Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Offshore Workers in Texas?

Jones Act Apr 23, 2021

Under Texas law, most employers are required to provide workers compensation coverage for most employees. Unfortunately, this does not apply to employees who work offshore. But, there are federal laws that protect offshore workers; and, if you’ve been injured on the job, a Texas offshore accident lawyer can help you seek benefits for your injury.

How Do I Seek Benefits if I Am Not Eligible for Workers Compensation?

In most cases, workers who get injured offshore can seek benefits under the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a federal law that Congress enacted in order to provide benefits to workers who do not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits because they work on the open water.

What Benefits are Available Under the Jones Act?

The Jones Act provides “maintenance and cure” benefits to all eligible offshore workers. These are similar to workers’ compensation benefits in that they are designed to help cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost income. However, maintenance and cure benefits are typically much less than the benefits available through workers’ compensation.

For this reason, the Jones Act affords additional options to injured workers. Under the Jones Act, offshore workers can also file claims for:

  • Jones Act Negligence – If your employer is to blame for your injury (i.e. if it failed to provide adequate safety equipment or paired you with untrained crew members), a Texas offshore accident lawyer may be able to help you file a claim for Jones Act negligence.
  • Unseaworthiness – If you got hurt because of an issue with the vessel you work on, you may have a claim against your employer or the vessel’s owner based on “unseaworthiness.”

By filing a claim for Jones Act negligence or unseaworthiness, you can seek full compensation for the costs of your injury—far more than the benefits available under workers compensation or maintenance and cure. But, you will need to work with an experienced lawyer to make sure you seek the full benefits you deserve.

How Do I File a Jones Act Claim?

In order to file a Jones Act claim, the first thing you need to do is report your injury to your employer. You should do this immediately (if you have not done so already). You should also seek medical treatment promptly, and you should discuss your situation with a Texas offshore accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Can I Be Fired if I File a Jones Act Claim?

Your employer cannot fire you for seeking compensation under the Jones Act. Doing so is considered retaliation, and it is prohibited by law. You can still lose your job if you would have lost it anyway (i.e. if the company downsizes), but the company will need to be able to prove that your firing had nothing to do with your decision to assert your legal rights.

Talk to a Texas Offshore Accident Lawyer for Free

Are you entitled to benefits under the Jones Act? To find out, schedule a free consultation at Willis Law Firm. Call 800-468-4878 or contact us online to speak with a Texas offshore accident lawyer as soon as possible.

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