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Admiralty and Maritime Law

The Jones Act provides protection to persons who are members of the crew of a vessel. This law applies to inland river workers, as well as offshore workers, who work on jackups, semi-submersibles, lay barges, drill ship (or other floating movable structures), tugs/towboats, crew boats, tankers, cargo ships, fishing vessels, chemical ships, research vessels, diving vessels and cruise and recreational ships.

These cases often result in substantial settlements involving complex admiralty and maritime laws. To protect your rights to compensation under the Jones Act, you should consult one of the experienced attorneys at McGlynn, Glisson and Mouton early in your case.

What You Need to Know

  • Don’t make the mistake of thinking a Maritime Law case is a workers’ compensation case. Workers’ compensation cases apply to state laws with relatively small cash settlements. The Jones Act is a federal law involving very high cash settlements if the slightest negligence is involved. Injured workers who could be covered under this law should be careful about filing claims under workers’ compensation or the Longshoremen-Harbor Workers’ Act. It is possible to lose rights if the worker elects benefits under other laws. If you have mistakenly made a claim under the wrong law, call us immediately to see if we can put things right.
  • The employer’s primary goal is to minimize losses – not to protect injured workers’ rights to full compensation. Some employers will attempt to discourage workers from obtaining information about their legal rights and will try to get workers to file claims under workers’ compensation instead of the Jones Act. If an employer is unwilling to fairly compensate you under the Jones Act, you should consult us about filing a lawsuit in federal district court seeking damages (though most cases are settled prior to trial).
  • You need to seek legal counsel today to exercise your right to compensation under the Jones Act. Strict time deadlines may prevent you from bringing your claim if not met. You may have one to three years to file a lawsuit, depending on where the accident occurred and which law applies. To preserve certain claims, you may need to take steps even before the first anniversary of your accident.

If you’ve been hurt offshore, call us today for the strong representation you need to recover full compensation for your injuries.

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