Written by attorney Timothy Justin Young

The Longshore and Harbor Workers Act Addresses Workers’ Compensation Claims

The Longshore and Harbor Workers Act enables seamen to receive workers’ compensation claims when injured. While not one and the same, both the Jones Act and workers’ compensation award injured seamen monies on the job. With workers’ compensation, employees simply need to be injured on the job to receive medical and financials benefits.

In a Jones Act claim, however, a maritime worker may seek damages for an injury they’ve suffered, but only after they have proven their employer to be negligent in causing that injury. The Longshore and Harbor Workers Act facilitated the rights for seamen.

What is a Jones Act Claim?

First off, all maritime workers are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits no matter how the injury occurred, as long as the injury happened while the worker was on the job. Maintenance and cure benefits pay only for medical costs, until a doctor has deemed the worker no longer able to improve, and a small daily stipend. A Jones Act claim can allow the injured worker to receive many types of compensation.

Some Jones Act damages a worker may seek include lost wages, lost fringe benefits, physical pain, suffering and any additional medical expenses incurred. Workers may be able to seek punitive damages, as established in the Supreme Court case Atlantic Sounding v. Townsend in 2009.

Qualifying for a Jones Act Claim

Many types of maritime workers may be eligible to file a Jones Act claim if he or she is hurt on the job. Eligible workers could include the captain, on-board engineers, fishermen, deckhands and other ship and vessel crew members. In order to qualify for filing a Jones Act claim against an employer under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act, a worker needs only to meet a few requirements.

The requirements that the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act helped define are that:

  • the worker must be considered a seaman, working at least 30 percent of the time aboard a ship or vessel in navigable waters;
  • the worker contributes to the overall function or mission of the vessel;
  • the worker’s relationship with the vessel is substantial in both length and nature;
  • the worker suffered an injury during the course of his or her job; and
  • the worker’s injury was preventable, resulting from the negligence from the employer or a fellow coworker.

In addition to filing a Jones Act claim based on employer negligence, workers may also file a claim based on unseaworthiness. This type of claim alleges a worker’s injury came about because the vessel on which he or she was working was unfit for navigable waters or for its intended purpose. These claims can be lodged against the owner of the vessel or, if the worker’s employer owns the vessel outright, then the employer themselves.

To determine whether a Jones Act claim based on negligence or unseaworthiness is the best option, injured maritime workers should speak to a qualified attorney at The Young Firm before proceeding.

Seeking Legal Guidance with a Louisiana Jones Act Lawyer in New Orleans

Ship and vessel workers are entitled to damages after they’ve been hurt on the job. Unfortunately, The Jones Act and other parts of maritime law are often complicated and confusing to understand. A Louisiana Jones Act lawyer in New Orleans at The Young Firm can help.

New Orleans maritime workers who have been injured or hurt on the job are encouraged to call 866-938-6113. Speak with a Louisiana Jones Act lawyer in New Orleans at The Young Firm to discuss workers’ compensation claims and the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act.

Free Q&A with lawyers in your area

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer