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The Young Firm
400 Poydras Street, Suite 2090
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

Toll Free: (504) 608-6308
Facsimile: (504) 680-4101

Read About Personal Injury Law in our Legal Blog

The Jones Act and Safety: Are You At Risk?

By Timothy Young on August 5, 2013

Is Your Employer Doing Everything They Can to Protect You?

Safety rules under the Jones Act are overwhelmingly in favor of the worker; however, many maritime employees working offshore are not aware of just how comprehensive their rights are, or how many safety rules are in place to protect them in their daily operations.  Because so many workers are under-, mis-, or even uninformed, maritime companies frequently take advantage of such workers and violate rules and regulations.

Do They Provide a Safe Place to Work?

The Jones Act gives every worker the right to a “safe place to work” – a far-reaching rule but one of the most important for maritime employees.  For instance, if an employee has been injured at work, and he or she thinks that the injury could have been prevented had the employer followed proper safety guidelines, a judge/jury can specifically determine if that worker was provided with a “safe place to work”.

Do They Follow Industry Standards?

Under the Jones Act, industry-specific rules and regulations also apply.  Such regulations include the American Petroleum Institute standards regarding operating and rigging cranes and slings, as well as all Coast Guard safety rules including vessel safety and keeping the vessel safe from slip and trip hazards.  OSHA standards also apply and are enforced under the Jones Act, and vessels are subject to inspections for adherence to OSHA safety requirements.

Do They Provide Proper Training?

Additionally, it is the employer’s responsibility to assure that all employees receive the proper amount and type of training and supervision to perform their jobs well and safely.  Often, a company will try to satisfy such requirements with “on-the-job” training; however, such training can be seriously lacking when it comes to the types of detail-oriented, complex duties assigned to maritime workers.  What’s more, the most dangerous responsibilities are normally the most difficult to perform; unfortunately, such duties commonly fall to new employees, as more experienced and senior workers do not want to perform them and pass them off.

Do They Provide Proper Manpower?

Under the Jones Act, every employer also must ensure that there are enough workers to perform each task.  Often a company will insist on an insufficient number of workers performing a task because that’s the way it has always been done.  But just because it’s always been done the same way, does not mean it is the safest way, nor does it ensure that proper procedures are followed to protect the workers, particularly in cases of jobs that are performed less frequently.

Are you a maritime worker uncertain about your rights under the Jones Act?  The Young Firm has made free, downloadable publications available to help you learn everything you need to know.

If you have been injured and want to talk to someone who deals exclusively with maritime law, contact or call us today at 866-938-6113 for your free consultation.  We are here to answer all of your questions and to make sure you understand your legal rights as a maritime worker.

What Damages Can I Collect Under The Jones Act?

By Timothy Young on August 2, 2013

The Jones Act allows you to collect any damages that directly relate to your incident and subsequent injury.  Such damages may include pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages or fringe benefits.  When you have been injured, the pain and the bills can really add up, so it’s important to know about the compensation to which you are entitled.

Pain and Suffering

If you are able to prove pain and suffering damages during your trial, both past and future, you will be able collect these damages. The testimony you give at your trial, however, as well as the testimonies of your doctor and other witnesses, are critical in proving the nature and impact of your injury and the resulting pain and suffering. Very often family members and friends will testify on your behalf as witnesses to the injury’s effect on your daily life and future employability.

Past and Future Lost Wages

Damages in a Jones Act case may also include past and future loss of wages, if such losses are directly related to your injury.  The Young Firm works with qualified economists who determine the exact value of your losses, both past and future.  Most courts require these official figures from an economic expert for the injured worker to receive the damages.  Such calculations depend on what you were earning at the time of the injury; however, under the Jones Act, you can also collect financial damages based on future promotions and raises that you would have received if you had not been force to stop working due to injury.  The Young Firm is diligent about calculating future wages accurately, which can make all the difference between collecting the damages to which you are truly entitled, and simply collecting the dollar amount on your paycheck at the time of your injury.

Fringe Benefits

Working offshore can provide substantial fringe benefits.  However, when you are injured and unable to perform the manual tasks required of your job, you may no longer receive such benefits.  Fringe benefits include meals while on the job, retirement funds, and medical and disability insurance.  The Young Firm will acquire copies of your payment records, which include the collective value of your fringe benefits.  We will analyze and use this information to determine the actual value of your past and future financial losses, not just what your company wants to pay you based on a number on your paycheck.

If you are an injured seaman, you may be eligible for benefits under the Jones Act.  The Young Firm is here to serve you.  We have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements, and we can handle any situation you may be in.  Contact us for a free consultation today!