If you have been injured on the job while working in the maritime industry, a tactic of some employers is to offer worker’s compensation, a form of regular payments made to an injured worker, to prevent a legal claim or any kind of court action for the injury.
However, crewmembers are covered by the Jones Act, to the exclusion of worker’s comp, which can prove to be more advantageous to the worker in many situations. The laws of the Jones Act preempt the no-fault Worker’s Compensation Act of any state, and can provide a greater right of recovery than the state’s compensation plan on its own.
How Does The Jones Act Affect Worker’s Compensation?
The differences may not seem obvious at first, but the distinctions between compensation under the Jones Act and standard worker’s compensation can be crucial. Payments received under worker’s compensation are often far less than potential recoveries under the terms of the Jones Act. As opposed to worker’s comp, which can be filed by the employer, Jones Act claims must be filed by the individual maritime worker.
By working with an offshore injury lawyer, you may be able to get more compensation via the Jones Act than what your employer is likely to offer through worker’s compensation, as well as greater flexibility and control by filing the claim yourself.
What Should I Do If I Already Receive Worker’s Compensation?
Even if you’ve already agreed to and are currently receiving worker’s compensation, you may still be protected by the Jones Act if you act in time. States such as Alaska and New York have passed resolutions in their state or federal courts that would help to replace worker’s compensation with compensation under the Jones Act for eligible workers, and you may still be able to receive compensation via the Jones Act even if you already receive worker’s comp in these states.
What Should I Do If I Am Offered Worker’s Compensation After I Am Injured?
Any maritime worker, from fishing boats to oil rigs and everything in between, should contact a Jones Act lawyer right away if they have been offered worker’s compensation. The Jones Act can provide a far greater rate of compensation than worker’s compensation will, and is a much better option for any worker seeking compensation and justice under the Jones Act.
If you need a maritime lawyer for any kind of representation, O’Bryan Law will fight for you. Our combined decades of maritime law experience has led us to handle – and win – hundreds of Jones Act claims, and we’ll fight for your rights no matter where you are. Get your free case consultation today and let us defend your claim in court.