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How can I recover damages after an accident at sea?

In Louisiana, it is common for boats and ships to be used for a variety of purposes, including recreation and the transportation of goods. Because of the significant shipping industry, Louisiana has a number of laws in place to protect those who work on these sea vessels. If you or a loved one has been injured in a maritime setting, you may want to file a lawsuit against those responsible for the injuries.

So, who is eligible to receive compensation in a boating accident? The answer to this question will depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident. A number of people entitled to compensation were injured on the job. The Jones Act is a federal law that allows those who work on a vessel the right to sue their employers for negligence if that negligence plays a role in an injury or death at sea.

The plaintiff in a case under the Jones Act will have to show that the injury occurred on a navigable vessel and that he was a seaman at the time of the injury. Typically, a seaman is considered to be a worker who contributed to the function of the vessel. The worker must also have been an employee of the vessel's owner. Non-employees cannot seek protection under the Jones Act, but they may seek recovery through other laws.

Under the Jones Act, the plaintiff may recover damages for medical expenses, lost earning capacity and pain and suffering. He may also recover found, or the value of the room and board he would have received if he stayed out at sea. While nothing will erase the injury that occurred, it can be comforting for seamen and their families to have some financial assistance during this difficult time.

Source: FindLaw, "Jones Act Overview," accessed on Nov. 2, 2015

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