Oil Rig Disasters: The Jones Act vs. Workers Comp

NOVEMBER 16, 2010 by Bill Abbott

If you’re familiar with maritime job injuries, you know that the Jones Act covers injury cases that happen when an employee is performing work tasks aboard a ship, floating oil rig, or other maritime vessel. When many injured maritime workers hear that traditional workers compensation laws don’t cover their cases, they are naturally a little nervous. Fortunately for these workers, compensation under the Jones Act is typically much higher.

As maritime lawyers Texas will tell you, many law firms in Texas advance money for Jones Act cases based on the details of the case. A Jones Act settlement is typically much higher not because of the nature of the injury, but because the law is different. Traditional workers compensation claims are awarded anticipating that a worker will return to work when he or she is in a position to do so. Workers comp monies are intended to “float” the injured worker through until he or she can get back on their feet.

Jones Act settlements pay for pain and suffering, lost wages, and can also cover what’s called “loss of enjoyment of life.” If a maritime injury is causing not only physical pain, but stops you from enjoying activities outside of work in a way that is detrimental to your enjoyment of life, a settlement is possible for this as well.

The Jones Act is a federal law, and there are Jones Act attorneys working in different states. Texas and other Gulf Shore workers know from the recent oil rig disaster that calamity can strike at any time when working a maritime job. It’s important for a worker to know their rights whether they are injured or not. Maritime lawyers familiar with the Jones Act can familiarize an injured maritime worker with the law, which what he or she can expect based on their particular situation, and as mentioned before, can provide advances on some cases depending on the state.

A lawyer from your state will understand the individual laws of that state, and the unique needs that you may have based on your geographical location, situation, nature of your injury and even the company you work for. Maritime lawyers Texas are familiar with gulf cases, and have experience working with a variety of clients – some of whom live outside of Texas, but may have been injured on Texas oil rigs or vessels that are permanently on the sea. If you work a maritime job, any injury you sustain on the job will be covered by the Jones Act.

If you need to talk to a maritime lawyer who understands the laws of your state, or the state where you were injured, you should rely on a lawyer with a proven track record of understanding and getting the best settlement possible in Jones Act cases. A maritime lawyer who understands the Jones Act can be a huge benefit to you and your family, preventing head aches and stress during the time when you need it most.

For more information on the Jones Act, contact Ogletree Abbott at Info@OgletreeAbbott.com.

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