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Filing Workers’ Comp or Jones Act Claims


Serious, debilitating injuries can result from maritime accidents due to the nature of the working conditions. If you are suffering from a severe injury or if you have lost a loved one in a maritime accident, your mind may be occupied with the basics of how to file a Workers’ Comp claim, or you may be thinking about Jones Act claims. If you have been injured in any kind of maritime accidents, understand that Jones Act claims and Workers’ Compensation benefits are not the same thing. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may have to make a tough decision since you are only allowed to file one of these. Would it be better to file an injury claim or accept Workers’ Comp?

Jones Act Claims vs. Workers’ Comp Claims

Although Jones Act claims and Workers’ Comp claims have similarities, Jones Act settlements typically are more significant than Workers’ Compensation benefits. When your employer explains how to file a Workers’ Comp claim, he or she may not explain that filing for Workers’ Comp might negate your right to file a Jones Act claim.

Laws vary from state to state, but in general, Workers’ Compensation laws are in place to provide medical treatment, income benefits and disability payments to those injured while performing their workplace duties. Your employer’s insurance policy usually pays the benefits. The purpose of Workers’ Comp is to help you stay afloat until you are able to return to your job. These types of claims typically provide compensation for small settlements, if any at all.

If you have lost a loved in a maritime accident, death benefits under Workers’ Comp will provide weekly payments to the surviving spouse.

Benefits of Jones Act Claims for Injured Maritime Workers

Regarding Jones Act claims, cash settlements are much higher than Workers’ Comp settlements when it can be proven that maritime accidents were a result of negligence or the poor condition of a vessel. A settlement under the Jones Act may cover: 

  • medical expenses;
  • physical and emotional pain and suffering;
  • lost wages;
  • loss of enjoyment of life; and
  • loss of household services.

It is important that you meet with an attorney soon after your accident, especially if you think negligence was involved because the evidence will need to be gathered in order to build a solid case on your behalf.

How a Louisiana Maritime Lawyer Can Help Victims of Maritime Accidents 

In addition to explaining how to file a Workers’ Comp claim, your attorney can thoroughly explain the pros and cons of Workers’ Compensation benefits and Jones Act claims. He or she can also review the facts of your accident for signs that point to negligence. A knowledgeable Louisiana maritime lawyer knows what to look for and can help you obtain maximum compensation for your injury.

Because it can be very difficult to prove negligence, this is not a task you should try to handle on your own, especially while you are trying to recover from your injuries. While you focus on getting well, you can have a lawyer advocate for your rights.

Unsure of How to File a Workers’ Comp Claim? Call the Young Law Firm

The Jones Act law provides you with certain protections your employer may not want you to know about. A Jones Act attorney from The Young Firm in New Orleans, Louisiana, can help you if you have suffered boating accident injuries, an offshore accident or other injuries that fall under the maritime law. Though we are based in Louisiana, we are ready and able to help injured victims throughout the U.S. Order our free Maritime Injury Law guide and/or our guide to what to do when you are injured offshore to learn all about your rights as an injured worker.

When you are ready to get started with your Jones Act injury case, we urge you to contact us today for a FREE case evaluation – call toll-free at 1-866-666-5129.

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