Longshoreman or harbor workers who suffer injuries while under maritime employment may be entitled to benefits, although there are strict rules for claiming benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). According to the Act, an injured worker has only 30 days to give his or her employer notice of the injury; a formal LHWCA claim for benefits must be filed with the Department of Labor within one year from the injury date; and an employer can dispute the claim or begin voluntary payment within 14 days of the accident. If you are considered a longshoreman or a harbor worker and you have suffered injuries on the job, you may be entitled to compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Contact a personal injury attorney today to discuss your legal options.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provides critical workers’ compensation benefits for maritime workers who are not considered seamen. Essentially, the LHWCA fills the gap between state workers’ compensation benefits and benefits under the Jones Act, and is administered by the Department of Labor. Under the LHWCA, the right of an injured worker to receive benefits doesn’t depend on a finding that the employer’s negligence caused the injury, and injured workers who qualify for coverage are entitled to disability benefits.
Under the LHWCA, individuals who suffer injuries that occur during maritime employment on navigable waters in the United States may be eligible for compensation. According to the Act, maritime employment includes the repair of vessels, the loading and unloading of vessels, and the construction of vessels. Navigable waters include places beyond where a boat could float and/or places on land that adjoin water. Types of harbor worker or longshoreman injuries may include injuries occurring on a pier, dry dock, wharf, or terminal.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provides medical and disability benefits, as well as rehabilitation services, to workers who are injured or who become ill on the job. The medical services must relate to the injury or illness, which may include occupational diseases like asbestosis, at the workplace, and the Act also provides wrongful death benefits to the survivors of workers who are killed on the job. The LHWCA also allows an injured worker to sue the person or entity, other than the employer or a co-worker, that the worker believes to be responsible for his or her injuries. If a worker is injured on a vessel, there may be a claim of negligence filed against the vessel and its owner, leading to a Third Party Longshore case.
Maritime workers put themselves at risk of injury, illness and death on a daily basis, and they may be entitled to compensation for their workplace-related injuries and expenses. If you or a loved one falls into the category of a longshoreman or harbor worker, and you have suffered from a serious illness or injury, contact a personal injury attorney immediately. You may have grounds to file a claim for benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, in order to pursue financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other associated expenses. With the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, injured workers can seek fair and timely reimbursement and ensure their legal rights are protected throughout the process.