Maritime & Admiralty Law
Maritime workers are not covered by the Alabama Workmanâ€™s Compensation Act. Rather injured maritime employees fall under one of two programs: The Merchant Marine Act (commonly referred to as the Jones Act) and Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), both federally mandated programs that apply specifically to the maritime industry.
In a Jones Act claim, it is the responsibility of ship owners to provide reasonable care for passengers and crew injured aboard ships, and to assume liability for in-transit damage to cargo. Examples of suits taken before admiralty courts include those for damaged cargo reimbursements, damage awards for injured seaman, awards for ship collisions, damages for maritime pollution, and salvage claims.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides employment-injury and occupational-disease protection to approximately 500,000 workers who are injured or contract occupational diseases occurring on the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas, and for certain other classes of workers covered by extensions of this Act.
These benefits are paid directly by an authorized self-insured employer; or through an authorized insurance carrier; or, in particular circumstances, by a special fund administered directly by the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs within the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).