If you have been injured in your maritime duty, the main question may be whether you should file a workers’ compensation or Jones Act claim. While both programs provide benefits to injured workers on the line of duty, you should not confuse them. We will give you several points to show the difference between the two claims and how the law surrounding them differ.
The Jones Act is regulated by federal laws and provides rights to specific people. It is only the seamen who are injured during the scope of their duty who receive compensation under the Jones Act. You should know that maritime workers don’t have a choice of where to file their claims. It is the law that dictates the direction. On the other side, workers’ compensation is regulated by the state. This means that compensation laws can differ from state to state. In that case, you should hire a maritime injury lawyer to help you know where you belong.
- Proving Fault
The Jones Act claim has a low burden of proof. The only thing that the seaman needs is to prove that their employer was negligent in getting compensation. In addition to that, seamen are eligible for maintenance and cure benefits regardless of who is at fault. On the other hand, you only get a specific portion of compensation under the workers’ compensation law. Furthermore, there is a lot of work involved in proving fault. This makes it hard for most workers to sue their employers.
You are eligible to file a Jones Act claim if you are a seaman who has been injured while the vessel is in navigation. The act covers maritime workers who are onshore but not offshore. Maritime workers are covered by another act known as the Longshore Act. The workers’ compensation law applies when injured at work as a land-based worker. It can be a shipbuilder, a repairer, a restaurant attendant at the docks, and others.
If you are a seaman, you are eligible to file a Jones Act claim. The benefits you can recover from the claim include maintenance and cure, filing a Jones Act negligence suit, and unearned wages. Workers’ compensation deals with benefits such as medical bills, compensation for permanent injuries, wrongful death benefits, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Location of Injury
The ship must have been in navigation when the injury occurred for one to qualify for the Jones Act compensation. On the contrary, regarding workers’ compensation, the injury must be land-based.
- Statute of Limitation
A seaman has to file a claim for up to three years from when the injury happened. After that, they can no longer pursue the benefits. In contrast, many workers’ compensation claims have shorter deadlines, after which victims lose their right to sue for justice.
There is a big difference between the Jones Act and workers’ compensation claims. The Jones Act is regulated federally, while workers’ compensation operates in individual states. However, their primary intent is to protect employees and provide benefits that cater to the injuries they incur at work.