Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act is a workers’ compensation program in which people who work for companies that operate on docks and along the shoreline are protected and covered by this Federal Statute. Longshore claims are administrated by the United States Department of Labor wherein injured workers are compensated for their injuries through their employer.

It is best to speak to a knowledgeable maritime injury attorney for help with understanding the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

Who Are Longshoremen?

The definition of a Longshoremen is a person employed at a port to load and unload ships. Longshoremen work on a dock or port performing manual labor. A dock could be as broad as a shipyard or another kind of operation that is along a wharf or a waterway. The work must be on or near the shore, and the operations that they are engaged in has to be connected with that industry. If a person works on a dock in a front office, they are not covered by the Longshore Act.

This maritime law works for injury claims on the job because if a longshoreman is injured as a result of their employment, their employer would have to file a report of injury with the Department of Labor. If they are not capable of going back to their regular duties, their employer has to compensate them two-thirds of their average weekly wage and provide medical care.

Types of Recoverable Damages Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

There are no benefits provided to family members of those that apply to the Longshore Act for an injured worker. However, if a longshore worker is killed, there are death benefits available to the next-of-kin, which is usually a spouse and/or children. If no spouse and children are available, benefits move down the line to parents and siblings.

The damages recoverable under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act are two-thirds of the individual’s average weekly wage as long as they are unable to work. Most people usually recover and go back to their regular job duties. There are certain people that can not go back to their regular job but may still be able to work in some capacity. What usually becomes the point of contention is what kind of job and what wages are available to an injured worker who can not return to their regular job duties.

The employer is still liable for any kind of deficit in earning capacity and earnings and their average weekly wage, even if the injured person is able to go back to work in some capacity. Furthermore, the employer almost always is liable for medical benefits related to the injury suffered on the job.

Body Injury Awards

There are two kinds of bodily injury awards available scheduled injury award and whole-body injury award.  Scheduled injuries are those severe injuries to the extremities, including the arm, leg, fingers, and toes. The Department of Labor sets amounts on those injuries. Injuries to the whole body will affect present and future earning capacity and will be subject to dispute.

It is best to speak to a knowledgeable maritime injury attorney to learn about unique aspects of maritime laws and the specific benefits an individual may be eligible to recover under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

How a Maritime Injury Attorney Could Help

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act could be challenging to understand without the help of a knowledgeable maritime injury award. Injured claimants may be eligible for a wide range of damages. Injured individuals should reach out to a skilled maritime injury award to learn more about the type of benefits they may be eligible to recover. Call today to schedule a consultation.

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