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A Brief Look at the Difference Between the Jones Act and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

Tugboat Injuries Sep 21, 2020

Contact Our Arkansas Tugboat Injury Lawyer to Find Out How These Laws May Impact Your Claim

Accidents that occur on or near the navigable waters are governed by a unique set of federal laws, and, in some states, special state maritime laws. Maritime workers who perform work on and off vessels near navigable waters may be covered under either the Jones Act or the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). 

The Jones Act and LHWCA are complex federal laws that provide compensation to various maritime workers who are injured from the work they performed aboard a vessel (such as a barge) or in loading, unloading, or repairing a vessel offshore. 

The Jones Act

The Jones Act provides compensation for certain maritime workers.  Specifically, the Jones Act covers crew members, also known as “seamen.”  It is not required for a vessel’s employee to aid in the vessel’s actual navigation to be considered a seaman.  The employee must be doing work on the ship and contribute to the vessel’s function or the accomplishment of the vessel’s mission. 

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)

The LHWCA is a federal law that also provides protection in the form of compensation to employees injured on the job that occur on or near the navigable waters.  This act may provide compensation to workers in the form of payment for medical care, rehabilitation services, and survivor benefits to dependents of injured workers who are killed from their maritime work. 

Workers covered by the LHWCA are traditional maritime workers such as:

  • Longshore workers 
  • Ship-repairers 
  • Harbor construction workers

The injuries sustained by these workers must be on the United States’ navigable waters or in the areas adjoining the waters, which may include areas such as piers, docks, or terminals where workers may load and unload vessels.  

The LHWCA excludes from its coverage crew members of a vessel.

For more information on these maritime laws, see our article on Maritime Law that Protects You.

How Can An Arkansas Tugboat Injury Lawyer Assist You With Your Tugboat Injury? 

An experienced Arkansas tugboat injury lawyer can advise you as to the specific laws that apply to your case, such as the Jones Act or LHWCA, as well as help you obtain the compensation you deserve for the injuries you sustained from an Arkansas tugboat. 

Injured parties may be able to recover for a variety of different damages including, but not limited to: 

  • Medical bills 
  • Lost wages 
  • Cost of rehabilitation 
  • Economic loss  
  • Pain and suffering 

The Willis Law Firm helps workers and their families who suffer from maritime-related injuries.  Do you have questions about maritime law and the remedies available for yourself or a loved one injured from an Arkansas tugboat?  If so, give us a call at 1-800-468-4878 email us through our online webform.

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