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Maritime Accidents: Jones Act Laws & OSHA Regulations

Both Jones Act law and Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) regulations were enacted to protect injured workers. However, the legislation is somewhat difficult to understand, and jurisdiction is often muddled. Let’s take a look at the basics of each act, and how they may apply to an injured maritime workers’ claims for compensation, with which a Louisiana Jones Act lawyer can assist.

Jones Act Law

The Jones Act is an area of the federal law that guarantees the rights of the maritime workers on vessels or rigs that operate in navigable waters. One of its features is that it provides injured employees an avenue to sue their employers for damages.

In general, workers’ compensation law protects employers from being sued by injured employees. Jones Act law, on the other hand, allows maritime workers to file a suit and pursue recompense from their employer if the accident was because of the employer’s negligence. This makes the Jones Act extremely instrumental in a maritime case.

However, because negligence is the key component in a Jones Act claim, it’s important to understand that the worker and his or her Louisiana Jones Act lawyer will have to prove to the courts that the employer was, in fact, negligent and the negligence is what caused the worker’s injuries.

How OSHA Regulations Might Come into Play

Proving negligence in a Jones Act claim can be tricky, and this is where OSHA regulations may come into play. The OSHA was created in 1970 in order to reduce the risk of injury in the workplace.

OSHA regulations attempt to make workplaces safer by:

  • creating safety procedures and standards;
  • offering outreach and training to employers and employees; and
  • enforcing these regulations.

In regard to offshore workplaces, the Coast Guard has jurisdiction over most of vessels on the water, but the OSHA has jurisdiction over what’s referred to as “uninspected vessels” (e.g., fishing vessels and inland barges). This means that many of these vessels must meet the OSHA regulations.

If a worker was injured offshore and decides to file a Jones Act claim, his or her Louisiana Jones Act lawyer may discuss the possibility of using these regulations to help in proving the employer’s negligence. The worker can ask OSHA to investigate and see if there were any safety violations. If there were violations, these OSHA findings may be used as evidence to prove the employee’s claim.

Rights in a Maritime Accidents: Help from a Louisiana Jones Act Lawyer

For those injured in a maritime accident because of an employer’s negligence, Jones Act laws enable them to purse compensation. These can be complicated claims, though. Employers often have a legal team backing them up, federal agencies may have to get involved, maritime law is intricate and somewhat fuzzy, and there is red tape.

Thus, many workers choose to seek consultation and legal assistance from a Louisiana Jones Act lawyer. Contact The Young Firm at 866-715-3664 to discuss how to best handle a claim, to determine what damages are available, and to learn more about rights under Jones Act law and OSHA regulations.

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