Do Shipping Workers Qualify for Workers’ Comp?

Nearly every state in the United States has workers’ comp laws. This ensures that employees are protected if they get injured on the job. Shipping workers can also get injured while working, and they need to understand the laws to know what their legal options are should they get injured. Talking to a lawyer from an Injured Workers Law Firm can help you understand your legal options better. 

Do shipping and maritime workers qualify for workers’ comp? 

The shipping industry is a major source of employment in the United States. Thus you may be shocked that shipping workers do not qualify for workers’ comp. Shipping workers are excluded from workers’ comp because there are other laws in place to protect them should they get injured while doing their job. 

What is maritime workers’ compensation? 

Maritime workers’ comp falls under federal law instead of state law. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides the benefits, such as compensation, rehab, and medical care to maritime workers who have been injured on the job. The LHWCA requires the employers of maritime workers to provide these benefits to their employees. 

What is The Jones Act? 

One category of maritime workers that is not covered under the LHWCA is seamen. Instead, another federal act is in place that applies to seamen, which is called the Jones Act. Any person who works as a crew member for a significant portion of their job on an underway vessel falls under the category of seamen. Under the Jones Act, seamen who have been injured on the job have the right to sue their employer who caused their injuries due to negligence. 

What is negligence under The Jones Act? 

Some examples of negligence, according to the Jones Act, are: 

  • Inadequate safety training 
  • Providing inadequate medical care 
  • Sailing in dangerous weather conditions that are inadequate for sailing 
  • Hiring crew members that are unqualified for the job 
  • Failing to provide adequate crew supervision 
  • Not supplying proper equipment for the job 

Make sure that you understand your rights. 

Maritime shipping is a dangerous job that comes with a lot of risks. If you have been injured while working in the maritime shipping industry, you need to understand your rights to determine what legal options are available for you. Reach out to an experienced attorney today and seek professional help if you have sustained an injury while working. 


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