Maritime Law

What Benefits Am I Entitled to if I Am Injured While Working on the Water?

Benjamin U. Bowden
December 26, 2023

Working on the water is a demanding job with its own set of risks and rewards. As with any employment, specific laws exist to protect workers injured on the job while working on the water.

Whether you are a diver, a deckhand, or another type of maritime worker, it's important to know the rights and benefits you may be entitled to if you are injured on the job. Understanding the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, and Mississippi workers' compensation can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

The Jones Act

You can file a claim under the Jones Act if you are injured while working on the water. The Jones Act is a federal law applying to seamen hurt during employment. Seamen include any employee who works aboard a vessel and contributes to its mission.

To receive benefits under the act, you must be able to prove that your injury was the result of negligence or wrongdoing by your employer.

The Jones Act will provide ‘maintenance and cure’ and damages in the form of lost wages, loss of wage earning capacity, pain and suffering, and mental pain and anguish. Maintenance and cure is a form of wage replacement that potentially covers medical bills, daily allowances for basic living expenses, and additional compensation in cases of long-term disability or permanent injury.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) benefits workers injured on or on land which is adjacent to the water. It covers injuries sustained by employees on navigable waters of the United States or any adjacent land that may be used in maritime activities. The LHWCA applies to nearly all laborers loading and unloading vessels, those who repair ships in US shipyards, and those injured on fixed oil rigs.

The LHWCA covers medical expenses, disability payments, vocational rehabilitation services, and death benefits for eligible maritime workers injured. The amount of benefits available is determined by factors such as wages at the time of injury, physical limitations caused by the injury, and loss of ability to work due to a disability (loss of wage earning capacity).

To be eligible for these benefits under LHWCA, you must show that your injury resulted from your employment on navigable waters or an adjoining area used for maritime activity.

Workers' Compensation

Workers' compensation is an insurance that employers are required to carry to provide benefits for employees injured during their employment. It typically offers the following benefits:

  • Medical costs
  • Temporary disability benefits
  • Permanent disability benefits
  • Death benefits.

Contact Our Gulfport, Mississippi Workplace Accident Lawyers Today

You may be entitled to various benefits and damages if you have been injured while working on the water in Gulfport, Mississippi. The Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, and workers' compensation are all options that could help you get the compensation you deserve.

However, navigating these laws can be challenging. That is where Ben Bowden, Attorney at Law, comes in. Our Mississippi workplace accident lawyers understand maritime law's complexities and are devoted to helping those injured get assistance. Contact us today to schedule a case evaluation.