Most employee injuries that occur on an oil rig are covered by the Jones Act. The act is designed to help provide compensation for workers who spend a considerable time working on a rig. If you were injured as a result of working on a rig, here is what you need to know.
Is the Jones Act Similar to Workers' Compensation?
Workers' compensation and the compensation that you could potentially receive through the Jones Act differ. Whereas workers' compensation is designed to keep employees from suing their employers when they are hurt on the job, the Jones Act allows it.
If your employer was responsible for your accident through negligence, you more than likely have a case that you can pursue through the civil court system.
What Conditions Does Your Case Have to Meet?
There are specific requirements that your case has to meet before you can file a lawsuit against your employer. One of the first does not necessarily have to do with you or your injury. It involved the condition of your employer's rig.
According to the act, your employer's rig has to be considered seaworthy. It has to have a reasonable design and function that it could be believed that it was capable of safely transporting people to and from one destination. If your employer's rig is deemed unseaworthy, you could have a challenging time moving forward with your case.
In addition to this factor, you have to prove the other standards that come with a personal injury case. For instance, you have to prove that your employer was at fault for the circumstances that led to your accident. You also have to prove that your accident caused you to be hurt.
What Can You Do to File?
When you are ready to file your case, you can choose to do it at state or federal court. Once you file your lawsuit, you have the option of relying solely on the court to resolve your case or you can attempt to negotiate with your employer's insurance provider.
If you do decide to negotiate, your attorney can help you determine the terms you are willing to settle for and how your benefits or compensation is provided to you. For instance, if you have injuries that will have a long-term impact, you need to factor in future care and the process to have your bills covered in your negotiation talks. To learn more, contact an attorney that specializes in oil rig injuries.