There are two main regulations that address maritime issues in the United States. They are the Jones Act and the Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). Maritime workers may file claims under both.
The Jones Act requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports must be carried on vessels that are built, owned and operated by U.S. citizens. It was created to maintain the U.S. domestic maritime industry, for security and economic reasons. It allows eligible workers to file a lawsuit against their employer for injuries or death caused by the employer’s negligence.
The LHWCA was created to provide benefits to maritime workers who are injured or become ill when working in a maritime capacity, like longshoremen, harbor workers and shipyard workers. It also provides compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages caused by work-related injuries or illnesses. It may also provide death benefits to families of workers who pass away because of maritime work.
There are several types of claims that can be filed under the Jones Act. Some examples include slip and fall accidents on wet or uneven surfaces, injuries caused by unsafe working conditions and injuries caused by faulty equipment and machinery. Workers may also have a claim for injuries caused by exposure to hazardous materials and from loading or unloading cargo.
Under the LHWCA, workers may have a claim for injuries or illness while working on or near navigable waters. These may include injuries that occur when working on a dock or pier, illnesses caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, or because of accidents involving heavy machinery.