There are two acts in the U.S. Constitution that protect the rights of Americans who work at sea if they are ever injured at work. These are the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act (LHWCA) and the Jones Act. Many maritime workers do not know one from the other, but it’s important they do. Keep reading to learn the differences between the LHWCA and the Jones Act.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers Act is an act to provide compensation for workers who get an injury or disease while working within passable waters in the United States and adjoining areas. Like the LHWCA, the Jones Act also protects the rights of injured seamen. It allows him or her to file a lawsuit against employers whose negligence caused the injury.
Basically, these two acts differ in terms of coverage. The Jones Act applies to seamen, which means that their employers are ship owners. Contrary to The Jones Act, the LHWCA does not apply to all maritime employees. The LHWCA excludes seamen and any government employees. This applies to employees working at U.S. Maritime seas, among which include:
There are certain criteria one must meet before he or she can take advantage of the benefits of these laws. Because of differences on the beneficiaries of either law, the LHWCA and the Jones Act have no overlap in coverage. Listed below are the inclusion criteria for the LHWCA:
LHWCA also explicitly states that the following are excluded as beneficiaries:
On the other hand, the Jones Act applies to those who fulfill the following conditions:
For the LHWCA, compensation may come from a commercial insurance carrier (if purchased by the employer), or be self-compensated by the employer. These are subject to maximum and minimum rates which depend on the national average weekly wage (NAWW). Employees are also entitled to other medical treatment and rehabilitation if it is needed.
Compensation from the Jones Act may be received in the form of damages if the shipowner, captain, or fellow crew member is proven to be at fault. The compensation does not only include wages, and medical benefits, but also compensation for physical and mental damage brought about by negligence.
Maritime workers in Louisiana will need legal advice if injured at sea in order to protect their claims, especially if they need workers’ compensation. If you or someone you love has been recently involved in a maritime-related injury, it’s best to get experienced maritime law experts to assist you. The Schwartz Law Firm has offices in Baton Rouge and Metairie, and we want nothing more than to serve our hardworking maritime and dock workers. Feel free to call us at 504-837-2263for your initial consultation today.
Schwartz Law Firm was founded by Christopher Schwartz in 1997. After obtaining his MBA and law degrees, Christopher Schwartz served as a Workers Compensation claims adjuster. This experience gave him a view of the system from the inside and inspired him to begin his own practice. Christopher Schwartz has successfully represented many injured employees in Longshore claims, Jones Act claims, and Personal Injury claims. He is a tough negotiator, whose track record includes multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. Chris has also authored a book titled “The Road to Justice”. In his book, Chris outlines how he and his colleagues fight for public safety and what role his clients can play in winning their own personal injury cases. Chris is a native of New Orleans and has practiced law in Louisiana for 14 years. As a result, he understands local laws and feels a special loyalty to local people. He takes every case personally. Chris is available to represent clients anywhere in Louisiana and Maritime clients anywhere in the Gulf South. But he is also qualified to represent Defense Base Act clients anywhere in the world outside the U.S. He also focuses on auto accidents, semi-trailer accidents, 18-wheeler accidents and slip & fall accidents.