The Jones Act is a federal law that provides special protections and rights to seamen. The Jones Act allows a seaman who suffers an injury in the course of his or her employment to obtain maintenance and cure benefits and to bring a civil action against his or her employer. Our Lafayette Jones Act lawyers can explain its provisions to you and discuss your options under the law.
A Seaman’s Rights
Do not settle for your employer’s rendition of your rights. Seamen enjoy several rights under the Jones Act. Of these rights, perhaps the most important right is the seaman’s right to receive maintenance and cure benefits regardless of fault.
By law, injured seamen are entitled to receive maintenance and cure benefits. Maintenance and cure payments include financial compensation for an injured seaman’s medical expenses, reimbursement for physical therapy, the recovery of lost wages, and a daily stipend for a seaman’s living expenses throughout the seaman’s recovery. An injured seaman is entitled to receive these payments until he or she reaches a point of maximum medical improvement. A point of maximum medical improvement is a point where the seaman’s medical condition has been cured or will no longer improve with treatment.
Advocating for seamen in Lafayette and beyond, our Jones Act attorneys know that these payments should reasonably compensate the seaman throughout his or her recovery. If your maintenance and cure benefits do not adequately compensate you for your injury, medical and living expenses, you should speak with a Jones Act lawyer to learn about your rights under federal maritime law.
Claims of Unseaworthiness
All too often, ship owners and employers fail to provide reliable equipment and safe working conditions for seamen. If a vessel is not fit for sea, a seaman can file a lawsuit against the employer or vessel owner under the Jones Act.
Under the Jones Act, a seaman can bring a claim for “unseaworthiness.” This claim imposes strict liability on the employer or vessel owner if the vessel was “unseaworthy,” or not fit for its crew when the injury occurred. In general, a vessel is unseaworthy if the vessel contains defective equipment or poses hazardous working conditions for workers. Even if an employer or vessel owner is unaware of the dangerous condition, it can still be held liable under this theory of liability.
After an injury, do not settle a claim with your employer before speaking with a Lafayette Jones Act attorney. An experienced lawyer at our firm will ensure you maximize your rights and compensation under maritime law. To schedule a complimentary consultation with a Jones Act lawyer in the Lafayette area, contact Broussard & David at (888) 337-2323 (toll-free) or (337) 337-2323.