Injuries Covered By The Jones Act Or Longshore And Harbor Workers' Compensation Act

Working in the maritime industry can be as exciting and rewarding as it may be risky, especially in light of the hazards that maritime workers can face every day they go to work. Given the dangers and risks associated with working in these occupations, special laws have been enacted to protect maritime workers and provide them with financial support if they are hurt on the job.

At Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, our maritime injury lawyers are dedicated to helping injured seamen and other maritime workers pursue compensation and justice. Knowledgeable about maritime laws and skilled at advocating workers' rights, our attorneys can help you determine your best options for financial recovery if you or someone you love has been injured while working in a maritime occupation.

Helping Maritime Workers Navigate The Course To Recovery

Complex and regularly evolving, maritime laws explain when and how injured seamen and maritime workers are able to obtain compensation for the injuries and other losses they incur when working on the docks, boats, other vessels and/or at sea.

Two of the main laws that protect maritime workers include:

  • The Jones Act — Formally referred to as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act protects seamen who are injured or who develop illnesses as a result of the unseaworthiness of a vessel or other forms of negligence. Under the Jones Act, negligent shipowners, as well as negligent captains, crew and others, can be held accountable for the harm that their actions have caused maritime workers.
  • The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) — Covering maritime workers who are not specifically covered by the Jones Act and who don't qualify for benefits under a state workers' compensation program, the LHWCA can be an important safety net providing financial support for those who are injured while working in the maritime industry and who are not classified as "seamen."

One of the challenges of these cases is determining which law applies. Typically, the Jones Act applies only to seamen — in other words, the people who do the work on the ship. It is not always clear cut, as a person who would ordinarily be covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act may be covered by the Jones Act in some situations. Our attorneys will quickly determine the law that applies and move forward with the appropriate action.

At Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, our lawyers are deeply knowledgeable about these and other maritime laws, which makes us highly effective at handling various types of maritime injury claims. Some examples of the cases we regularly oversee include (but are not limited to) those involving claims of:

  • Unseaworthy vessels
  • Failures to train maritime workers and/or provide them with the necessary safety equipment (to minimize their risk of injuries)
  • Failures to maintain vessels and/or perform the necessary inspections or repairs on vessels
  • Failures to warn about risky or dangerous areas on or around a vessel (including on a structure supporting a vessel)
  • Other forms of negligence that contribute to maritime injuries.

Known for providing aggressive advocacy in any legal setting, our attorneys have extensive experience representing various types of injured maritime workers, including (and by no means limited to):

  • Crew members of various types of vessels, including tugboats, fishing vessels, barges, etc.
  • Offshore maritime workers, including oil rig and drill workers
  • Longshoremen
  • Dock workers
  • Divers
  • Tankermen
  • Deckhands
  • Pier, wharf and/or dry dock workers
  • Other off- and onshore maritime workers
  • Families whose loved ones have suffered fatal maritime injuries.

Depending on the details of a given case, financial recoveries for injured maritime workers can include (and may not be limited to) damages for:

  • Lost wages, including future lost earnings
  • Medical care and treatment costs
  • Physical and mental suffering
  • Disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Funeral and burial costs

We Are Here To Help You

Do not hesitate to find out whether your injury case has merit. From our office in Lake Charles, we offer free consultations for personal injury cases. In Louisiana and beyond, call Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, at 337-513-4436 or contact us online today.