Many Louisiana residents work offshore or on ships that are involved in international commerce. These individuals, like workers on land, may occasionally be in danger on the job. However, there are likely to be differences in how injured workers offshore or on ships pursue financial compensation for any incidents they are involved in. This is where the Jones Act comes into play.
The Jones Act is a federal law that has several different protections built in for offshore workers and those who work on ships at sea. The primary protection is that injured workers in these circumstances may be able to pursue a civil lawsuit against their employers due to the injuries they suffered. Such an action can be pursued in either state or federal court. The choice of which court to file the case in can be a complicated issue in any given case, as the perception may be that one forum is better than the other in certain circumstances.
The Jones Act also allows the surviving family members of any offshore workers who die in a work-related incident to pursue a lawsuit as well. But, just like any other personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, a lawsuit filed under the protection of the Jones Act may have complicated medical facts or “grey area” legalities involved. The Jones Act effectively allows injured victims to present their cases to pursue financial compensation.
Workers at sea are likely to be aware of the dangers they face. However, injuries can still be unexpected and can leave workers with financial shortfalls. A lawsuit under the Jones Act may provide much needed financial compensation.