Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
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In most Texas work injury cases, your recovery is limited to the benefits available under the Texas Department of Insurance workers’ compensation program. Workers’ compensation claims have pros and cons. On one hand, you are not required to show that your injury was your employer’s fault, which makes getting paid much simpler. On the other hand, the amount that you can recover is capped by law, so the amount you are paid may not be enough to fully compensate you for your injury.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, which allow you to hire a Texas work injury lawyer to sue your employer. One is the Federal Employers Liability Act, which protects injured railroad workers. Another is the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (also called the “Jones Act”), which allows sailors “who … suffer personal injury in the course of [their] employment” to sue the ship’s owner, the captain of the ship, or other crew members for negligence.
This law applies not only to seagoing vessels, but also to certain offshore oil rigs (those that are not attached to the ocean floor). To be eligible for the law’s protections, a worker must be a “seaman,” which the United States Supreme Court has defined as a worker who spends at least 30 percent of his time in the service of a vessel. A protected seaman can bring a Texas work injury action in state or federal court, and is entitled to a jury trial.
If you have been injured on the job, a Texas work injury lawyer may be able to help you file a lawsuit against your employer for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To see if your case falls under the Federal Employers Liability Act, the Jones Act, or another exception to mandatory workers’ compensation, please contact Dallas work injury lawyer Dean Malone today.
- Guest Contributor
Tags: Merchant Marine Act of 1920,Texas,Texas Department of Insurance,Workers' compensation