Who Is a “Seaman” under the Jones Act?

If you have been injured at work as someone who works on or around the water, you may be wondering what you’ll do if you have to take time off of work. Rather than worrying about financial struggles, you should be able to rest assured that you’ll be protected if you find yourself in this position.

There are different types classifications of maritime workers when it comes to maritime accidents: seamen, and any other kind of maritime worker. This distinction is critical, as seamen will seek benefits under the federally regulated Jones Act and other maritime workers will seek benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).

But how do you know who is a seaman under the Jones Act? We go into further details about which workers are seamen and which employees should file their claims under the LHWCA.

Working on the Navigable Waters

Maritime workers as a whole are the ones who work on or around vessels, boats, shipyards, decks, and harbors. Individuals who work on ships that can operate on navigable waters are going to be classified as seamen.

This goes for any worker who spends at least 30 percent of their workday on or around this particular vessel. If you are a seaman who has been injured at work, you may be able to obtain benefits, including maintenance and cure as well as recovery of your personal injury losses, when you file your Jones Act claim.  

Types of Employees Who Aren’t Considered Seamen

If you work on a shipyard, harbor, or deck or if you are a longshoremen, you will not be classified as a seaman and will therefore need to file a claim through the LHWCA in order to collect the benefits you deserve.

Similar to Louisiana workers compensation benefits, under the LHWCA, you can collect wage replacement benefits and vocational training and have your injury-related medical expenses taken care of by your employer’s insurance provider.

Get in Touch with a New Orleans Jones Act Lawyer

We understand how complicated maritime laws can be. If you are still unsure about what type of worker you are classified as, or if you have no idea how to proceed with your Jones Act or LHWCA claim, speak with a New Orleans Jones Act lawyer at the Law Office of Braud & Gallagher as soon as possible.

You can schedule your no-obligation consultation today by completing the online contact form we have included at the bottom of this page or giving our office a call at 1-800-256-5674.