Most workers are subject to state laws regarding injuries and compensation. However, for workers stationed on offshore oil platforms or on vessels, federal laws provide special protections. Specifically, most maritime workers are protected under The Jones Act and other relevant laws. The law governing offshore injuries is unique, complex, and detailed, and therefore if you are a seaman who was injured on a vessel in navigation, you need to meet with an experienced maritime attorney.
Who Does The Jones Act Cover?
The Jones Act provides protections for workers who meet three criteria: (1) the worker performs a job aboard a vessel on navigable waters, (2) the worker spends at least 30% of their work time on board the vessel, and (3) their work contributes to the function of the vessel. The third component is very important, as it distinguishes between workers and passengers on a vessel.
How Does The Jones Act Protect Maritime Workers?
Just like workers on land, maritime workers are entitled to a reasonably safe workplace. Because of the location and nature of their work, additional safety regulations must be followed to keep seamen safe. In addition to the safety requirements imposed on land-based employers, employers of maritime workers must also ensure the vessel is fit for its intended use, provide additional safety equipment such as lifeboats and life vests, and supply a sufficient number of workers to operate the vessel, among other requirements.
Filing A Jones Act Lawsuit
Most Texas personal injury lawsuits have a window of two years within which victims to file a claim; however, under The Jones Act, maritime workers typically have three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. Only an experienced maritime lawyer will know about exceptions to the three-year statute of limitations, which can limit the timeframe within which an injured offshore worker can file his or her claim for damages. Although these types of claims are often granted more time for filing, that doesn’t mean you should wait to file a Jones Act lawsuit. Maritime injuries can be incredibly serious and you will need an experienced maritime lawyer to help make sure you get the compensation needed.
Texas Maritime Injury Lawyer
At The McMillan Law Firm, we understand the nuances of The Jones Act and fight to ensure your maritime injuries are properly compensated. If you were injured while working at sea, contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn your legal options. Our consultations are free and you won’t owe us anything if you decide to work with us unless we help you recover compensation.