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Seamen who are injured while working on a vessel are entitled to file a lawsuit against their employer if the injury was a result of negligence or unseaworthiness. The Jones Act has provisions to cover financial damages caused by the seaman’s on-the-job injury, including lost wages and lost earning capacity. These wage-related issues are important to injured seaman because if they are not able to work while recovering from injuries, they are unable to earn a living until they are physically and psychologically fit and  to work.


Damages under the Jones Act include lost wages, medical expenses, pain, suffering, disfigurement (if applicable), lost wages, lost earning capacity, and more. The amount of damages will depend upon the severity of the injury and the details surrounding each individual case. It’s important to mention that aside from the initial accident and injury report, you should never sign any paperwork until you have an experienced maritime accident attorney carefully review the documents.

The statute of limitations for the Jones Act is three years from the time of the injury, therefore it is important to act quickly.


The Law Firm of L. Clayton Burgess is skilled in handling individual cases to determine the unique claims presented to them.

If your injury leaves you unable to work, therefore losing your health insurance or retirement benefits, you could seek compensation for their value.

Though it is often hard to assign a value to pain and suffering, a doctor or psychologist’s report of depression, anxiety or posttraumatic stress disorder may help.

The value of Jones Act settlements vary greatly depending on the severity of your injury, the effects it has had on your life and the expected treatment plans it will require. Your family may even recover damages if you are killed while working at sea.


Maritime law also recognizes a workers’ compensation program, known as the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (LHWCA), that provides compensation to workers who are injured while working on navigable waters or on and around adjoining areas of navigable waters, such as loading and unloading cargo from vessels, repairing ships, or working on decks and piers.

The LHWCA covers any worker employed in maritime occupations, including longshore workers, harbor workers, shipbreakers, and ship mechanics.

The basic requirements of LHWCA entail the following:

  • Injured employees are eligible to receive 66 2/3 percent of their weekly wages for as long as they are recovering.
  • Injured employees are eligible for compensation for permanent disabilities and loss of limbs and organs in order to replace loss of earning capacity.
  • In the event of death, widows are entitled to 50% of pay, according to the Secretary of State’s national average.
  • Within 10 dates of the injury or within 10 days from the date that the employer was informed of the injury, a report must be furnished to the director in the district in which the injury took place.

The statute of limitations for LHWCA is one year from the date of the injury. injury. This will help make it clear and known that you are filing for benefits under LHWCA. CALL the Law Firm of L. Clayton Burgess, attorneys with the experience to help you pursue your claim.

The Death on High Seas Act (DOHSA), enacted by Congress in 1920, applies to any maritime accident that happens more than three miles away from the shores of the United States and its territories. It provides recovery damages for the death of a maritime worker if the death was caused by a “wrongful act, neglect or default occurring on the high seas beyond a marine league (3 miles) from the shore of any state.” A DOHSA claim can only be filed on behalf of the deceased person by a spouse, child, dependent relatives, or their representatives.

The amount the surviving family is entitled to is calculated by the compensation that would have been received had the maritime worker not died. In addition, compensation is calculated for care and guidance that the deceased worker’s children will now live without. The amount of the final compensation accounts for the actual amount of the financial contribution the maritime worker would have made to the household, minus a set amount that would have been used on deceased for themselves.

Although the DOHSA doesn’t allow damages for loss of consortium, a surviving spouse can claim compensation for the value of domestic household services that the deceased spouse would have provided.

The statute of limitations for DOHSA is three years from the date of death.


The Louisiana attorneys at the law firm of L. Clayton Burgess will assist you in pursuing a claim to obtain a recovery.  Call today at (337) 234-7573 or toll free (877) 234-7573.