The Jones Act in Maritime Law
Know Your Rights in New Orleans
Over the years, maritime laws have evolved to better protect maritime workers and in the United States these laws are embodied by the Jones Act, the General Maritime Law, the Death on High Seas Act, and the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act. The Jones Act corresponds to a specific and fundamental part of Maritime law, which states that if a Maritime employee or Seaman is injured while in the line of service, the victim is entitled to certain rights and can sue their employer, or the owner of the vessel, in a civil lawsuit for negligence. Victims are also entitled to Maintenance and Cure, which provides injured employees with a daily stipend and paid medical benefits. Thanks to the Jones Act, Maritime workers receive more benefits and have more entitlements than any other workers in the United States.
The Rights of Seamen
First enacted in 1920, the Jones Act provided certain rights to the families of wrongful death victims and to Seamen who had sustained personal injuries as a result of employer negligence. When injured on a ship, one of the first things to consider is whether you meet the standards for the Seaman Status Test. The purpose of this test is to determine whether you are entitled to all the benefits granted by the Jones Act. While preparing your case, you and your attorney will gather evidence to prove your status as a Seaman. Having an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can make a significant difference in the success of your case.
Filing a Claim and Securing your Entitlements
To file a negligence claim against your employer you, the plaintiff, must provide sufficient evidence to support the following three claims:
- That the plaintiff is a Seaman
- That the defendant was negligent
- That the plaintiffs injury was caused by the negligence of the defendant.
These three claims must be thoroughly explained and proved with compelling evidence in order for your case to be valid against the defendant. Our attorneys at Hammond Law have the know-how necessary to help organize these facets of your case, to attain the results you want.
Proving a Vessel is Unseaworthy
Like a negligence case, to prove that a vessel was unseaworthy the plaintiff must first show that he or she is a Seaman. Furthermore, evidence of the vessels non-seaworthiness, and that this resulted in the plaintiff’s personal injury, must be presented. One interesting and particular feature of this kind of case is that the parties involved can call on an expert witness to corroborate the claims being made; experts can also be used to show discrepancies in the rules enforced by a vessel’s owner, to show whether those incongruities contributed to the personal injury sustained by the Seaman.
Contact Hammond Law Firm, LLC
If you are a Seaman and have sustained a personal injury as the result of the negligence of your employer or the owner of the vessel, the attorneys at the Hammond Law Firm, located in New Orleans, LA, can provide you the skilled and practiced representation you need to successfully fight for your rights.