Jones Act Lawyers of Texas
Have you been injured in an work accident at sea? Houston attorney Neal Davis is ready to help you get the compensation you deserve under the Jones Act.
Attorney Neal Davis understands all the ins and outs of the Jones Act and is fully prepared to take the necessary steps to help victims of maritime injury receive the compensation they deserve.
Unlike employees that work on land, individuals who work offshore do not have typical rights to workers' compensation. In the case of a serious offshore accidents, however, injured workers are able to receive compensation for their injuries under the Jones Act.
This act allows maritime employees to sue their employers if they feel they have been injured on the job due to negligence.
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What is the Jones Act?
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act, allows seamen to file claims against their employers if they feel they have been injured due to negligence while working offshore. Employees of crew boats, barges, drill ships, fishing boats, dredges, and even cruise ships are eligible for compensation under the Jones Act.
The Jones Act was established in order to provide seamen with protection against unsafe working conditions and devastating injuries. Since workers' compensation rights do not cover employees that work offshore, it is imperative that their rights be protected.
Damages Available Under the Jones Act
Under the Jones Act, offshore accident victims can receive compensation for numerous damages, both economic and noneconomic. Those damages can include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages and time at work
- Emotional trauma
In the case of a wrongful death at sea, the victim's family may also be entitled to compensation to cover funeral costs, loss of companionship, and loss of financial support.
What Qualifies a "Seaman?"
Not everyone who works on the water can necessarily be labeled a "seaman." While the Jones Act states that seamen have the rights to compensation, it doesn't necessarily outline a definition of the title. The commonly accepted qualifications of a seaman include working on a vessel or ship that operates on water that could be used for either interstate or international commerce. In addition, a seamen must perform work that enhances the vessel's purpose or helps the ship perform as best it can in order to accomplish its task.
Finally, it is often required by many courts that, in order to be labeled a seaman, a maritime employee must spend at least 30% of his or her time aboard the vessel; however, this amount of time is simply a ballpark figure and is not used as a cut-off line. Consult an attorney to see if you can qualify as a seaman through your employment.
Proving Negligence and Liability
If an at-sea employee is injured, the careless individual or entity responsible can be sued for that employee's compensation. The Jones Act requires all employers of seamen to provide a safe work environment and exercise care for their employees by keeping the vessel properly maintained and safe. This means keeping the deck cleaned, maintaining equipment, training employees thoroughly, and not having employees work in conditions that can be hazardous.
Once negligence has been established, parties that can be held liable include a fellow employee, the victim's employer, or even the ship's owner or other entity if conditions aboard were unsafe. Without proving that negligence occurred and caused a victim's injuries, seamen stand little chance of receiving proper compensation under the Jones Act.
Hire a Texas Jones Act Attorney
Fully taking advantage of the Jones Act means a victim must establish themselves as a seaman, prove negligence was the cause of injury, and establish liability to determine which party will be responsible for providing compensation. These processes can be difficult under any circumstance, so it's advised that injured seamen seek counsel with a qualified attorney.
Attorney Neal Davis fully understands the Jones Act and fights aggressively and tirelessly for those injured at sea. We're prepared to exhaust all avenues in order to obtain the best possible result in your case. If we don't win, you don't pay. That's our No Fee Guarantee. Contact us for a free consultation and see how we can help you win the compensation you deserve.