The LeadersIn Maritime Law

What Is the Difference Between Workers' Comp, LHWCA & Jones Act?

Injuries sustained while working at sea can be serious and you may be entitled to compensation for the suffering you are experiencing. Unfortunately, due to the complicated nature of compensation claims, it can be difficult to determine which kind of claim to pursue after suffering an offshore injury.

Some of the most common claims include:

Each one will lead to different amounts of compensation and involves certain eligibility requirements. Our offshore injury lawyers can evaluate your case and advise you on what legal avenue to pursue. With our seasoned advocates on your side, you can be confident your case is in qualified hands.

You can learn more about your specific case when you call us today!

When the Jones Act Is the Right Option

Established in 1920, the Jones Act protects seamen who were injured while at work. "Seamen" can include anyone who worked on the vessel and contributed to the operation and maintenance of the ship. Most often, at least 30% of an individual's time must have been spent working on the ship in order for them to be considered a seaman.

An employee who wants to file a Jones Act claim must prove that the negligence of their employer or another coworker caused their injuries. Negligence and unseaworthiness are both necessary components of such a claim and refer to an employer's inability to maintain the safety of the ship at all times.

Examples of this can include the following:

  • The ship lacks proper equipment
  • The ship is undermanned
  • The vessel is fraught with hazards
  • The ship is managed with unsafe work methods
  • The employer didn’t provide necessary training

If you are able to prove a similar issue caused your injury, your employer could be held liable for any injuries you sustained while on-board. This means they may owe damages for medical bills, lost wages, and much more.

How the LHWCA Can Apply to Your Case

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Comp Act (LHWCA) is another act that protects those injured or killed at sea. Whether through an accident or due to an illness, victims have rights regarding compensation. Their employer is responsible for providing them with reimbursement for medical costs and any future care. If forced to take time off of work to recover, the victim could also be given a percentage of their average weekly wage during this time. Typically, the amount usually comes out to 66.66% of a total income.

What About Workers' Compensation?

The biggest difference between Jones Act claims and workers' compensation claims is the amount of damages recovered. Jones Act claims usually recover a much higher compensation award and can be more complex to file successfully. Workers' compensation claims, on the other hand, can be much more black and white.

An injured seaman who files a workers' compensation claim does not have to prove that someone else was responsible for their injuries. Fault is not a necessary component of such a claim, only actual injury. If the victim is unable to go to work for a time, they may recover compensation for and disability benefits by filing a claim.

Guiding You Through the Filing Process

If you believe you have grounds to file a claim under any of the three areas of offshore law mentioned, we encourage you to call on our skilled maritime lawyers. With billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements under our belts, we know how to navigate the legal obstacles you are facing.

We can guide you through the process and fight to ensure that you obtain fair compensation. Call Arnold & Itkin today to discuss your case.

What is it Like To Work With Arnold & Itkin

Arnold & Itkin represented nearly a third of the crewmembers injured in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

I encountered professionalism, understanding, compassion… lot of compassion. They really felt for what me and my wife were going through.
~ Deepwater Horizon Crew Member

Work with a lawyer who truly understands Maritime Law.

Because maritime law is so complex and so complicated, it is crucial that you work with an attorney who has an in-depth understanding of how it works and who has proven themselves in similar cases before.

Related Maritime Videos
  • Our founding partners have worked together for more than a decade.

  • To us, being a lawyer means more than just handling paperwork.

  • We know this a difficult time. Let us help.

  • Our firm isn’t afraid to take on the largest companies.

  • In a day and age where most lawyers do everything they can to avoid court, we are proven trial attorneys. We have a reputation for taking our cases to trial when necessary, which means our clients have a better chance of achieving the outcome they deserve.

  • Your choice in lawyer is potentially one of the most important decisions that you will make following a serious maritime accident. Make sure it is the right choice. Hire an attorney who has the experience to represent you well and the commitment to investing in your best interests—someone who you can trust.

Discuss Your Legal Rights & Options

Free Case Evaluation

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your email address.
  • Please enter your phone number.
  • Please make a selection.