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Are you covered under the Jones Act or the Longshore Act?

You were hurt on the job, and you need compensation to cover the cost of your injuries, including medical expenses from New York health care providers and lost wages from your absence at work. Workers' compensation does not cover you, but that does not mean you do not qualify for financial assistance. Depending on your duties, you may be eligible for damages under the Jones Act or the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, if you worked on a vessel, you may be a seaman, and you may be covered under the Jones Act. To be a seaman, you must have been working on a vessel that is in navigation. This does not mean that you were actually contributing to the transportation or navigation of the vessel, but you must have been participating in accomplishing the vessel's mission.

The LHWCA covers you if you are a nonmaritime employee. If your injury occurred on or on an adjoining area to navigable U.S. waters, you are probably considered a longshoreman. You could have been employed in the following areas:

  • Piers
  • Docks
  • Terminals
  • Wharves

For example, if your primary duties involved loading and unloading vessels, you are probably covered by the LHWCA. 

If you were drunk or otherwise impaired when your accident happened, it could disqualify you for benefits. Likewise, if you intended to hurt yourself or someone else, you would not be eligible. This information is general in nature. It should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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