People can get hurt in any profession, ranging from customer service to the medical industry. Most workers, including part-time employees, have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that workers’ compensation will protect them if they get hurt on the job.
Although every state has a slightly different approach to workers’ compensation, employees across the country know that they can get medical benefits and disability pay when they have medical bills and require a leave of absence because of a job-related medical issue. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault benefits program that makes it quite easy for people to get benefits, especially if they have professional help.
If workers get hurt at an offshore facility, like an oil rig or a boat, their rights and the overall claims process will be very different. What is different about the protection available for offshore workers?
You have to bring a claim under the Jones Act
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation coverage does not apply in an offshore situation. Instead, workers can receive compensation by bringing a claim against their employer in civil court under the Jones Act. The Jones Act is also known as section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920.
This portion of the law relates specifically to an employee’s right when hurt in a maritime employment scenario. Provided that you can raise a credible claim that your employer violated the law, possibly by failing to meet safety standards, or was negligent, you can pursue a claim under the Jones Act for a full financial cost of your work-related injuries, including lost wages and hospital bills.
Unlike workers’ compensation claims, which only replace a portion of a worker’s wages, Jones Act claims can provide full compensation. Maximizing what you receive in a claim is often very important, as you may otherwise go many months without income. Offshore employment arrangements often leave workers one small mistake away from a severe injury. Someone with limitations because of a broken bone or a spinal injury may not be able to go back to work for quite some time.
Pursuing a claim on your own can be difficult
The process of making a Jones Act claim is so complex that many people give up before they even begin. Your chances of success and of remaining motivated in the pursuit of compensation will improve when you have professional legal representation.
Learning more about your rights and determining whether you make qualify for a Jones Act claim can help you after you suffer an injury related to your offshore employment arrangements.