Jones Act Claims Lawyers in New Orleans, Louisiana
The Jones Act is a law that governs coastal trade in the United States. The law covers a broad range of maritime trade concerns. If you work at sea, you may be covered under the Jones Act for worker’s compensation purposes. Under the Jones Act, if you are hurt on the job, you may be entitled to sue your employer for injuries on the job. However, in order to qualify for protection, you must be classified as a “seaman” under the law. A worker’s compensation lawsuit under the Jones Act can be complex because workers must first prove that they qualify as “seamen” under the law and then they must prove that they were injured on the job.
What standards does the court use to determine whether a worker qualifies as a “seaman?” In order to qualify, you must spend the majority of your time at sea, either working as a member of the crew or as a captain of a vessel. In order to qualify under the Jones Act, you must be working on a vessel that is considered in navigation. The vessel must be operational and must be capable of sailing in order for workers on board to be classified as “seamen.”
Where your vessel travels also plays a role in whether you qualify as a “seaman” under the law. Your vessel must be operational on navigable waters that can be used for either interstate or for foreign trade. Even landlocked lakes can qualify, if the lake connects two countries (think Lake Ontario) or if the lake is connected to other states or countries through a river.
There are also certain vessels that are exempt from the Jones Act, such as oil drilling platforms. Finally, you must show that you spend a significant amount of your time working at sea in order to qualify for worker’s compensation protections under the Jones Act. If you were hurt on the job at sea, and want to learn more about whether you qualify as a “seaman” under the Jones Act, contact Stag Liuzza, Jones Act lawyers in New Orleans, Louisiana. Our firm works closely with individuals who have been hurt on the job to help them seek damages for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Maritime injuries can be very serious. You don’t have to suffer alone.
Have You Been Exposed to Benzene at Sea?
If you work on a crude oil vessel, you may be at risk of exposure to toxic chemicals, like benzene. Long-term exposure to the chemical can be incredibly dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the immediate symptoms of benzene exposure are:
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- And in extreme exposure cases, unconsciousness and even death
While the immediate risks of benzene exposure are serious, it is very rare that individuals will inhale or ingest an amount of benzene that will result in immediate symptoms, though some oil vessel workers may complain of headaches and other symptoms of low-level exposure. The real risk is long-term. Long-term exposure to benzene can impact your bone marrow. This can lead to a decrease in red blood cell production, leading to anemia. It can also lead to excessive bleeding. When women are exposed to benzene, studies indicate that children can be born with low birth weights. Benzene exposure can also increase your risk of developing leukemia.
If you believe you were exposed to benzene on the job while working on a crude oil vessel, and have gone on to develop anemia, leukemia, or a blood disorder, consider reaching out to the Jones Act lawyers at Stag Liuzza in New Orleans, Louisiana. Our attorneys can review your case, determined whether your company took protective measures, and help you seek damages through a lawsuit or other means from your employer.
Cargo and Oil Tanker Workers and the Jones Act
If you work on a cargo or oil tanker, you could be exposed to a range of chemicals and hazards every day. Not only are you at risk of chemical exposure, but cargo and oil tankers are highly flammable. Something as simple as lighting a cigarette can lead to a serious fire at sea resulting in serious burns, disfigurement, and injuries. Static electricity can also trigger a fire. Workplaces must take proper precautions to ensure that smokers or static electricity doesn’t put a whole vessel at risk. Workers on cargo and oil tankers may use heavy power tools that can also pose hazards. Employers have a responsibility to properly workers in their use and to provide proper safety equipment. When it comes to chemical exposure, employers have a responsibility to provide workers with proper safety equipment, and to prevent leaks. Proper training can also mitigate the risk.
Finally, being out at sea comes with its own dangers. There’s wind, rain, lightning, and storms. A capsized ship can lead to injuries and trauma.
Working on a cargo or oil tanker comes with serious risks. The job is dangerous. If you’ve been hurt, you may be protected under the Jones Act. Under the Jones Act “seamen” are entitled to pursue lawsuits or settlements against employers when they have been hurt at sea. If you have been hurt, burned, suffered trauma or chemical exposure, you may be entitled to seek damages to cover your lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical costs. Stag Liuzza are Jones Act lawyers in New Orleans, Louisiana who may be able to help you.
Hurt at Sea? Contact a Jones Act Lawyer
If you’ve been hurt at sea, you may have important legal protections and rights. Stag Liuzza are Jones Act lawyers in New Orleans, Louisiana who are committed to helping seamen get justice. Working at sea can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be dangerous. Stag Liuzza are here to help you seek justice for both yourself and your family. We’ll take the time to review your claim, estimate your losses, and fight to help you get the settlement or recovery you may deserve.