Working offshore can be a demanding and strenuous job, which can unfortunately lead to serious work-related injuries. If you’ve experienced an injury that you received while working on an offshore vessel, it’s important to speak with a Gulfport Jones Act attorney who is familiar with the specifics of maritime law. This is a complex area of the law, and if you don’t obtain the help of a professional who has experience handling these types of cases, you could lose out on significant compensation that is owed to you. If you have questions or need help, contact the maritime attorneys at Haug, Farrar & Franco PLLC today to set up a consultation.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act applies to several different types of workers, including seamen who work on ships and other offshore installations, such as oil rigs, supply boats, and barges. It allows the injured workers to sue their employer for negligence. To be eligible to file a claim under The Jones Act, the worker must be considered a seaman who works on a vessel.
What is a Seaman?
To be considered a seaman under The Jones Act, the worker must perform a significant amount of their work on a vessel and their work must contribute to the overall work of the vessel. To meet this requirement, the individual must work on a vessel at least 30 percent of the time.
What is a Vessel?
The word vessel is typically used to describe any type of boat. Under The Jones Act, certain requirements must be met for the boat to be considered a vessel. For purposes of maritime law, a vessel is defined as any structure designed and used to transport passengers, cargo, or equipment across navigable waters. Common examples include freighters, cruise ships, cargo ships, barges, floating and jack-up oil rigs, ferries, and more.
The Gulfport boat or other structure does not have to be in navigation at all times for a worker to be able to file a claim under The Jones Act. Rather, the vessel must float, be in operation, be capable of moving, and currently be in navigable waters. This means that docked boats can still be considered vessels under The Jones Act. Boats that are drydocked or permanently affixed to the shore are not considered vessels in this context. This differs greatly from recreational boat uses that can sometimes result in injuries requiring a lawyer specializing in boat accidents.
Filing a Claim
When an injured seamen files a claim under The Jones Act, the must prove that their employer was negligent. Employers are required to provide their workers with reasonably safe working conditions they must use ordinary care to ensure that the vessel is always in a reasonably safe condition.
To be successful in a Jones Act claim, the injured worker must prove that their employer failed to meet one of those requirements, and that this failure played a part – however slight – in the worker’s injuries.
A claim under The Jones Act is not a workers’ compensation claim; it is essentially a personal injury claim for seamen.
Hire an Experienced Maritime Lawyer
If you were injured on an offshore vessel or in any other situation that is governed by maritime law, we can help you recover the compensation you deserve. At Haug, Farrar & Franco, our Gulfport attorneys specialize in the Jones Act, and will do the hard legal work for you so you can focus on recovering from your injury with as little stress as possible. Contact us today for a free consultation.