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  • Writer's pictureRichard Morgain

What Kind of Worker Are You?

Updated: May 19, 2019

I get calls from workers who are injured on the job all the time. Sometimes it’s easy. A construction worker gets injured in a legitimately unanticipated accident. A line cook gets burned at work. The employer pays compensation and medical benefits, and that’s how the discussion ends.

Sometimes the worker is injured by someone else - someone nearby the workplace, maybe before or after the worker clocks in and out. Those situations can be more complicated, as they were in a case I took from a compensation court all the way to the Louisiana Supreme Court - Sislo v. New Orleans Center for Creative Arts - and the employer has to be forced to pay compensation.

Sometimes it’s a lot more complicated than that, even, especially here in Louisiana. The question of whether someone is an independent contractor or an employee is hard enough at times, but down here by the Gulf of Mexico and on the Mississippi River you may be near the water - at the time or at other times in your job - and that makes things much more confusing.

A maritime worker is often not entitled to benefits under the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act. A maritime worker is often entitled to compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act or the Jones Act and General Maritime Law. The question of what benefits scheme and even what court the benefits can be enforced in is based on the location of the work, type of work, duration of the work, and even whether there is a substantial connection to an identifiable fleet of vessels.

Without an attorney who understands these laws and the benefits they provide, a claimant can lose his rights forever, chasing benefits that he or she simply isn’t entitled to.

I represent Longshoremen and Jones Act seamen individually and I partner with other law firms who may have a Jones Act seaman or Longshoreman as a client. The Morgain Firm is available to help.

Rick Morgain

The Morgain Firm, LLC


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