Offshore workers have the right to perform their job duties in a safe and healthy fashion. They have a right to travel on their employer’s ship and not be subjected to an on-the-job injury. Seamen and other offshore workers are entitled to certain benefits under the Jones Act. Unfortunately, not all employers notify seamen of such rights. Many people end up getting short changed. Injured workers should contact a Houston offshore injury lawyer the moment he or she receives an injury. The person may be entitled to more than the person expect. If you are the victim of such an injury, then you can get immediate advice and help for your needs.
About the Jones Act
The vessel must qualify as a “Jones Act” eligible vessel before a person can qualify to receive compensation under the Jones Act. The Houston offshore injury lawyer can help you determine whether the vessel that you were in qualifies as such a vessel. It must meet three requirements. The first requirement that it must meet is that it must be used or in use. The vessel cannot be a vessel that is sitting around waiting to be used. Secondly, the vessel must be in navigation. Thirdly, the vessel must be a part of a fleet that someone can identify. You may be eligible for compensation if the vehicle meets all those criteria, and you fit the legal description of a seaman.
The Jones Act entitles an injured worker to two types of pay. One type of pay covers the person’s room and board. The compensation is called the “maintenance” pay, and the injured person receives it until he or she can get back to work and return to the regular work duties. The other type of compensation is called “cure” pay, and it covers all the necessary medical expenses and other expenses that a person accumulates after a maritime injury. The “maintenance” funds vary between $10 and $35 a day. The “cure” funds vary too, but they are much larger than maintenance funds are. Those benefits would continue for you until you have reached your maximum medical improvement. The medical improvement occurs when you have recovered to the point where you can perform full days at work.
The Definition of a Seaman
You cannot receive compensation or coverage under the Jones Act unless you fit the definition of a seaman. First, you have to directly contribute to the operation of the vessel. You could qualify if you steer the boat, for example. Next, the boat has to be considered as being “in navigation.” It does not necessarily have to be moving when you acquire your injury, but it does have to have the “in navigation” status. Finally, the boat that you are on has to be considered as a true employment boat for you. You can qualify if you are on a casino boat, cruise ship, fishing vessel and the like.
Ask the Houston Offshore Injury Lawyer Who Is At Fault
The Jones Act provides you with no-fault coverage, which means that you do not have to be faultless to qualify. It does not matter who is at fault when you receive an injury under the Jones Act. However, the fault could lie with the boat manufacturer, crew captain or someone else. You could qualify for compensation under the personal injury laws if you believe that someone else was responsible for your injury because of neglect. You will not be eligible for Jones Act compensation and personal injury compensation at the same time, however. Therefore, you will want to discuss your case with a Houston offshore injury lawyer. That attorney will be able to explain to you which move is best for you to make in your situation.
How to Handle an Incident
You should handle your injury the moment that you are hurt. The first step you should take after you suffer an injury is contacting your employer or supervisor and alerting that person that you have been hurt. Next, you will want to schedule your medical care. Unlike in some other employee injury cases, you do not have to go to a specific doctor or specialist that your employer approves. You can see any doctor that makes you feel comfortable. The third step in the process is gathering all the evidence that you will need to prove your injury and the amount of money that you should receive. The evidence includes eye-witness testimonies, paid medical bills, X-rays and the like.
Statute of Limitations
All legal cases have a statute of limitations to them, which is a window of reportability. A Jones Act case has a three-year statute of limitations on it. After the three-year statute of limitations, you may not be eligible to receive compensation for all the injuries that you endured.
The Recovery Process
You can contact an attorney if you receive a denial for Jones Act benefits, or if you feel as though you deserve personal injury compensation. The attorney will first listen to your story and take down information about how you received your injury. Next, he or she will advise you of which way to go as far as suing. The attorney may try to settle the case out of court for you. The other party may be willing to settle in that manner if he or she is at fault. Your case could end up going to court if the other party does not settle, but you may receive much more cash than you ever thought you could imagine.
Contact a Houston Offshore Injury Lawyer Now
An attorney is waiting to speak to you right this moment. The lawyer wants to protect your best interest after your maritime accident. Call now to schedule a consultation.