Q: How can I provide for my family after suffering a maritime injury?
When you’re unable to work due to a maritime injury, you’re entitled to more than just workers’ compensation benefits. Injured workers can also typically receive payments for their medical bills, lost wages, and disability. Laws such as the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provide these benefits.
The Jones Act
Seamen injured while working on a vessel due to their employer’s negligence are entitled to compensation under the Jones Act. Filing a claim is similar to filing a claim under workers’ compensation, except that Jones Act settlements tend to be much larger than workers’ compensation payments. Jones Act payments include wages and benefits the seaman has already lost due to a work-related injury, the wages he continues to lose, and the income he is expected to lose in the future until he is able to work again.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers longshoremen, harbor workers, and other employees working on docks, in shipping terminals, or at shipyards. Workers may receive compensation for medical expenses, travel to and from the doctor, and partial or total disability payments. If the injured worker isn’t likely to be able to return to his previous line of work, he may also receive vocational rehabilitation benefits.
To collect benefits under the LHWCA, maritime employees must meet the status and situs tests:
- The status test. Workers may only qualify for LHWCA benefits if they perform maritime duties for their employer, meaning that a significant portion of their job must be related to water or marine transport.
- The situs test. To collect benefits under the LHWCA, employees must work on, near, or adjacent to navigable waters.
Contact a Maritime Attorney
When you’re the victim of a maritime injury, you need an experienced maritime attorney to help you determine which types of compensation are available in your case. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.