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New Orleans Jones Act Attorney

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The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Act of 1920, is a federal law which obligates maritime employers to offer compensation and benefits to seamen injured in accidents caused by negligence of an employer. Depending on the circumstances of the injury, a seaman may be eligible for compensation to cover current and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning ability, as well as physical and mental suffering.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a maritime accident in Louisiana, our New Orleans maritime injury lawyer at The Chopin Law Firm LLC is ready to fight for the compensation you deserve. With more than 100 years of experience, we possess the comprehensive knowledge of Jones Act maritime law, and state and federal laws to help you make the best recovery from injury possible.

The Difference between Jones Act & Workers’ Compensation

Both the Jones Act and workers’ compensation provide some form of compensation when an employee has suffered an injury while performing job duties. The main difference is that Jones Act seaman cannot file a workers’ compensation claim.

In a Jones Act claim, the injury must be caused by an employer’s negligence. By contrast, it doesn’t matter if the employer or coworker was responsible for injuries in a workers’ comp claim. Fortunately, all wages are recoverable under the Jones Act, while employees only receive a portion of their lost wages. Clearly, there is more compensation available through the Jones Act in comparison to workers’ compensation.

The Jones Act applies to seaman and those who work on:

  • Rigs
  • Barges
  • Semi-submersible ships
  • Towboats
  • Drill ships
  • Fishing vessels
  • Cargo ships
  • Tankers
  • Cruise ships
  • Dredges
  • Recreational vessels
  • Floating cranes

Ready to File Your Claim Today!

After suffering the injury, do not settle a Jones Act claim with your employer before speaking with our New Orleans Jones Act attorney. We understand what it takes to maximize your rights and compensation under federal law.

Do not hesitate to contact us at (504) 475-2429 and request a free consultation today.

Oil Rig Injuries and Explosions

Working on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and other navigable waters is an extremely hazardous occupation. One of the major dangers faced by oil rig workers is the risk of explosions.

Working on oil rigs presents its unique set of hazards, with rig explosions being among the most catastrophic. Explosions can result from equipment malfunctions, negligence in maintenance, or well blowouts. The consequences are often devastating, leading to severe injuries or fatalities. Under the Jones Act, seamen injured in oil rig explosions due to employer negligence are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Causes of Oil Rig Explosions:

  • Equipment Failure: This can occur when the equipment used on oil rigs is not properly maintained or is outdated.
  • Well Blowouts: A well blowout can release flammable gases and hydrocarbons that can ignite and cause an explosion.
  • Human Error: Mistakes made by workers or supervisors, often due to inadequate training or negligence, can lead to an explosion.
  • Gas Leaks: Natural gas is highly flammable; any leak can lead to an explosion if it comes into contact with a spark or flame.
  • Improper Procedures: Not adhering to safety protocols and industry standards can create an environment where explosions are more likely.

Consequences of Oil Rig Explosions:

The aftermath of an oil rig explosion is often devastating. Workers may experience:

  • Severe burns
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Psychological trauma
  • Loss of limbs
  • Fatalities

How We Can Help

At The Chopin Law Firm, we are well-versed in the intricacies of maritime law and the Jones Act. We understand that after an oil rig explosion, workers and their families are faced with not only physical and emotional hardships but also financial difficulties. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that injured oil rig workers receive the compensation they are entitled to under the Jones Act, which can include coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Collaborate with The Chopin Law Firm

Our maritime injury attorneys at The Chopin Law Firm LLC are committed to providing personalized legal representation. With over 100 years of collective experience, we have the resources and knowledge to handle complex maritime cases, especially those involving oil rig injuries and explosions.

Protecting Maritime Workers

If you or a loved one has been injured in an oil rig explosion, well blowout, or any other maritime accident, trust The Chopin Law Firm to guide you through the legal process. Our New Orleans Jones Act attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of maritime workers and helping them secure the compensation they deserve.

Don’t leave your future up to chance. Let the Chopin Law Firm fight for you.

Maintenance & Cure

Maintenance and cure is a crucial legal provision that offers vital financial protection to maritime workers who have suffered from injuries or illnesses while on the job. Under this act, workers have the right to receive compensation that covers various expenses such as housing, medical bills, food, and other daily necessities. Additionally, employers are obligated to provide injured employees with the necessary medical resources to achieve maximum medical improvement.

Injuries and illnesses at sea can lead to significant physical and financial damages, as well as take a toll on workers’ mental well-being. Unfortunately, some employers and insurance companies take advantage of these unfortunate circumstances by pressuring workers to sign liability waivers or accept inadequate settlement offers.

At Chopin Law Firm, we firmly believe that such practices are both legally and ethically unfair. You are entitled to specific rights under maritime law, including the Jones Act and maintenance and cure. As your trusted maritime injury lawyers, we are dedicated to fighting for your rights and ensuring that you receive the rightful compensation you deserve from your employer.

What is Maintenance and Cure Maritime Law?

Maintenance and cure is a legal provision designed to provide financial security and medical care to maritime workers while they recover from injuries or illnesses. This protection covers various medical expenses, including emergency care, surgery, and rehabilitation, as well as the costs of daily living while at sea.

Maintenance and cure may include:

  • Housing and utilities
  • Food costs
  • Travel expenses
  • Medical bills
  • Daily living expenses
  • Rehabilitation therapy

Employers are obligated to provide weekly payments to maritime workers until they reach maximum medical improvement, which occurs when medical professionals determine that a patient’s condition has improved to its highest potential. During this recovery period, you have the right to continue receiving compensation from your employer.

However, it’s important to remember that ship medical practitioners work for the company and may prioritize the company’s interests over your well-being. They may provide inadequate treatment or pressure you to settle for less compensation than you deserve. This negligence can have severe consequences, especially in cases involving brain/head traumas, back injuries, and serious illnesses.

How Do I Qualify for Maintenance and Cure?

If you are a seaman who has suffered an injury, illness, or accident at sea, you qualify to receive compensation for maintenance and cure. Regardless of the specific circumstances surrounding your situation, maritime workers are entitled to receive compensation to cover their medical expenses and living costs during the recovery period.

What Are My Rights as a Maritime Worker?

Maritime workers possess several legal rights that protect their physical, financial, and emotional well-being. Failure to uphold these rights by employers may lead to legal action and additional compensation. Some of your rights as a maritime worker include:

  • The right to choose your own medical practitioner: You are not obligated to receive ongoing treatment from your employer's medical team. Seek medical opinions from unbiased sources when you return to land and receive ongoing treatment from a trusted physician to ensure you receive the best care.
  • The right to maintenance and cure: This includes financial support for your living expenses and medical treatment.
  • The right to sue for lost wages: If your injury or illness prevents you from working, you have the right to seek compensation for lost wages.
  • The right to compensation under other maritime acts: Depending on the location and circumstances of your injury or illness, you may be entitled to additional compensation under other maritime acts.

How Can a Maritime Injury Lawyer Help?

Navigating the complex processes and legal intricacies surrounding maritime law requires the expertise of an experienced maritime injury lawyer. A mainstream personal injury lawyer may not possess the necessary knowledge and experience to handle these specific cases effectively. By consulting a maritime lawyer, you can benefit from various ways they can assist you, including:

  • Seeking fair maintenance payments: Your lawyer will ensure that you receive proper compensation to cover your living expenses during the recovery period.
  • Seeking compensation under the Jones Act: If your injury or illness is a result of negligence, your lawyer will help you pursue compensation under the Jones Act.
  • Determining applicable maritime laws: Maritime law can be intricate, and various laws may apply to your case. A maritime lawyer will determine which laws are relevant and work in your favor.
  • Expediting compensation: Your lawyer will work diligently to expedite the process and secure the compensation you deserve promptly.
  • Providing peace while you recover: Dealing with legal matters can be stressful, especially while you are recovering. Your lawyer will handle the legal aspects, allowing you to focus on your recovery with peace of mind.

Choose a Maintenance and Cure Personal Injury Lawyer

At Chopin Law Firm, we understand the challenges and hardships that injured maritime workers and their families face. Our compassionate and professional legal services are tailored to ensure you receive the support and compensation you rightfully deserve. We are not afraid to take on ship companies to fight for your rights and secure the maximum compensation possible.

Our team of experienced legal professionals, led by Richard A. Chopin, has helped numerous seamen in the New Orleans area and throughout Louisiana navigate the complexities of maritime law and obtain the compensation they deserve. Even if you have already accepted a settlement, we can review your case to ensure you received all the due compensation.

To discuss your case or learn more about how we can assist you, contact Chopin Law Firm today at (504) 323-6439 or fill out the form on our website to schedule a consultation. We are here to support you in your journey to recovery and justice.

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