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Differences Between Jones Act and Workers' Compensation Claims


Posted On behalf of Simien & Simien on Jul 07, 2017 in Maritime

blank work injury formBoth the Jones Act and workers' compensation provide compensation to employees who suffer injuries on the job, but that is where most of the similarities end.

The main differences between these types of claims are explained below, including the types of benefits they provide and who can file each type of claim.

If you were injured at work and want to file either one of these claims, contact our Louisiana Jones Act lawyers or one of our Louisiana workers' compensation attorneys.    

Eligible Workers

The main difference between these two types of claims is the types of employees covered.

The workers' compensation system applies to injured employees who do more than 70 percent of their work on land. The Jones Act applies to workers who do at least 30 percent of their work on seafaring vessels, such as:

  • Fishing ships
  • Cruise ships
  • Barges
  • Towboats
  • OIl rigs
  • Drill ships
  • Recreational boats
  • Floating cranes
  • Tankers
  • Dredges

Proving Fault

In a Louisiana workers' compensation claim you can obtain compensation regardless of whether your employer or a coworker was at fault for your injury. You simply need to show that you suffered an injury in the natural course of your employment.

However, if you want to obtain compensation for a Jones Act claim, you must prove the negligence of your employer or a coworker played a role in your injury.

There are various examples of negligence, including poor maintenance of equipment, failure to properly train crew members, and failure to clean the deck to prevent slip and fall injuries.

Benefits Available

Workers' compensation pays your medical bills and provides disability benefits for as long as you are disabled or as long as your disability affects your earning capacity.

Jones Act claims also provide compensation for medical expenses related to treatment of your injury. However, the Jones Act allows injured workers to file lawsuits to obtain additional compensation, including for wages lost as a result of the injury along with pain and suffering, loss of quality of life and impairment. Workers' compensation does not allow injured workers to file lawsuits to obtain additional compensation.

Eligible employees can also sue under the federal maritime doctrine of seaworthiness to obtain compensation for rent, mortgage and food. In order to be successful, the employee must prove he or she was injured because the vessel was not seaworthy.

The statute of limitations for these lawsuits is three years from the date of the incident, as stated in the Federal Employees Liability Act.

Get Legal Help with Your Claim

On-the-job injuries can have a devastating effect on your ability to make a living for yourself and your family. That is why systems have been set up to provide compensation for injured employees.

The experienced Louisiana personal injury lawyers at Simien & Simien understand how difficult it can be to manage these types of claims while you are dealing with an injury. We can help you file a claim and pursue all of the compensation you deserve so you can focus on your recovery.  

We take cases on a contingency basis, which means your initial consultation is free and we do not charge legal fees unless you receive compensation.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today to find out if we can help you.