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Differences Between the LHWCA and the Jones Act

Maritime employees who are injured on the job may be wondering how they will go about supporting themselves and their families while recuperating from their injuries. 

Fortunately, maritime workers are protected by either the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) or the Jones Act, depending on the type of employee they are. If you are interested in learning more about some of the key differences between the LHWCA and the Jones Act, read on.

Things to Know About the Jones Act

First, let’s dig in to some of the most pertinent details surrounding the Jones Act. The Jones Act was designed to protect injured seamen. Employees will be considered seamen if they work on or around the navigable waters. Essentially, this means that the ship or vessel must be able to head out on the waters for the workers to be deemed seamen. 

If a seaman is injured at work, they can file a claim under the Jones Act to obtain certain benefits while they recuperate from their injuries. These benefits include maintenance: necessary living expenses such as utilities, rent, groceries, mortgage payments, etc.; and cure, coverage of your medical bills.

Additionally, injured seamen can seek full compensation for other losses that can be sought in a personal injury lawsuit, such as lost income, diminished earning potential, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and mental anguish, to name a few. 

For a claim to be successful under the Jones Act, the injured seamen will need to be able to prove that the ship or vessel was unseaworthy. Although that may seem like a challenge, even the slightest issue with a ship can result in an unseaworthy declaration. 

Some examples of unseaworthiness could include a failure to make necessary repairs or provide seamen with the appropriate equipment and tools they need to do their job both safely and effectively. 

Fast LHWCA Facts

The LHWCA is similar to the Jones Act in many regards, but quite different in others. First, the LHWCA applies only to injured maritime employees who are not seamen. This could include harbor workers, shipyard workers, those who work on oil rigs, and longshoremen, among others. 

The LHWCA works almost exactly the way Louisiana workers compensation benefits do, except injured maritime workers are only entitled to such benefits under the LHWCA and not the state. 

When a maritime employee is injured at work, they can file a claim under the LHWCA and be awarded benefits that include coverage of their health care and treatment, wage replacement benefits, and job training if their injuries prevent them from returning to work in the same industry. 

Although the LHWCA and Jones Acts have their similarities and differences, their ultimate goal is to offer financial protection to all maritime employees should they ever become injured while at work.

Reach Out to a New Orleans Maritime Lawyer

Although we have covered many differences in injury benefits for maritime employees, these laws can be quite complicated. If you have additional questions that haven’t been answered here, you can discuss your case further with a regarded maritime lawyer in New Orleans

The Law Office of Braud & Gallagher proudly offers free claim evaluations to injured maritime workers across the state of Louisiana. You can take advantage of this opportunity by calling our office at 1-800-256-5674 or visiting our website

About the Author:

Braud & Gallagher

When you need a dynamic, empathetic attorney by your side, The Law Offices of Braud & Gallagher are sure to meet each of your personal injury and offshore injury needs. As skilled maritime attorneys in New Orleans, Braud & Gallagher boast victories that far exceed tens of millions of dollars. You can be sure that you’re choosing the best New Orleans car accident attorney when you’re ready to pursue maximum compensation for the suffering you’ve endured.... View full business profile here: Braud & Gallagher

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