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Can you seek compensation for your injuries under the Jones Act?

If you spend more than 30 percent of your time in the navigable waterways around Louisiana and suffer a work-related injury, you would make a claim for compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, but if you don't meet that minimum amount of time, you will need to go another route. In that case, you may be entitled to seek benefits under the Jones Act, or the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. If you meet the definition of a private mariner under the act, you may be entitled to benefits.

Your employer is responsible for your safety while on the job. You must be provided with equipment needed to perform your duties, equipment in proper working order and training appropriate to your duties and work site. you also deserve a work site free from hazards such as slippery floors and violence from fellow crew members. Of course, even if your employer does a good job of making the workplace safe, accidents still happen.

Even a minor failure on the part of your employer or a co-worker could allow you to seek compensation for your injuries. Obtaining medical treatment for your injuries is crucial since your medical records will play a significant role in your claim. You have seven days to report your injury to a supervisor and make your official statement imparting the details of the accident that caused your injuries.

You may either file a lawsuit against your employer and/or work toward a settlement under the Jones Act. Even though you have the right to compensation for your injuries, it is not guaranteed. In order to increase your chances of receiving everything to which you may be entitled, it may be a good idea to discuss your potential claim with a Louisiana attorney with experience in maritime and admiralty law.

Source: FindLaw, "The Jones Act and Merchant Marines", Accessed on May 4, 2018

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