Jones Act Lawyer
What is the Jones Act?
Nowadays employers under the Jones Act support almost half a million American jobs due to the protection given to domestic transportation for American seamen and offshore workers. This domestic industry is vital to our nation’s security. We have recently seen as in a national emergency such as the Coronavirus (Covid-19), it is difficult to count on foreign flags and manufacturers for the movement of goods in American waterways.
Benefits of Working with a maritime lawyer at Doyle Dennis LLP
Our Maritime Lawyer has decades of experience in aggressively pursuing offshore injury and Jones Act cases We have a track record of swiftly pursuing maritime cases to get the best recovery as soon as possible We have won millions for clients involved in offshore injury and Jones Act cases We have a track record of taking offshore injury and Jones Act cases to trial and winning Offshore companies and their insurers know our history of success, which translates to getting the best results for our clients time and time again
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To be covered by the Jones Act, a few legal definitions must be understood:
Questions to Answer to Qualify for Jones Act
A general definition for the Jones Act is a federal statute that provides compensation and damages for injured seamen who work on a vessel in navigation for a significant amount of time. While this may seem very specific and exclusive, every word in the Jones Act has a wide array of meanings and generally covers most maritime workers including those on offshore drilling rigs. These definitions below will show how almost all seamen working at sea or on water inside the protected areas is covered with wide ranges of requirements.
Stewart v. Dutra Construction: A vessel used or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water, not that it be used primarily for that purpose. Does not need to be in motion when accident occurred. This ruling applied to a barge used in
This 2005 ruling ultimately meant that offshore drilling rigs are covered under the Jones Act. Compensation for offshore workers is guaranteed under maritime law if a personal injury occurs for someone working on offshore oil rigs as a “seaman” defined under the Jones Act. That means the seaman spends at least 30% of his time in work on the vessel and the seaman’s work contributes to the overall mission of the vessel. Any crewmember on an oil rig generally meets this requirement as long as they spend a total of 30% of their work time on the rig or rigs of their company. The exception to this ruling is if the drilling is from a platform permanently fixed to the seabed and not capable of being moved. This is not the case for most offshore drilling rigs.
Guaranteed Compensation for Injured or Ill Seamen in Service of an American Vessel
What is maintenance?Basic daily expenses (rent, food, transportation to and from doctor, utility bills, etc…). Maintenance comes in the form of a daily allowance meant to cover living expenses while unable to work due to injury or illness.
What is cure?Medical expenses while recovering or seeking treatment (medical bills and expenses…etc). Cure covers the medical costs you encounter as a result of the illness or injury until maximum medical improvement.
Types of Jones Act Claims
The Jones Act requires that an employer providing reasonably safe equipment, personnel, and supervision. A Jones Act employer must build and enforce a reasonably safe place to work under all the circumstances, including a competent crew and proper equipment. Every maritime employer has a duty to ensure the working environment for seamen measures up to both industry and common sense standards. A Jones Act seaman is also responsible for taking reasonable steps to protect himself as well, although there may be circumstances where he is ordered to do something unsafe by his employer that would impact that obligation. The Jones Act protects those who work in the maritime field by providing protections to maritime workers no matter where they are working.
This claim is based upon whether the hull, equipment and crew are not reasonable in design, maintenance and character to perform intended functions in the operation of the ship. It can also include an “unfit” captain or crew, and it is a strict liability of the vessel owner. A failure to provide a vessel and crew fit for its intended purpose creates liability for all the damages related to the unseaworthy condition. Once that burden is met by the injured seaman, and the judge or jury makes a finding of an unseaworthy condition on the ship, rig, or other vessel, in any respect, the vessel owner remains responsible for the injuries causes.
Whether an injured or ill Jones Act employee shows a violation of the Jones Act, in negligence, or unseaworthiness, the injured Jones Act worker may recover the usual range of damages arising in a personal injury case. These would include lost wages in the past, loss of future earning, as well as past and future medical expenses, pain suffering, physical impairment, and mental anguish.
Jones Act v. LHWCA
The general difference between the Jones Act and the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is whether the injured maritime worker is a “seaman” or if they work on docks, piers, terminals and other related areas onshore. The Jones Act covers a “seaman” who is a person employed on a vessel at least 30% of their time at work. The LHWCA covers the many supporting maritime jobs onshore and near navigable waters. The LHWCA acts like a general workers’ compensation benefits program for many jobs with a lack of ability to pursue further damages for a personal injury. The Jones Act provides compensation in the form of maintenance and cure, but the injured seaman and their family can also pursue additional damages for their personal injury, disability or death
Non Jones Act
Injuries to workers not assigned to vessels, but instead to fixed platforms on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore the United States, generally fall under the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. Federal law treats offshore installations, whether pumping stations, gathering stations, or pipeline monitoring platforms, as fixed islands that fall under federal law. If a worker is assigned to work on such a fixed installation, the LHWCA provides for a special type of workers’ compensation medical and income benefits administered by the United States Department of Labor
Why chose our firm?
At Doyle LLP we take pride in the dedication we put into earning your trust and building a strong attorney-client relationship. Jones Act claims require legal and maritime industry knowledge that takes decades of experience to master. We have a team of dedicated attorneys and legal assistants with the single goal to help you understand your maritime workers’ rights and get the compensation you deserve. We work with our clients every step of the way to help ease the burden after a serious injury or illness is sustained in the maritime industry. We know what your legal case means to you and your loved ones, and we fight for you every step of the way. Our experienced maritime firm will fight all the way to a verdict from a jury as we have successfully done many times before in Jones Act Claim cases. Our track record of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts backs up our reputation as eager to fight for the clients we believe in.
ABSOLUTELY NO COST TO YOU UNLESS WE WIN !
The lawyers at Doyle Dennis LLP have vast experience in offshore claims and understand numerous federal maritime laws, such as the Jones Act law, that apply to offshore claims. Our Texas firm works every day to help clients across state lines and international borders in their maritime accident claims