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Legal Blog

Port Houston Injuries: The Jones Act Vs. Workers’ Comp

Workers are usually unsure about their options after an on the job injury. This is especially true in Houston’s maritime industry – centered at Port Houston.

Employees that spend a significant amount of time on a vessel are considered seamen. While they work just as hard as land-based employees, they do not qualify for worker’s compensation. In other words, they are not granted funds through the Texas worker’s compensation system.

However, compensation is still available to injured seamen, dock workers, or other maritime workers through The Jones Act. This law allows workers to sue their employer, but only if the employer was at fault.

If you are a seaman who has been injured at work and you are being intimidated by your employer, contact our Houston offshore injury lawyers at (281) 283-8500.

At Krist Law Firm, P.C., we understand how hard it is to work after an injury. You may not know how to handle your medical bills, and supporting your family may become all but impossible. Our team will help you file a lawsuit so you can focus on putting your life back together.

The Differences: Jones Act Claims and Workers’ Comp

Texas worker’s compensation benefits and The Jones Act are similar in many ways. Both provide compensation for employees hurt on the job to help maintain financial stability while they recover.

Land-based employees use worker’s compensation, and The Jones Act exists to benefit seamen. But the differences do not end there.

When an employee files a worker’s compensation claim, fault does not matter. Whether the injury was an accident or employer negligence, the worker will receive worker’s compensation benefits. However, Jones Act benefits are fought for. When a seaman sues their employer, they must prove the employer was somehow negligent.

Employee compensation is also different between workers; comp and The Jones Act. Typically, workers’ compensation benefits include funds for medical bills and disability. Unlike workers’ comp, Jones Act lawsuits can recover damages for lost income or wages that could have been earned if the employee were not missing work.

Other Compensation for Injured Seamen

Under federal maritime law, a seaman is legally allowed to sue the owner of a vessel if they become hurt due to the vessel’s unseaworthiness.

A vessel is unseaworthy if it does not provide a seaman with safe work materials or a safe work environment. Maintenance and cure, a very old part of maritime law, can also be used to obtain compensation. This law requires a maritime employer to provide injured seamen with certain payments. Maintenance includes rent, mortgage, and food. Cure relates to all medical expenses.

Contact our Houston Maritime Injury Lawyers

Under The Jones Act, an injured employee only needs to prove that the injury was caused, in part, by their employer. A skilled maritime injury attorney can prove employer negligence, and fight for all the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one became injured while working at sea or in Port Houston, contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at (281) 283-8500. Our Houston injury lawyers will listen and build a compelling case. With our help, you can obtain the necessary funds to put your mind at ease.

We offer 100% free initial consultations, and there are no costs unless you recover compensation.