A Guide to Maritime Workers’ Compensation and Injuries

What is Maritime Law?

According to Cornell University Law School, maritime or admiralty law is “the distinct body of law (both substantive and procedural) governing navigation and shipping.”

Topics associated with this field in legal reference works may include: shipping; navigation; waters; commerce; seamen; towage; wharves, piers, and docks; insurance; maritime liens; canals; and recreation. Piracy, or the hijacking of ships, is also an aspect of admiralty.”

Regular vs. Maritime Workers’ Compensation

Traditional workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that covers land-based employees injured during employment. It typically pays for hospital and medical expenses related to your workplace injury along with disability payments while you are unable to work and rehabilitation.

Longshoremen, deckhands, and other maritime workers who are injured while completing their workplace duties are able to file both for traditional workers’ compensation and benefits under the federal workers’ compensation act known as the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).

State workers’ compensation acts pay less than those covered by maritime workers’ compensation.

What To Expect from a Maritime Compensation Settlement

Injured seamen who qualify for a maritime compensation settlement are entitled to receive damages similar to those found in traditional workers’ compensation claims, including compensation for lost earnings, permanent disability, and medical expenses.

But, since determining seaman status is a complex issue of maritime law, individuals suffering from maritime worker injuries are required to pass a status and situs (location) test to determine their eligibility for benefits under the LHWCA, so they are encouraged to contact a maritime personal injury lawyer regarding potential maritime workers’ compensation claims.