The Jones Act is a broad law that regulates all kinds of maritime commerce. Cities that have large ports and workers who labor in the maritime industry often end up litigating many issues that are related to the Jones Act in some way.
The law was initially created to protect American commercial interests by requiring that all goods shipped into U.S. ports travel on American vessels. Howaever, the law has been changed and updated several times since it was initially enacted about a century ago.
There are a number of different ways workers may find themselves in a situation where they need to file a Jones Act lawsuit. Over the years, the law has regulated working conditions on vessels such as environmental regulations, protects sailors against unfair working conditions, and ships are now required to have various kinds of safety equipment and licensing to operate legally. Violations of any these regulations can often land marine businesses. If an employer is found to be negligent after an accident, workers on the vessel will need to be compensated properly.

An accident in the New Orleans area involved a dock worker who drowned in a nearby canal.
Worker drowns while working near a canal and repairing a vessel
The incident occurred when a worker was doing repair work for his employer on Destrehan Ave, just outside of New Orleans in Harvey. When emergency crews arrived, they found that the victim had been working on the water’s edge between a barge and a tow boat. He went into the water to try to retrieve the tow boat, but ended up stuck in the canal. One of his co-workers reported throwing a life preserver to the victim, but he was unable to secure the device before drowning. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted in removing the body from the Harvey Canal and identifying the victim.
Making an employer pay after an accident
All kinds of civil injury lawsuits are essentially used to help victims or their families pay for expenses related to the accident. Doctor and hospital visits can become expensive, and workers who sustain serious injuries usually cannot labor as normal until they recover. This results in additional expenses from lost wages. In fatal accidents like the news story above, the family of the victim may find themselves in a situation where they need to file a wrongful death lawsuit to pay for funeral and burial expenses.
Will accidents like this be covered under the Jones Act? 
Your injuries may be covered under the Jones Act, rather than a standard civil negligence lawsuit, so it is important to contact an attorney who specializes in this area of the law. One of the crucial inquiries in a related lawsuit is to determine whether the worker is defined as a sailor under the act. A lawyer may need to make a compelling argument to convince a judge of this fact, and only a lawyer with Jones Act expertise will be able to properly represent your interests in court.
Get help with injuries covered under the Jones Act
If you work in the marine industry and you have been injured while working on or near a vessel, there is help available. Contact Stag Liuzza, LLC for more information.