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The Jones Act and maritime worker injuries

Louisiana residents who are employed as maritime workers are covered under the federal Jones Act for their injuries suffered on the job. Under the Jones Act, maritime workers who are injured while at sea due to the negligence of their employer are allowed to file suit against the employer.

Potential recoverable damages under the Jones Act include past and future medical costs, any losses of the ability to earn money, the value of the room and board that would have been provided to the maritime worker if they were able to continue working at sea, pain and suffering and pre-judgment interest.

Proving a case involves several things. First, the worker must show that the injuries occurred on a navigable vessel. This excludes such things as oil rigs. They must then demonstrate that they were a seaman at the time of the injury, and whether or not a person's job qualifies as such is normally determined on a case-by-case basis. The person who was injured must have been employed by the vessel's owner and not another person who was simply on it, and most of their work must have been conducted at sea instead of on land.

The Jones Act is in place to provide protections to maritime workers who are injured while on the job at sea. An injured dock worker or longshoreman may need to file a claim under a different law, as they may be determined by the court to not be covered under the Jones Act. A personal injury attorney may be able to review the facts of a case in order to determine the most appropriate statute under which a case should be filed.

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