Injured on foreign articles

So I got a hernia when I was on my last ship. I’m a Washington resident but the company is based out of California. I tried to file for Washington worker’s comp but they rejected me because I’m covered under the Jones Act. But the company says they’ll only pay me $16 a day?

Do I have to file for California disability? Or do I have to get by with $480 a month? That doesn’t even cover half of my rent unfortunately

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Have you talked to the company yet? Very often the amount of money you will actually get paid for shoreside living will be more than the maintenance rate listed on the articles/contract. Ideally, you would speak with the same part of the company that cuts the checks for the medical care.

No, you can’t file for CA L&I claim. It is a Jones Act claim and does not fall under L&I.

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Ya unfortunately I spoke with the claims manager at the company and they said that’s all they pay out

You are entitled to maintenance and cure, probably wages until the end of your contract or cure, and probably other types of damages.

What is your union doing for you?

Most good companies and/or their P&I insurance will voluntarily pay reasonable maintenance, medical, and keep you on the payroll, so that you are not forced to sue. It’s cheaper to pay you than it is to pay lawyers.

If you are working for a bad company, you’ll need a lawyer to present a demand to the company and their P&I insurance. If they don’t start paying, you’ll have to sue.

You need to find a decent maritime personal injury lawyer. It may be difficult because your case is so small.

The important thing is to have your hernia promptly repaired and get back to work.

You’re legally entitled to maintenance, cure, and unearned wages* regardless of fault but it appears that most companies will only pay maintenance and cure automatically and you’ll need to get a lawyer for the owed missed pay.

(*Unearned wages means full pay and benefits including all usual overtime.)

There are multiple Jones Act lawyers that you can choose from. Here’s one in Seattle:

You were on foreign articles? Then you’re entitled to the rest of the pay (probably base pay only) that you would have received for the rest of the articles, and then maintenance and cure until you’re fit for duty again.

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