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Monthly Archives: June 2017

When Do I Need a Jones Act Lawyer?

If you were injured working on a vessel or offshore, you may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a federal maritime law that provides special protections to maritime workers, many of whom face dangerous job-related risks on a daily basis. However, while the Jones Act’s protections are clear, employers rarely (if ever) voluntarily pay their injured workers the full compensation they deserve. In fact, many employers will dispute their employees’ Jones Act claims, and some even have policies and procedures in place designed to prevent employees from asserting their rights under the Jones Act. On top of these concerns, you may have additional claims for compensation outside of the Jones Act, and if you only pursue a claim against your employer you might not recover the full compensation you deserve. As you can see, securing just compensation after an offshore or maritime accident gets complicated quickly. As a result, the best way to protect your rights (and maximize your financial recovery) is to consult with an experienced Jones Act lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Common Maritime Injuries for Jones Act Claims The Jones Act does not identify specific types of injuries that are eligible for compensation. Instead, it establishes rights for eligible workers (those who qualify as “seamen”) that apply regardless of the harm they have endured. As a result, the following are all examples of common offshore injuries that may entitle injured workers to file a Jones Act lawsuit: Bone […]

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The Laws That Protect Offshore and Maritime Workers

Maritime Law Jun 9, 2017

As someone who works offshore or in the maritime industry, there are laws that protect you when you get injured at work. But, knowing which laws apply – and how to use them to maximize your financial recovery – can be a challenge. The following is a brief overview of the laws that provide for compensation when offshore and maritime workers get hurt or injured on the job: 1. The Jones Act Who It Covers: The Jones Act applies to offshore workers who qualify as “seamen.” This includes workers onboard tankers, freighters, tugboats, barges, fishing boats, supply boats, crew boats, jackup rigs, and other vessels. It also includes crewmembers on floating oil rigs and jack-up drilling rigs. Compensation Available: Under the Jones Act, injured seamen can potentially file two different claims for compensation: (i) a claim for no-fault “maintenance and cure” benefits, and (ii) a claim for full financial compensation based the negligence of the employer or others. 2. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Who It Covers: The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) applies to offshore workers who do not qualify as “seamen” under the Jones Act. This includes workers on fixed oil platforms and oil rigs, as well as certain longshoremen, harbor workers, dock men and other maritime employees. Compensation Available: Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, injured workers are entitled to certain benefits regardless of who is to blame for their injuries. These include benefits for disability (lost income), medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses and retraining […]

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Injured Working Offshore? Your Right to Maintenance and Cure

Maintenance and Cure Jun 7, 2017

As someone who works on a vessel or offshore, you have likely come across the term, “maintenance and cure.” You might know that this is a form of compensation employers are required to provide to their injured workers. You might also know that maintenance and cure benefits are provided under a federal law known as the Jones Act. But, do you know how much you are entitled to recover? Do you know how to make sure your employer does not take advantage of you? Do you know what to do when your maintenance and cure benefits are not enough to cover the full extent of your financial losses and physical and emotional harm? Did you know you may be entitled to a direct lawsuit against your maritime employer? These are all critical questions, and if you do not know the answers you will almost certainly settle for far less than you deserve. Protecting Your Rights After a Maritime or Offshore Accident 1. Losses Covered Under Maintenance and Cure First, it is important to understand the types of losses that are covered by maintenance and cure. “Maintenance” refers to benefits that help cover your daily costs of living while you are unable to work due to an injury. While your employer is legally required to pay you these benefits if you qualify, most maintenance payments are fairly low – typically around $15 to $40 per day. “Cure” refers to compensation for any medical bills you incur as a result of your […]

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Injured on a Tugboat? Find Out Who May Be Responsible

Tugboat Injuries Jun 5, 2017

After any type of accident, identifying the party (or parties) responsible is one of the first steps toward pursuing a claim for financial compensation. With medical bills piling up and the potential for significant lost income, job-related injuries can often put maritime workers’ financial futures on the line. As a result, fighting for just compensation needs to be a top priority, and it is critical to promptly conduct a thorough investigation focused on determining who deserves to be held accountable. 1. Your Employer The first option is your employer. Under the Jones Act, if you were injured onboard a tugboat or barge, in most cases your employer will be obligated to pay you no-fault benefits known as “maintenance and cure.” Since these are no-fault benefits, your employer must pay regardless of the cause of your injury. In addition to maintenance and cure benefits (which in some cases can be less than $25 per day), the Jones Act also entitles you to seek full compensation for your injuries if the accident resulted from your employer’s negligence. The Jones Act applies a standard of “slight” negligence, which means that your employer can be held accountable if it made any mistake that played any role in causing your injuries. 2. The Tugboat’s Owner If your employer does not own the tugboat or barge on which you were injured, you may be able to seek compensation from the tugboat’s owner as well. Claims against vessel owners are not made under the Jones Act, but […]

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