HomeFAQsMaritime LawDoes admiralty maritime law cover contract maritime workers?

Does admiralty maritime law cover contract maritime workers?

Yes, contract maritime workers are covered under admiralty maritime law and may file a claim for compensation if injured while working aboard a vessel or while performing maritime activities. A Louisiana maritime attorney can help pursue legal action; for some contracted maritime workers, a Jones Act claim may be possible and should be examined with a lawyer.

Contracted Workers vs. Employees

Maritime law refers to the body of laws that deal with issues that arise over navigable waters. This applies to seamen, as well as to non-seamen working on navigable waters.

Seamen are defined as employees who are permanently employed on a vessel. Seamen can include numerous types of workers such as:

  • divers;
  • oil rig workers;
  • employees on barges;
  • cruise ship workers; and
  • fishing boat crew.

This is different from contract workers who are working on the vessel, but are not actual employees of the vessel. A contractor is not considered an employee and he/she may be hired to perform specific tasks on a per voyage basis.

Contract Workers Can Pursue an Admiralty Maritime Law Claim

When contracted workers suffer an injury at sea, they can file an injury claim for compensation for their damages, provided they can show that the other party’s negligence caused their injuries. Effectively demonstrating negligence to the courts often necessitates the aid of a Louisiana maritime attorney because the legislation in this area of the law is complex and rather difficult to navigate.

In order to bring a successful claim to fruition, a contract worker will have to show the courts that:

  • the business against which the claim is filed owed a duty of care (i.e. they were responsible for providing a certain degree of safety);
  • the party failed to uphold its duty, therefore acting negligently; and
  • the negligence caused the worker actual injuries.


Contracted Maritime Workers & the Jones Act

Some contracted workers may argue that they are seamen and should be covered as maritime employees under the Jones Act. If their work is overseen by a supervisor under the employer, or if the worker’s relationship with the employer is such that it is evident that the worker is under the control of the employer, then he/she may be considered a seaman and entitled to pursue a claim under the Jones Act.

If the worker is found to be acting independently of a supervisor onboard and his/her relationship is such that it is evident that the worker is not a standard employee under control of the maritime employer, a Jones Act claim may not be filed. Such issues can be complex and may require the assistance of a Louisiana maritime attorney.

Navigating the Treacherous Waters of Admiralty Maritime Law May Require Assistance from a Louisiana Maritime Attorney

There’s no doubt that claims involving contracted workers can be tricky to prove and difficult to navigate. Admiralty maritime law is complex, and when that’s interlaced with personal injury law, possible OSHA or Coast Guard intervention, even jurisdiction questions, it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.

Contract workers who have been injured while working at sea may need to speak to a Louisiana maritime attorney for answers on how to handle their case. For maritime legal counsel in Louisiana, contact a maritime attorney at The Young Firm. Call 866-703-2590 FREE today for a free, no-obligation consultation regarding admiralty maritime law in regard to contracted workers.

More articles about maritime laws:

have a question?