Personal Injury Law News

The Longshore Act and The Jones Act

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Maritime laws are complicated and, legally speaking, quite different from worker’s compensations law. If you’ve been injured, you need the services of qualified maritime attorneys like Anderson, Dozier, Blanda & Saltzman.

Let’s compare two kinds of claims common to admiralty law and maritime law:  The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) and the Jones Act.

Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) and the Jones Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), or Longshore Act, protect maritime workers who load, unload, repair, fuel, build, and/or refurbish vessels. This usually means workers on docks, piers, wharfs, terminals, harbors and dry dock facilities. It could also include facilities used for loading, unloading, repairing or building vessels. The accident may even occur on a vessel or offshore platform.

The Longshore Act protects workers such as welders, fitters, warehousemen, construction workers, mechanics, stevedores and forklift operators who are exposed to maritime and industrial hazards. The Longshore Act also provides benefits to survivors and dependents if the injury causes the employee’s death.

These claims are handled before the US Department of Labor and differ significantly from the ordinary state compensation claims. 

The Jones Act is a federal statute that protects seamen employed on one ship or a fleet of vessels at least 30 percent of his or her time at work. These vessels might include ships, barges, jack-ups, semisubmersibles, floaters, lift-boats, supply boats, crew boats, tankers or tugs.

Damages under Jones Act law may include:

  • pain and suffering
  • lost wages
  • medical expenses
  • maintenance and cure benefits (benefits that an injured seaman receives from an employer during recovery)

Under the Jones Act, injured seamen can make claims based on the negligence of the owner of the vessel, its operator, fellow employees (crewmembers) or any defect in the equipment on the vessel.  The owner and/or operator is required by law to maintain a seaworthy vessel.  Seamen are given additional legal protection for an injury caused by unseaworthiness pursuant to the General Maritime Law. 

How Can We Help You?

Anderson, Dozier, Blanda & Saltzman can help you determine which laws apply to your case. We also know what steps to take to secure you and your loved one's maximum compensation.

Our legal team has an in-depth understanding of maritime and admiralty law including the Jones Act, the Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act, and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. We have successfully represented a wide range of injured maritime workers including deckhands, tankermen, pilots, engineers, oilers, drilling crew members aboard jack-ups and semisubmersibles, divers and welders on pipeline barges and more.

Whether you are a blue-water seaman, a brown-water seaman or a dock-based worker, we will provide you with financial support for vital medical care – and we can also help you find a physician if needed.

We will handle all aspects of dealing with insurance companies, filing your legal claim and litigating your case from start to finish. You can rest assured that we will be here to help you through the legal process as we work toward obtaining the full value of your claim.