Seamen and other maritime workers who are injured or become ill while working on a ship, rig, boat or other maritime vessel are not generally entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits. These workers are typically covered under a federal statute known as the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a federal law that is designed to protect certain categories of workers defined as “seamen” who are injured in the course and scope of their employment. Similar to a state workers’ compensation program, the Jones Act provides an injured seaman with compensation and benefits.
In addition to the Jones Act, there are other laws that provide compensation and benefits, comparable to state workers’ compensation programs, to maritime workers who are not classified as seamen under the Jones Act. For instance, the Longshore Harbor and Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) generally covers maritime employees who are injured while working on a dock, terminal, port, or offshore drilling platform and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) protects certain categories of maritime workers who are injured while working on the Outer Continental Shelf. The Jones Act, the LHWCA, OCSLA and other maritime statutes are complicated and it can be extremely difficult to figure out which laws will apply to your case. An experienced maritime injury law can review the specifics of your accident to determine which laws and legislation are right for your situation.
Jones Act Workers Compensation – Maintenance and Cure Benefits
Under the Jones Act, injured seamen are entitled to receive maintenance and cure benefits from their employers. If you are classified as a seaman under the Jones Act, your employer will have to make cash payments (“maintenance”) to you to cover the costs of living on land in the same manner you lived at sea. Your employer will also have to reimburse you for the costs of reasonable medical care and services (“cure”) that are necessary to help you recover from your work injury or illness.
In many situations the maintenance payments you receive from your company will be very low, sometimes less than $25 per day. We understand this is not enough to live on and our firm may be able to help you obtain an increase in this amount along with a cash advance against any future settlements in your case. Your employer may also try to restrict your medical care by forcing you to seek care from your company’s physician. It is important to know that you do not have to be treated by a company physician – you have the legal right to select your own doctors and specialists. If your employer is restricting your choice of medical providers or refusing to cover reasonable diagnostic tests and medical treatments, our firm will take quick and aggressive action to ensure that you get the care and services that you need.
The Willis Law Firm is Here to Help
Whether your injury claim falls under the Jones Act, the LHWCA or other maritime injury laws, the Willis Law Firm is here to help you get the full compensation and benefits you need to recover from your accident. Call us today at 1-800-468-4878 to schedule a free and confidential case review with an experienced maritime injury lawyer.