Those who work on commercial ships, especially on fishing ships, work in extremely dangerous conditions. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were 58 deaths in the commercial fishing industry from 1992-2008.
The Jones Act is a federal statute that provides protection to persons who are crew members of a ship or vessel, including certain oil and gas rigs, and also offers remedies to seamen with a work-related injury caused by the negligence of an employer.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a maritime accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, depression, and pain and suffering. The experienced attorneys at Simien & Simien, LLC can provide the legal counsel you need to get the justice that you deserve.
To begin, just fill out the Free Case Evaluation form to your right. It’s 100% free and confidential.
History of the Jones Act
Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, better known as the Jones Act, was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1920. It allowed seamen to bring legal actions against negligent ship owners, captains, or fellow crew members.
Previous to this law, sailors had very limited rights. If a sailor had been physically harmed because of the negligence of a peer sailor or the ship's master, the injured individual and their survivors had little hope of winning a suit against the employer. General maritime law (a.k.a. admiralty law) entitled sailors to “maintenance and cure”, a form of contract-based compensation that provided an allowance for food, shelter, and medical costs. A sailor could only recover damages from their employer if the ship they were on could be proven to be unseaworthy.
The sinking of the Titanic in 1912 helped to bring public attention to the working conditions of those that made their living on the sea and get the Jones Act passed. This milestone in liability law replaced the outdated legal concepts and court opinions that often protected employers, but interpreting the law, especially in regards to determining which individuals should be considered a “seaman”, has been a long and arduous challenge for federal courts.
Today this act applies to inland river workers and those who work on:
- Semi-submersible ships
- Drill ships
- Cruise ships
- Floating cranes
- Cargo shops
- Fishing vessels
- Recreational boats
It is important to note that time deadlines apply to these claims, so please don’t hesitate in contacting us if you work in the maritime industry and have been involved in an accident because of the actions of another.
Causes of Maritime Injuries
There are inherent risks when working at sea. Storms, waves, and high winds are all potential dangers to those who make their livings on ships or other vessels.
Some common factors contributing to maritime injuries include:
- Sailor fatigue
- Pulling or pushing items
- Re-surfacing too quickly
- Slips, trips and falls
- Being struck or trapped by a moving object
- Coming in contact with toxins
- Lifting heavy items
- Overuse injuries
- Falling overboard
All of these can potentially lead to a variety of maritime injuries. The severity of an injury will depend upon the circumstances of the accident.
Types of Maritime Injuries
Once the common causes leading to injury at sea are recognized, it becomes clear that seamen can get very hurt while on the job. The severity of injuries incurred will depend upon several factors such as type and size of vessel, the force of impact, and speed of travel.
Some common nautical injuries include:
- Loss of limb
- Neck injuries
- Wrist injuries
- Back trauma
- Puncture wounds
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Decompression sickness
- Dental trauma
- Internal damage
If you experience any of the injuries listed above, please seek medical attention immediately. Doing so will both ensure a quicker recovery and can also help to prevent any further injuries. Also, the medical paperwork can be very helpful to our attorneys as we work to develop a stronger case against the defendant.
Contact Our Jones Act Lawyers
Here at Simien & Simien, LLC we have the experience and legal knowledge necessary to get eligible victims of maritime accidents the maximum compensation they are entitled to under the law. Get started now by completing the 100% FREE and confidential "Case Evaluation" form at the top of the page or calling us toll free at (800) 374-8422.
Our firm has attorneys that are licensed in both Louisiana and Texas to provide person injury services in those states. The firm, with appropriate local counsel, also provides representation in other states as well. Some of the places in which our firm has represented clients in Louisiana and Texas include:
- Baton Rouge
- Lake Charles
- New Orleans
- Port Allen
- All Other Areas throughout Louisiana
- All Other Areas throughout East Texas
To find out how we could help you, simply fill out the 100% FREE and strictly confidential “Case Evaluation” form at the top of the page or call us Toll Free at (800) 374-8422.