Because of the dangers they face, sailors are provided with some of the strongest legal protections of any workers in the country. The Jones Act entitles injured seamen to remedies that are not available to other workers. Workers on drilling rigs and oil platforms are often covered by the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) and the general maritime law. Dockworkers can seek remedies under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). At Guste, Barnett, Schlesinger & Alpaugh, L. L. P., serving Louisiana, our attorneys will help you understand your rights under the law and work to recover damages from your employer.
Rather than being subject to the workers’ compensation laws of Louisiana, seamen are treated as wards of the state and entitled to the specific federal protections laid out in the Jones Act. In order to qualify as a Jones Act seaman, you must work on a vessel and be injured while acting in service to that vessel. Seamen are eligible to receive “maintenance and cure,” which consists of an allowance and medical treatment until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). Seamen bringing an unseaworthiness claim often receive damages for pain and suffering, as well as past and future lost wages. Our attorneys will work to prove that you qualify as a Jones Act seaman, regardless of whether you are a United States citizen.
Because the Jones Act only applies to certain workers, your case may instead fall under the general maritime law which allows for negligence claims. Our attorneys will help you understand which laws apply in your case. The LHWCA applies to maritime workers who were injured on land in Louisiana, as well as dockworkers and stevedores. It functions like a national workers’ compensation system. DOHSA allows the family of maritime workers to seek compensation for their deaths when they were killed due to negligence at sea. Our attorneys work with clients to help them understand their rights under federal and state laws.
Maritime cases are very different from standard injury cases. If you are a seaman or maritime worker and you have suffered an injury, it is important that you seek out a law firm with maritime injury experience. The New Orleans maritime injury attorneys at the Guste, Barnett, Schlesinger & Alpaugh, L. L. P. have experience helping maritime workers get compensation for their injuries. Call us at 504-529-4141 or contact us online to arrange a consultation with an admiralty lawyer at our New Orleans office.