HomeLibraryMaritime Injury ClaimsComplexities That Arise for Workers Injured Overseas

Complexities That Arise for Workers Injured Overseas


In many cases, if you are an American maritime worker injured overseas while working on a vessel, you can still file a claim for compensation in the United States. In addition to jurisdictional issues, there is a plentitude of important factors in overseas work injury accidents that workers should discuss in greater detail with their attorneys.

Determining Jurisdiction for Overseas Maritime Work Injuries

The first question that often arises when seamen and other maritime workers are injured abroad is which country has jurisdiction over the case. The location where the injury took place does not necessarily determine where the claim is filed. It has more to do with the relationship between the employer and the worker, as well as whether the company falls under United States jurisdiction.

If you’re a seaman, you can still file a Jones Act claim in the U.S., regardless of where the injury took place. For other maritime workers, if you can show that you can’t obtain a fair trial and receive comparable compensation in the foreign country where your accident occurred, the U.S. will often allow you to file here.

If you work for a U.S. company, chances are you can file a claim or suit in the United States. Even workers technically employed by a foreign company may still have an opportunity to file in the U.S. if the company:

  • has continuous contracts with the U.S.;
  • actively came to the U.S. to recruit the worker; or
  • refuses to succumb to a liability suit in the other country.

Proving Lost Wages for Overseas Maritime Jobs

Given the unique nature of overseas maritime jobs, there are a few special factors that workers should take into consideration when calculating lost wages.

When filing your claim, discuss with your lawyer the possibility of claiming compensation for the following:

  • Tax benefits – If you were receiving tax benefits while working overseas, your attorney may argue that you should be compensated for those lost benefits in your settlement claim.
  • Low cost of living – The reduced cost of living in other countries and your subsequent higher standard of living while working overseas can be another factor when looking at the big picture of the complete financial effect your injury had on your life.
  • Fringe benefits – It’s important to list all your fringe benefits as part of your claim to receive adequate compensation. Fringe benefits can include things such as health insurance benefits, retirement plans, and other economic incentives.

Many employers and their insurance companies try to minimize their payouts to injured employees. They may try to purposefully overlook or discredit certain benefits that overseas workers have when tallying workers’ damages. If you feel the insurance company or an employer isn’t handling your case appropriately or fairly, contact a lawyer immediately

What to Do if Injured at Work Overseas

After a work injury at sea, immediately inform your supervisor and obtain medical attention. Then, locate a U.S. maritime attorney for a consultation, and begin collecting information and evidence pertaining to your accident.

For legal counsel regarding maritime injury issues, contact The Young Firm today at 866-715-3664 for a free consultation, and let us determine how we may be able to pursue compensation for you.



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