maritime workers, and it provides injured workers with two ways to seek compensation for their injury-related losses.

How Much is Maintenance and Cure?

The first is to file a claim for “maintenance and cure” benefits. Under the Jones Act, all qualifying maritime workers are entitled to limited compensation regardless of the cause of their accident. These benefits, known as “maintenance and cure,” are intended to help cover injured barge workers’ medical and daily living expenses.

But, the key word here is, “help.” Maintenance and cure benefits are typically in the range of $20 to $40 per day. So, injured workers will usually need to seek an additional source of compensation.

How Much Can I Recover for Jones Act Negligence?

The second way to seek compensation under the Jones Act is to file a claim based upon your employer’s negligence. If your employer made a mistake that contributed to your accident, even if it was not the direct cause of your injury, the Jones Act states that your employer must provide full compensation for your injury-related losses.

What do we mean by “full” compensation? In claims for Jones Act negligence, injured barge workers can seek compensation for:

  • Outstanding medical bills – You are entitled to have all of your current injury-related medical bills paid by your employer.
  • Rehabilitation and therapy costs – If your injury requires occupational rehabilitation or physical therapy, these costs are covered under the Jones Act.
  • Lost wages – Your employer must provide compensation for time you miss from work due to your injury.
  • Lost future earning capacity – Similar to future medical expenses, your employer must also compensate you for your future inability to work.
  • Pain, suffering and mental anguish – In addition to your financial losses, your employer must provide compensation for the psychological and emotional harm you suffer as a result of your on-the-job injury.
  • Scarring and disfigurement – If your barge accident injuries result in permanent scarring or disfigurement, this can entitle you to additional compensation under the Jones Act.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, other losses – Inability to enjoy life, spend meaningful time with your family and provide daily support for your loved ones are all compensable losses under the Jones Act.

Note that similar forms of compensation are available in unseaworthiness and maritime negligence cases as well.

As you can see, the compensation available under the Jones Act has the potential to be substantial. The keys to figuring out the amount available in your case will be to determine: (i) whether your employer is in any way at fault for your accident, and (ii) the severity of your injuries and the impact they have on your life. To do this, you will need to speak with an experienced barge injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact Barge Injury Attorney David P. Willis

Licensed in Texas and New York, David P. Willis is a barge injury lawyer who has more than 30 years of experience fighting for injured maritime workers under the Jones Act. If you were injured on the job and would like to know more about your rights, call 1-800-GOT HURT or request a free consultation online today.

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