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Posts Tagged ‘dock accidents’

Am I Covered by the Jones Act as a Dockworker?

In Jones Act Law, Legal Representation on July 2, 2009 at 3:37 PM

Understanding Maritime Law can be complicated at the best of times and, as there are many different types of laws which cover the injuries of those who work in and around the water, it can get extremely cloudy as to which laws cover which workers. Dockworkers are especially unclear as to which laws cover them. It is important to know which laws apply to you. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, but if you know what laws are in place to protect you, you can have a good idea of how best to proceed in the unfortunate event of any of these injuries taking place.

If a dock worker has heard about the Jones Act, they are often going to wonder if they are covered under this law. The Jones Act is a federal law which covers the workers and seamen who are employed by a seagoing vessel. The confusion could come from the fact that this law also applies to those employees even when they are not directly on the ship, such as when they are working on the dock. However, for people who are actually dockworkers, and not just seamen who happen to be working on the dock at the time of their injury, there is a separate law.

The law in place to protect dockworkers in the case of an injury is called the Longshoreman & Harbor Workers Compensation Act, commonly abbreviated as LHWCA. This law covers dock workers and enables them to make a claim in the event that they are injured or contract an illness as a result of their work, and also extends to employees of many off shore oil platforms (except for certain types of those which would instead be covered under the aforementioned Jones Act.) The LHWCA pays out benefits for a worker injured on the job in order to help to pay for his medical care and rehabilitation, as well as helping to make up for lost wages.

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