Our Maritime & Jones Act FAQ

You may be having a hard time finding the answers you need following a maritime accident and injury. We provide detailed answers to some of the most common questions we get in our maritime and Jones Act frequently asked questions.

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  • If I’m A Longshoreman Or A Dockworker And Get Injured At Work Is This Covered Under The Jones Act?

    Probably not.  If you are truly a Longshoreman or Dockworker and not a Jones Act Seaman, the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) would likely apply to your case.  

    But, deciding whether you could qualify as a Jones Act Seaman is critical to understanding your rights moving forward.  The Jones Act provides many rights that the LHWCA does not. 

    Have You Been Injured On Your Louisiana Maritime Job?

    If you've been injured at your maritime job or at sea, you need to speak with an experienced Jones Act attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. I help clients throughout Louisiana including Mandeville, Slidell, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Hammond, New Orleans and Metairie.

  • I Was Injured While Loading A Cargo Ship. Is This Considered A Workers’ Compensation Claim, A Maritime Injury Claim, Or Both?

    Cargo loading accidents are very common in the maritime industry and can lead to serious injuries or even death.  Understanding what kind of claim you have is key in determining your rights.  

    Louisiana Maritime Injury Lawyer Flattmann Law

    Cargo loading accidents can happen on a dock, pier, or even at sea.  If the incident occurs at sea, the Jones Act may apply if the injured person is considered a “seaman.”  Under the Jones Act, the injured seaman is entitled to maintenance (daily costs of room and board) and cure (medical expenses) until they reach maximum medical improvement.  A Jones Act seaman may also pursue a claim against his or her employer for future wage loss, disability, and general damages.  

    If the cargo loading accident occurs while a ship is being loaded or unloaded on an inland dock or pier, the claim may fall under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), which is a federal law.  Under the LHWCA, the injured worker is entitled to medical care and a percentage of their wages.  If a worker is permanently disabled, a payment schedule is used to calculate compensation.  

    Understanding what kind of claim you have and knowing your rights is critical to protecting yourself and your loved ones in the event of a maritime accident.   

    Have You Been Injured On Your Louisiana Maritime Job?

    If you've been injured at your maritime job or at sea, you need to speak with an experienced Jones Act attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. I help clients throughout Louisiana including Mandeville, Slidell, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Hammond, New Orleans and Metairie.

  • What Type Of Damages Can I Claim Following A Maritime Accident At My Job?

    When a person who works on the water is injured, it is critical to know whether that person would be considered a Jones Act Seaman, Longshoreman, or otherwise.  Factors we consider in making this evaluation include the person’s job duties, how long they have been employed, whether they were permanently assigned to a vessel, and whether the accident took place when they were working in service to the vessel. 

    If a person is considered a Seaman for purposes of the Jones Act, their employee must continue to pay room and board payments (maintenance) and their medical bills (cure).  

    Additionally, a Jones Act Seaman is entitled to pursue claims for their pain and suffering and past and future lost wages.  If third parties are involved, the injured person could have additional claims as well.  

    Maritime accident claims can be extremely complicated and are very fact dependent.  Having an experienced Maritime lawyer on your side could mean the difference between being fairly compensated and missing out on claims to which you may be entitled.   

    Have You Been Injured On Your Louisiana Maritime Job?

    If you've been injured at your maritime job or at sea, you need to speak with an experienced Jones Act attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. I help clients throughout Louisiana including Mandeville, Slidell, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Hammond, New Orleans and Metairie.

  • I Was Injured In A Louisiana Maritime Work Accident But Live Out Of State. What Should I Do?

    If you were injured while working on the water, a determination should be made by an experienced maritime attorney as to whether you qualify as a Jones Act Seaman for purposes of making a “Jones Act Claim,” or if your claim falls into another category, such as under the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA), or state workers’ compensation law.  

    Louisiana Maritime Injury Lawyer Flattmann Law

    A Jones Act claim is very different than an ordinary workers’ compensation claim and provides the injured worker with the right to pursue significantly broader claims.  

    If a lawsuit has to be filed under the Jones Act, the proper place (venue) for filing your lawsuit depends on many factors, including where the incident occurred, where the company is located, and whether any third-parties are responsible for your injuries.  Commonly, a decision must also be made as to whether the lawsuit should be file in state or federal court.  
     
    We help injured seamen navigate through the complex waters of their Jones Act claims.

    Have You Been Injured On Your Louisiana Maritime Job?

    If you've been injured at your maritime job or at sea, you need to speak with an experienced Jones Act attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. I help clients throughout Louisiana including Mandeville, Slidell, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Hammond, New Orleans and Metairie.

     

  • Can I Be Fired For Pursuing A Recovery For A Maritime Injury?

    Yes and No.  Most of the time, an employer will not specifically state that they are firing you because you are pursuing an injury claim.  If they do, they are most likely in violation of state and federal laws.  

    Instead, if you are in an “at-will” state like Louisiana, the employer may terminate you for being unable to come back to work.  Most of the time, an employer is not required to keep your job available to you.  

    However, in a Jones Act case, a seaman has the right to file suit against their employer to recover lost wages and future lost wages caused as a result of their injuries.  Also, a Jones Act employer is required to pay for the injured workers’ maintenance (daily living expenses) and cure (all the medical expenses required to get the injured worker to maximum medical improvement).  

    Beware!  We have seen many cases where an employer “took care” of an injured worker until the statute of limitations had passed for that worker to file a lawsuit.  Once the time period passed, the employee was terminated and time-barred from protecting their rights.   

    We know that filing a Jones Act claim is a big decision.  Let us help you make it.  We offer free confidential consultations so that you can better understand your rights.  

    Have You Been Injured On Your Louisiana Maritime Job?

    If you've been injured at your maritime job or at sea, you need to speak with an experienced Jones Act attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. I help clients throughout Louisiana including Mandeville, Slidell, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Hammond, New Orleans and Metairie.

  • Do You Have To Give A Recorded Statement In Your Jones Act Case?

    No, you should not have to give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster in order to receive benefits.  That’s because in a Jones Act case, your company (the Jones Act employer) owes the injured seaman a duty to provide them with maintenance (a daily rate for room and board) and cure (medical expenses), regardless of who was at fault for causing the accident.  

    If the insurance company calls and asks questions about how the accident occurred, they are trying to get information so that they can prepare a defense for any claims you may have in the future for other items of recovery, including disability and wage loss.

    Have You Been Injured On Your Louisiana Maritime Job?

    If you've been injured at your maritime job or at sea, you need to speak with an experienced Jones Act attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. I help clients throughout Louisiana including Mandeville, Slidell, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Hammond, New Orleans and Metairie.

  • What does maximum medical improvement mean in a Jones Act case?

    maximum-medical-improvement-jones-act-injuryThe Jones Act is intended to provide benefits for seamen who have been injured in offshore work-related accidents. However, benefits are not paid indefinitely. Your employer is only liable for your medical care until you have reached maximum medical improvement.

    Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement

    Maximum medical improvement (MMI) means that your condition has improved as much as it is expected to. This means that you are either fully recovered and able to return to work or stabilized but left with a permanent disability.

    Under the terms of the Jones Act, your employer is only obligated to pay for your medical care until you have reached MMI. In clear-cut injuries such as a broken arm, it is fairly obvious when MMI has occurred. However, in cases such as paralysis or a traumatic brain injury, there can be more of a dispute as to when you have reached MMI. You may wish to continue seeking additional treatment, but your employer may be pushing to declare that you have reached MMI so that the company is no longer obligated to pay benefits.

    When you have suffered a debilitating injury that will not allow you to return to work, you may want to receive Social Security disability payments or other government benefits once you are no longer covered for maintenance and cure benefits under the Jones Act. However, if your injury was the result of employer negligence, you may still be entitled to benefits for loss of future wages under maritime law.

    Protecting Your Right to Benefits

    It is never in your best interests to let your employer's doctor decide if you have reached MMI. Declaring you have reached MMI too soon will leave you without access to the maintenance and cure benefits necessary to pay for your medical expenses.

    Protect your right to compensation under the Jones Act by contacting an attorney with experience in this area of maritime law. Your attorney can work with you to ensure that you receive the benefits you may deserve.

    Contact us today at (985) 590-6182 for a free and confidential consultation from our office located in Covington and serving all areas of the Northshore including St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington Parish (Covington, Mandeville, Madisonville, Slidell, Hammond) and the New Orleans metro!