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What is the Difference Between Workers’ Compensation and Jones Act Claims?

February 20, 2019
Cargo-Boat-on-the-Water

Seamen spend a great deal of time on vessels. In the event they sustain an injury while at work, they are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Fortunately, however, seamen may collect compensation for work-related injuries through the Jones Act. Under this law, seamen may sue if their employer was liable for their injury.

If you suffer from an injury while working in the maritime industry, it is in your best interest to consult the Texas personal injury lawyers at Begum Law Group. Call the Law Giant today at (866) 523-4167 to determine whether you can recover compensation via a Jones Act claim. Free case consultations can also be scheduled via our online form.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Differ from the Jones Act?

The Jones Act and workers’ compensation are both designed to compensate employees who sustain injuries while at work. By filing Jones Act and workers’ compensation claims, employees may receive the financial stability they need while they recover from their injuries.

While workers’ compensation awards benefits to injured land-based employees, the Jones Act was enacted to provide benefits for injured seamen. The most significant difference between workers’ compensation and the Jones Act, however, is the role of fault.

When a land-based employee files a workers’ compensation claim, they may be eligible for benefits regardless of whether or not their employer was responsible for their injury. In contrast, when a seaman files a Jones Act claim, they are responsible for proving that their employer was negligent and played a role in their injury.

In addition, the way in which employees are compensated is different under workers’ compensation and the Jones Act. Workers’ compensation benefits provide compensation for medical bills and disability. Jones Act benefits allow seamen to recover compensation for the loss of income or the money that they would’ve earned if they were at work. They can also obtain compensation for past and future medical expenses as well as pain and suffering.

Who Qualifies as an Injured Seamen?

The Jones Act only compensates injured employees who meet the legal definition of seamen. If you are unsure whether you’re legally considered a seaman, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you work on a vessel that is not permanently docked or moored?
  • Do your work responsibilities play a role in the mission or function of a vessel?
  • Do you spend at least 30 percent of your work time on a vessel?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, you likely qualify as a seaman and may be eligible to file a Jones Act claim. A Texas maritime accident lawyer can help you determine whether you meet the legal criteria to be a seaman.

Why You Should Contact a Texas Maritime Accident Lawyer

An injured vessel worker who would like to recover compensation under the Jones Act should reach out to a maritime accident lawyer. An attorney experienced in maritime law can help you determine whether or not you qualify as a seaman.

If you are a seaman, you can gather evidence to prove that your employer was liable for the injuries you incurred. If your lawyer is able to prove employer negligence, then you have the potential to recover far more compensation than if you filed a workers’ compensation claim.

Injured While Working on a Vessel? Contact Begum Law Group

If you are a seaman who was hurt while working on a vessel, contact the Law Giant as soon as possible. At Begum Law Group, we can help determine whether you are eligible for compensation under the Jones Act and guide you through the process of filing a claim. To schedule a free consultation of your case, contact us today at (866) 523-4167.

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