When you or someone you love gets injured in an offshore accident, you may have a right to compensation under the Jones Act. Unfortunately, employers sometimes fail to comply with this obligation. That’s perhaps the reason why you need to work with a competent lawyer who understands maritime law. Not only will the right attorney help you identify the at-fault party, but will also work with you to recover what you rightfully deserve.
At The Burkett Law Firm, we take great pride in helping offshore workers who have been injured in their line of work. Regardless of your case’s specific circumstances, we use all our legal resources and expertise to understand your unique situation so we can offer guidance and help you obtain a favorable result in your case. Whether you have been injured in a cargo ship, barge, or tugboat, our Jones Act attorneys are ready to help. Call our Corpus Christi office today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Understanding the Jones Act
The Jones Act, also called The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a federal law that applies to workplace injuries that occur in the ocean and navigable waters in Texas or anywhere in the country. The law allows offshore workers who have suffered injuries or illness due to their employer’s fault to collect compensation for any financial damages resulting from the injury. However, to receive these benefits, one must fit the legal description of a “seaman” and show that the vessel was actually “in navigation” when the accident happened.
Who Qualifies as a “Seaman” Under the Jones Act?
While the Jones Act does not define a seaman, the courts have, over the years, set forth the minimum legal requirements for one to qualify as a seaman. These often include:
- Being professionally attached to a vessel in navigation
- Making a significant amount of contribution to the function of the vessel or fleet of vessels
- Having a substantial employment connection to the vessel, which is seen in the nature of your duties and duration of service
As long as you meet the minimum requirements, the Jones Act covers all kinds of positions, including captain, driller, roustabout, deckhand, steward, and cook. Nonetheless, it is critical to bear in mind that the preliminary requirements may sometimes vary based on the individual’s job title and duties. For that reason, you need to talk to a reputable Corpus Christi offshore injury lawyer to establish whether you qualify for compensation under the Jones Act.
Potential Damages You Can Recover in a Jones Act Claim
If you fit the legal definition of a seaman (or woman), you may be eligible to seek damages for your injury under the Jones Act. Nevertheless, you must prove that your employer is wholly or partly to blame for your injuries in order to receive the right compensation. Whether you have been injured in offshore drilling, shrimping, offshore supply, and transport, fishing, or dredging, our experienced Jones Act lawyers can help you recover a wide range of damages, including:
- Past, current, and future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Physical limitations
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
Filing A Jones Act Claim
Given the Jones Act’s breadth and complexity, bringing a claim after an offshore accident can sometimes get complicated. Besides showing that you are actually a seaman and that the accident happened in navigable waters, you must prove that your employer or a crewmember was negligent or reckless in causing your injuries. For that reason, it is vital to enlist an experienced Jones Act attorney to help you fight for your right.
At The Burkett Law Firm, we have unmatched experience in handling injury claims for offshore workers who have suffered a workplace injury or illness. Besides bringing a Jones Act claim, our capable lawyers can also help you get the maintenance and cure you are entitled to collect after an offshore accident.
Contact Our Experienced Jones Act Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a work-related injury or occupational illness, you may qualify for injury benefits under the Jones Act. However, it’s crucial to establish whether you are eligible for compensation before deciding to pursue a claim. Reach out to our experienced Jones Act lawyers at The Burkett Law Firm today to learn whether your specific situation warrants protection under the Jones Act.