We're Injury Lawyers, with real trial experience.

What Benefits am I Entitled to if I’m Injured on a Job Working on the Water?

Published on Jan 27, 2023 at 10:46 pm in Work Accident.

Here in Cajun Country, we are surrounded by water. Between the Mississippi, Lake Pontchartrain, and the Gulf, many of us make a living on or near the water. If you work on a boat or ship, shipyard, or on the docks and are injured on the job, you may qualify for special federal programs available to maritime and harbor workers.

Are You a Seaman or Longshoreman?

No matter who you work for, you should have been informed of the benefits you are entitled to when you were hired. But if your employer failed to do so, or you have worked incident-free for so many years you have forgotten, you may not know who is responsible for compensating when you are injured. The following is a basic outline of state and federal coverage for injured workers:

  • Jones Act. If you spend a considerable amount of time working as a crewmember or captain on any kind of boat or ship that is afloat, in operation, and capable of moving on navigable waters, you are considered a seaman and are covered under the federal Jones Act. Under the Jones Act, you have the right to sue your employer for negligence if an accident was the employer’s fault. You are also entitled to maintenance and cure benefits, no matter whose fault the accident was.
  • The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. This federal act covers most workers whose job requires them to be on or near the water, but are not considered seamen. As the name suggests, this includes longshoremen, harbor workers, and people who work on docks and in shipyards. This coverage is similar to state workers’ compensation programs, but provides more generous compensation in most cases.
  • Workers’ compensation. If you don’t fall into one of the above categories, you should be covered by Louisiana’s workers’ compensation program. This insurance covers medical expenses and lost wages for workers injured on the job, regardless of whose fault the accident was. Under the program, workers are not able to sue their employers for damages even if an accident was caused by employer negligence.

You should be able to easily determine which program you are covered by, but that doesn’t mean your claim will be as straightforward.

Bianca | Matkins Can Help You Get the Benefits You Deserve

Our attorneys know what it means to put in a hard day’s work and are proud to support workers in getting the benefits they deserve when they have been injured on the job—no matter which state or federal program they are covered by. Call our Baton Rouge office as soon as you can after your work-related injury. We are here to help.

Free Case Review

Call us or fill out the form below to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation where we’ll hear your story and help you understand your legal options, advising you on what steps you can take next. If we can help with the next steps required, we will be happy to do so.

Legal & Firm News

How Much To Expect From a Car Accident Settlement

Life after a serious car accident often looks very different from before. If you were injured in a crash, your ability to work, earn a living, pay your bills, deal with medical expenses, and manage your household may have been severely impacted. Damages associated with auto accidents involve much more than just financial losses, too. […]

Read More

How Are Trucking Accidents Different From Car Accidents?

Some of the busiest interstates in our country run through Baton Rouge, including I-10, I-12, and I-110. There are also U.S. Route 190 and U.S. Route 61 and Louisiana Highway 415 (LA-415), LA-1, LA-427, and more than a dozen others that run through or around our capital city. As you might imagine, with as many […]

Read More

How To Report Nursing Home Abuse in Louisiana

Many families perform extensive research before placing their vulnerable or elderly loved one in a nursing home. That due diligence doesn’t help when a rogue actor, such as an undertrained or overworked caregiver, decides to spontaneously take their frustrations out on your loved one. Nursing home abuse can take on many different forms, and your […]

Read More