Resources

10 Reasons Not To Handle Your Jones Act Claim Without a Lawyer

Jones Act Dec 30, 2022

If you work offshore and you have suffered an injury or illness on the job, you may be entitled to financial compensation under the Jones Act. You may also be wondering, “Do I need a lawyer for my Jones Act claim?” If you have a Jones Act claim, there are lots of reasons to hire a lawyer to represent you. Asserting your legal rights under the Jones Act is complicated—and making mistakes can be costly. Here are 10 important reasons why you should hire a lawyer to help you: Why Should You Hire a Lawyer for Your Jones Act Claim? 1. You Need to Report Your Injury or Illness Quickly (and Correctly) When you have a Jones Act claim, you must report your injury or illness to your employer. You must do so quickly, and you must also do so correctly. If you wait too long, if you leave out any important information, or if you say anything that isn’t true (even accidentally), you could lose your right to benefits. A lawyer who has experience handling maritime injury and illness claims under the Jones Act can help make sure you protect your legal rights. Along with helping you report your injury or illness, your lawyer can also help you understand what to expect during the next steps of the process. 2. You Need to Make Sure You Have Adequate Documentation for Your Claim As a Jones Act claimant, it is up to you to prove your right to benefits. This […]

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Can You File a Jones Act Claim for a Weather-Related Accident?

Jones Act Dec 23, 2022

If you work offshore, dealing with harsh weather conditions is a part of life. But, there comes a time when weather conditions are so harsh that it is no longer safe to be on the water—much less on the deck of a cargo ship, jack-up rig or other vessel. Yet, even when weather conditions turn dangerous, many maritime employers still expect their employees to continue working. As a result, weather-related accidents and injuries are common. If you have been injured in a weather-related accident on inshore or offshore waters, here are seven important facts you need to know: 7 Important Facts About Being Injured in a Weather-Related Accident 1. Seamen Who Suffer Weather-Related Injuries Are Entitled to Jones Act Benefits The first thing you need to know is that the Jones Act does cover weather-related accidents. In fact, the Jones Act covers the vast majority of all types of accidents on the water. So, if you were injured in a weather-related accident, you should be able to collect benefits—as long as you qualify as a “seaman” under the law. If you spend your days working on a vessel or jack-up rig, then you almost certainly qualify. This means that, at a minimum, you can file for maintenance and cure benefits. But, as discussed below, you may be entitled to additional compensation as well. As a result, it will be important for you to get a thorough claim assessment from a lawyer who has experience representing seamen in weather-related maritime accident […]

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7 Common Jack-Up Rig Accidents (and What Drilling Companies Should Do To Prevent Them)

Jones Act Dec 16, 2022

Working on a jack-up rig is dangerous. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it is among the most dangerous jobs in the country. While some of the risks of working on a jack-up rig come with the territory, many of them are preventable. Unfortunately, drilling companies often prioritize their profits over their workers’ safety, and, as a result, preventable accidents are far too common. No matter what happened, if you have been injured working on a jack-up rig, you should talk to a lawyer about your legal rights. Workers on jack-up rigs can file claims under the Jones Act regardless of how they get injured (with only a few limited exceptions). But, if the drilling company could have prevented your accident, you may be entitled to additional compensation. So, when you meet with a lawyer, the more information you can share about how you got injured, the better. Common Preventable Accidents on Jack-Up Drilling Rigs When can jack-up rig workers seek additional compensation under the Jones Act? Here are seven common examples of jack-up rig accidents that drilling companies can—and should—prevent in most cases: 1. Crew Boat, Helicopter and Transfer Accidents Many jack-up rig accidents occur while transferring workers to and from these offshore rigs. Accidents involving crew boats colliding with rigs, unsafe gangways and ladders, unsafe transfer baskets, and helicopter transfers are all more common than they should be. To prevent these accidents, drilling companies should ensure that their crew boat and helicopter operators […]

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When Can Deckhands File Claims for Lifting Injuries?

Jones Act Nov 30, 2022

Lifting injuries are among the most common reasons why deckhands miss time from work. From loading and unloading cargo to cleaning and maintaining the vessel, various tasks that deckhands perform daily present risks for lifting injuries on the job. If you are a deckhand and you have suffered a lifting injury on the job, you should talk to a lawyer about your legal rights. In most cases, deckhands who suffer lifting injuries will be entitled to benefits under the Jones Act; and, in some cases, they will be entitled to full compensation for all of their injury-related losses. What If I Injured Myself While Lifting On a Vessel? Unfortunately, there are many common misconceptions about maritime workers’ rights under the Jones Act. One of the most common misconceptions is that maritime workers cannot file for benefits when they cause their own injuries—such as when they injure themselves lifting. This is not the case. Under the Jones Act, maritime workers who qualify as “seamen” (which includes virtually all deckhands) can claim “no-fault” maintenance and cure benefits when they get injured at work. This means that it doesn’t matter how they got injured—as long as they weren’t drunk or high and didn’t hurt themselves intentionally. As a result, lifting injuries are covered, and deckhands who suffer lifting injuries should work with an experienced maritime attorney to assert their legal rights. Deckhands can seek maintenance and cure benefits for all types of maritime lifting injuries, including: Arm and shoulder injuries Back injuries (i.e., […]

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Understanding Maritime Workers’ Legal Rights After an AML Leukemia Diagnosis

Barge Injuries Nov 23, 2022

For barge cleaners and other maritime workers who are exposed to gasoline, diesel, and other hazardous substances on the job, the risk of developing AML leukemia is a very real concern. Prolonged exposure to these hazardous substances is known to cause AML leukemia, and many workers in the maritime industry are exposed to these substances on a daily basis. If you are a barge cleaner or other maritime worker and you have been diagnosed with AML leukemia, it is important to know your legal rights. The Jones Act and other federal laws protect maritime workers, and those who have been diagnosed with AML leukemia may be entitled to significant financial compensation. Understanding the Long-Term Financial Costs of AML Leukemia Being diagnosed with AML leukemia can lead to many long-term financial costs. According to a study published by the American Association for Cancer Research, AML leukemia is one of the most expensive cancers to treat, with an annualized average cost of $239,400. The HealthTree Foundation also reports that, “[t]he annual average estimated costs for initial, and treatment stage [are] estimated to be $42,000, and $5,000 respectively.” Along with the costs of diagnosis and treatment, an AML leukemia diagnosis can lead to other long-term financial costs as well. For example, barge cleaners and other maritime workers who are living with AML leukemia will typically incur costs including: Prescription medication costs Costs for in-home care and support services Costs for cleaning, yard care and other necessary services Loss of income and benefits For […]

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Barge Cleaners Face Several Risks for AML Leukemia—Were You Exposed?

Barge Injuries Nov 16, 2022

Barge cleaners face several health and safety risks every day they spend on the job. Along with the risk of suffering physical injuries, this includes the risk of developing serious illnesses such as AML leukemia. What Is AML Leukemia? Acute myeloid leukemia, or AML leukemia, is a type of blood cancer that can result from exposure to a variety of toxic fumes and substances. As the American Cancer Society explains: “Leukemias are cancers that start in cells that would normally develop into different types of blood cells. . . . Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) starts in the bone marrow (the soft inner part of certain bones, where new blood cells are made), but most often it quickly moves into the blood . . . .” As a type of blood cancer, AML leukemia can affect many different parts of the body. According to the American Cancer Society, AML leukemia most commonly affects the “lymph nodes, liver, spleen, central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), and testicles.” AML leukemia is treatable in some cases, with prompt detection and treatment significantly improving the chances of eliminating all of the cancerous cells from the body. But, even in these cases, remission (or recurrence) remains a concern. Tragically, AML leukemia can also be fatal, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) reports that the five-year survival rate for patients age 20 and older is just 27 percent. Chemicals and Other Hazards That Can Cause AML Leukemia There are several risk factors for AML […]

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Can You File a Maritime Injury Claim for Sun Exposure?

Jones Act Oct 6, 2022

While maritime workers face prolonged sun exposure year-round, working in the sun can be especially dangerous during the summer months. Maritime workers regularly suffer exposure-related injuries on land, on vessels, and on rigs and platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, and sadly some of these injuries prove fatal. If you have suffered severe burns, have suffered a heat stroke or heart attack, or are dealing with any other medical condition caused by sun exposure on the job, you may be entitled to compensation, and you should speak with a Mississippi Jones Act lawyer about your legal rights. Understanding the Risks of Sun Exposure as a Maritime Worker Just how dangerous is working in the sun? According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “[a]lthough illness from exposure to heat is preventable, every year, thousands become sick from occupational heat exposure, and some cases are fatal.” OSHA also notes that more than half of all workplace exposure-related deaths occur “in the first few days of working in warm or hot environments” because the body has not yet acclimatized to the heat of the sun. While simply working under the hot sun can be dangerous, certain job-related risk factors can increase the risk of severe sun-related illness. All of these risk factors are concerns for maritime workers. As identified by OSHA, the risk factors that can increase the dangers of working in the sun include: Heavy Physical Activity – Many maritime occupations are physically demanding. When performing heavy physical activity, workers’ […]

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Does Maritime Law Cover Accidents That Occur on Land?

Maritime Injuries Aug 31, 2022

Not all maritime workers spend their days on the water. In fact, many maritime workers have jobs that exclusively involve spending time on land. If you have a land-based job, or if you split your time between the land and the water, what are your legal rights when you get injured? Maritime Law Covers Accidents That Occur on Land in Many Cases The good news is that maritime law covers accidents that occur on land in many cases. If you work in a maritime occupation and you suffered injuries in a fall, lift accident, or any other type of accident on the job, you may be entitled to compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act or the Jones Act. 1. LHWCA Claims for Accidents on Land The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers land-based maritime employees. This includes not only longshoremen and harbor workers but also dock hands, shipbuilders, ship repairers, lift operators, and other employees whose jobs involve working with vessels or working on maritime facilities such as docks, harbors, ports, wharfs, and marinas. The LHWCA does not cover employees whose jobs fall outside of this realm, even if they work in a maritime setting. For example, land-based office personnel, employees of clubs and recreational businesses, and aquaculture workers are not eligible to file maritime law claims (although they may be eligible to file claims under state workers’ compensation laws). For eligible maritime employees who suffer injuries on land, the LHWCA provides compensation similar to […]

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Fault & Evidence in Maritime Claims

Maritime Injuries Aug 17, 2022

If you’ve been injured on the job and need to file a claim under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) or the Jones Act, you must be able to prove your right to compensation. Your employer (or its insurance company) isn’t going to pay voluntarily, so it is up to you to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. There are two key aspects to proving your legal rights after a maritime injury. The first is fault: Does fault matter? If so, how does it affect your legal rights? The second is evidence of liability: What evidence do you need to prove that you are entitled to LHWCA or Jones Act benefits? Fault in Maritime Injury Claims: When Does It Matter? Maritime accidents can result from a broad range of factors. From failure to supply necessary safety equipment to failure to maintain a seaworthy vessel, employers and vessel owners can be deemed at fault for workers’ injuries in many cases. But, workers can be responsible for their own injuries as well in some cases. So, when does fault matter? Injured maritime workers must be able to prove fault when filing the following types of claims: Jones Act Negligence – Under the Jones Act, injured maritime workers can obtain full compensation for on-the-job injuries that result from their employers’ negligence. Jones Act negligence claims require evidence of “slight” negligence or minor fault. Unseaworthiness – Maritime workers can also recover full compensation for injuries that result from unseaworthy vessels. […]

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10 Frightening Oil Rig Accident Facts

Maritime Injuries Aug 3, 2022

Working on an oil rig can be extremely dangerous. From fires and explosions to slips, trips and falls, all types of accidents present risks for serious—if not life-threatening—injuries. Statistics show that working on an oil rig is among the most dangerous jobs you can have, and each year numerous workers suffer injuries and lose their lives in accidents that could have been avoided. What makes working on an oil rig so dangerous? Just how dangerous is working on an oil rig in the open water? Here are 10 frightening facts about oil rig accidents: 1. Oil Rig Workers Are Seven Times More Likely To Be Killed On the Job Federal statistics show that oil rig workers are seven times more likely to suffer a fatal injury on the job than the average worker in the United States. This is a major difference that can be attributed to several different factors. Not only do oil rig workers perform dangerous jobs, but they are often forced to work under hazardous conditions. As a result, while approximately 1 in 200,000 workers die at work on average, about 1 in 25,000 oil rig workers will lose their lives on the job. 2. Fires and Explosions are Leading Causes of Death On Oil Rigs On average, there are more than 100 oil rig fires in the Gulf of Mexico alone each year. While many of these fires are quickly contained, some of them lead to catastrophic injuries and losses. Explosions on oil rigs and during […]

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