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Offshore Injury Claims Are Handled Differently from Workers Comp Claims


If you work in or around navigable waters, then you may be familiar with the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, both of which provide compensation to injured maritime workers while they’re recovering from their injuries.

Laws That Protect Maritime Employees

The Jones Act protects those who work on a vessel or offshore. These workers are often referred to as seamen.

In addition to seamen, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act protects those who work on land but near the water or on vessels that aren’t considered in navigation. Examples of these kinds of workers are below:

  • Ship loaders
  • Ship repairers
  • Ship builders
  • Harbor construction workers

The Similarities Between a Maritime Injury Claim and a Work Comp Claim

There are many similarities between standard workers compensation benefits and those of a maritime worker.

For example, both Louisiana workers comp and the Jones Act allow injured workers to collect compensation for medical expenses, including the cost of being transported to reasonable and necessary medical appointments.

The Differences Between a Jones Act Claim and a Workers Comp Claim

The main difference between the two is that an injured seaman is able to sue his or her employer if negligence is thought to have played a role in the injury.

The threshold for proving negligence is also low because work on the seas is considered dangerous, and the law expects employers to do everything in their power to keep their workers safe. The injured worker does have the burden of proof and must gather evidence to show that negligence was at least partially to blame for his or her injury.

With a standard workers comp claim, injured workers cannot sue their employers, regardless of fault.

Another difference between workers compensation and a claim made under the Jones Act is that workers comp benefits are limited. With a work comp claim, you only receive a percentage of your earnings, as well as reasonable medical expenses. With the Jones Act, the worker can receive the following benefits, if applicable:

  • Maintenance (daily living expenses)
  • Cure (medical expenses)
  • All lost income
  • Future lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

Filing an Offshore Injury Claim

Because offshore claims are different than other types of workers compensation claims, filing these claims can be a little confusing. You must also gather evidence if you intend to prove that your employer was negligent. Working with an attorney when filing a maritime injury claim can be extremely helpful.

Speak with a Maritime Accident Lawyer

The difference between offshore injury claims and workers comp claims can be confusing. Understanding which claim is right for you and whether you should sue a negligent party is important. Having a maritime attorney by your side can make the whole process a lot easier.

Your offshore injury attorney can also explain what kinds of benefits you’re eligible to receive. We offer free case reviews. Call to discuss your maritime case with Spencer Calahan Injury Lawyers by dialing 225-387-2323 or completing the form below.