Lafayette Jones Act Lawyer


If you are a seaman who has been injured on a navigable vessel, you could potentially receive significant compensation for your injuries. A long-standing federal law could mean your case is worth far more than a workers’ compensation claim. However, you first need to gather evidence that proves your employer was negligent. Jones Act cases can be complex, and you need an experienced attorney to represent you every step of the way. Contact the family at Inzina Law Firm Injury Attorneys to learn more about your legal rights.

What Is the Jones Act?

Maritime employment is very dangerous work. You can only imagine how perilous it was for employees over 100 years ago when seagoing vessels were nowhere near as technologically advanced as they are today. It was difficult for employers to find workers to fill positions because of concern for physical injury.

Many workers were injured due to the careless actions of their employers and were unable to provide for their families.

Congress recognized the need for additional protections for maritime workers and passed the Jones Act in 1920. Among other things, the Jones Act provides for enhanced remedies for maritime workers injured on the job. Normally, workers cannot sue their employers for job-related injuries because the workers’ compensation system renders employers immune to lawsuits. However, the Jones Act allows injured maritime employees to sue their employer when their negligence has caused the injury. A successful personal injury lawsuit would lead to a better financial result than a workers’ compensation claim. The Jones Act is an exclusive remedy for maritime workers.

Are You a Seaman Under the Jones Act?

Whether you are able to file a lawsuit under the Jones Act depends on whether you meet the definition of seaman. If you are unable to meet this definition, you may be considered a longshore worker who must file a workers’ compensation claim instead of a case under the Jones Act.

  • You must work on a vessel in navigation (even though the vessel does not necessarily have to be on the sea at the time of your injury—it could be moored at the dock)
  • You must spend at least 30% of your work time on this vessel
  • You must contribute to the work of the vessel

In other words, you can expect heavy scrutiny of both the actual vessel on which you were injured and the job functions that you perform. To file a Jones Act lawsuit, you must first meet these prerequisites before you can get to the actual merits of your case. Some cases could lead to unsuccessful results because you are not able to prove that you meet the threshold to file a lawsuit under the Jones Act.

Examples of Negligence Under the Jones Act

There are many ways that an employer can be careless and cause injury. To win your case, you would need to prove that your employer was negligent. In a Jones Act case, negligence has the same meaning as it does in any other personal injury lawsuit. You must prove that the defendant acted unreasonably under the circumstances.

Examples of negligence that may entitle you to financial compensation under the Jones Act include:

  • Failure to keep the deck and walkways clear of debris or equipment, resulting in a slip and fall accident
  • Failure to provide you with equipment that is properly maintained and in working order
  • Not employing or training a competent crew to operate the vessel
  • Not providing employees with the proper safety gear to perform their jobs
  • Failing to follow safety laws and regulations
  • Operating the vessel in dangerous conditions and exposing workers to risk of injury through storms

Any type of negligence could entitle you to financial compensation when you have the physical proof to back up your claims and you can show the employer failed to act reasonably.

Why You Want To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Under the Jones Act

While workers’ compensation-based claims can be helpful, they will result in far less compensation than a successful personal injury lawsuit. In a workers’ compensation plan, you can only recover medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. There are limits to the amount of lost wages that you can receive and you cannot receive non-economic damages. Jones Act lawsuits can be more valuable.

When you successfully file a Jones Act claim, you can receive the following additional compensation:

  • The full lost wages that you would have earned had you been able to work or the reduction in your earnings capacity
  • Pain and suffering for the impact of the injury on your life
  • Loss of enjoyment of the life that you had before your injury
  • Emotional distress
  • Scarring and disfigurement

Pain and suffering damages are often several multiples of your medical expenses. It follows that a successful Jones Act lawsuit could lead to far greater compensation, raising the stakes of your claim.

Why You Need a Jones Act Lawyer

The Jones Act is your exclusive remedy as an injured seaman. If you do not win your case, there is no backup plan that would allow you to obtain financial compensation. Initially, you may need to overcome challenges as to whether you meet the definition of a seaman. You must then prove that someone else was negligent and caused your injuries.

When you hire a Jones Act lawyer for your case, they would perform the following tasks:

  • Investigate the facts of your situation to determine whether you are eligible to file a lawsuit under the Jones Act
  • Gather evidence that could help you prove that someone else was to blame for the accident
  • Estimate the amount of your damages, working with expert witnesses when necessary
  • File a lawsuit on your behalf
  • Negotiate a potential settlement of your case that fully and fairly pays you
  • Continue to build your case through the discovery process, gathering even more additional information from the other party
  • Present your case in court if a settlement agreement cannot be reached

Contact a Lafayette Jones Act Lawyer

If you have been injured on the high seas, the family at Inzina Law Firm Injury Attorneys will fight for you to receive full compensation. We work to hold your employer responsible, resulting in the highest possible settlement or award for you. To speak with an attorney today, you can send us a message through our website, or you can call us at 337-243-1237. As always, you never need to pay us anything until and unless you win your case.


An Honest Assessment of Your Case

When you come to us for help, we will give you our honest, respectful opinion upfront, along with a candid assessment of what you can expect from the legal process. We value honesty and communication and will demonstrate both throughout our relationship.
Free Case Evaluation
100% Secure & Confidential
5 Stars


5.0 Google Rated
Available 24/7
Inzina Law Injury Attorneys

Available 24/7


"*" indicates required fields

To stop receiving messages, reply to any text, STOP
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.