Admiralty Maritime:

Jones Act vs Workers Compensation

Many do not realize the difference between workers’ compensation and Jones Act claims. While they are similar in some aspects, Jones Act settlements can be much greater than workers’ compensation claims. If an injured seaman files a workers’ compensation claim, they can lose their right to pursue a Jones Act claim.

Traditionally, workers compensation laws provide medical care, income benefits and disability payments to employees injured at work. These benefits are usually paid through the company’s Workers Compensation insurance policy. These benefits keep the injured worker financially stable until they can return to work. Workers’ Compensation settlements are relatively small and usually only cover lost wages and medical bills. Some employers either intentionally or accidentally  file a workers’ compensation claim instead of a Jones Act claim.

Compared to workers’ compensation, the Jones Act allows for higher cash settlements. Jones Act settlements can cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of household services and loss of life enjoyment.