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The Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation, or LHWCA, was developed in 1927 to provide protection for maritime workers. These legal protections allow injured maritime workers to sue their employer for compensation after an accident results in an injury, total, or permanent disability. The act also allows families to sue their loved one’s employer in the event of wrongful death.

There are numerous injury-causing accidents that can occur on ships, docks, piers, and other areas near the water. You are entitled to coverage and compensation if you were injured while performing maritime work.

Maritime laws are complex and will require an attorney with extensive knowledge specific to this legal area. A mainstream personal injury lawyer does not have the skills or resources to represent maritime cases. There are specific legal acts that provide additional coverage for every type of maritime worker.

Contact Willie D. Powells III today if you or a loved one was injured performing any maritime work. Willie D. Powells III is a seasoned maritime personal injury lawyer and is ready to build a case to get you maximum compensation for your injuries.

What Is The Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?

What Is The Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?

The Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act was developed to protect the legal rights of seamen. The act allows workers who suffer from debilitating injuries at sea to seek compensation from their employer. Generally, the injured worker’s employer and/or their insurance company is required to provide all due financial compensation.

The act provides injured workers with the right to financial compensation for injuries, applicable medical care, and rehabilitation. The act provides surviving qualified relatives with compensation if their loved one suffers from a fatal accident.

The Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act is administered by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP). The act is considered supplemental and does not negate state workers’ compensation laws.

The LHWCA was amended in 1972 to provide additional protections and extend rights to maritime workers on land. The act defines injuries as any illness, occupational diseases, and illnesses that occur as a result of employment.

What Is The Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?

Am I Covered By The Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?

The Longshore Workers’ Compensation Act was developed to provide financial and legal protection for injured and disabled maritime workers.

Coverage Under the LHWCA Includes:

LHWCA applies to workers who are injured on or near navigable waters, including docks and loading areas. The LHWCA also applies to non-maritime workers who are injured while working in these areas.
There are several parties who may be considered exempt from coverage under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

Exemptions for the LHWCA Include:

There are exceptions to these rules. You will need to speak with a Longshore and Harbor Workers’ attorney to discuss whether the act applies to your unique situation.

What is the Difference Between the Jones Act and the LHWCA?

What is the Difference Between the Jones Act and the LHWCA?

Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and the Jones Act were developed to protect the rights of maritime workers. However, each act was created to provide protection for different types of workers.

The Jones Act was developed exclusively for crewmembers on a navigable water vessel.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act was developed to protect workers who work near or on a water vessel but are not crewmembers.

There are numerous other acts that provide additional protection for maritime workers. A maritime lawyer can help you determine which act applies to your injuries and situation.

What Injuries Or Illnesses Are Covered By The Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act applies to any accident that results from negligence on the job. The act covers a wide range of potential accidents and causes. These include accidents caused by poor ship maintenance, machinery/equipment failure, inadequate training, etc.

Injuries Covered Under the LHWCA Include:

  • Falls
  • Fires
  • Gas Explosions
  • Equipment Injuries
  • Catastrophic Injuries
  • Illnesses

Falls from heights are one of the most common fatal on-the-job injuries that occur. In July 2022, a 63-year-old man in South Carolina fell from a platform to the bottom of the ship’s smokestack. The platform faltered and the worker was not wearing OSHA-required safety equipment.

Ships carry chemicals, oil, gasoline, and other dangerous flammable compounds. This creates an ongoing risk of potentially deadly fires and explosions. In August of 2022, an explosion occurred in a boatyard in Massachusetts. The explosion occurred after a gas tank was replaced and unleashed gasoline vapors.

The explosion caused widespread damage and destroyed dozens of nearby boats, vehicles, and other properties. One employee suffered from serious injuries in the accident, including a broken leg, and burns to the face and neck.

Dock workers are at risk of injuries due to the heavy machinery and equipment used in dock loading areas. These incidents may be caused by poor training, lack of OSHA policy adherence, or another form of workplace negligence.

Infectious diseases are a prominent threat to all maritime workers. These illnesses can be spread through peoples, animals, and insects.

Other occupational illnesses may occur many years after their work service. Ship workers who are exposed to asbestos fibers are at risk of developing cancers, including mesothelioma.

Your Rights Under The Longshore And Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

Your Rights Under The Longshore And Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act allows injured workers to seek compensation for on-the-job injuries. The LHWCA allows you to sue your employer for lost wages, medical expenses, and additional damages.

Employers are required to provide financial compensation to injured employees until their condition improves. This compensation includes base pay of 66% of the worker’s weekly wages. Employers have 14 days after the date of the incident to award the worker with due compensation. Failure to meet this deadline increases the amount of the payment due by 10%.

Employers are required to provide vocational rehabilitation and to continue to provide weekly payments until the worker reaches maximum medical improvement. Also known as medical permanency, this term applies to when max recovery is reached, and no further improvement is expected to occur.

The doctor can then assess the severity of your injury and determine whether you may qualify for partial or total disability. Temporary disability applies to cases when a worker’s injury allows them to return to the workplace. There may be accommodations or altered work assignments for these workers. Total permanent disability applies when the injured worker is no longer capable of performing any work.

Injured maritime workers who suffer from a permanent partial and total disability may be entitled to additional compensation under the LHWCA. The specific circumstance surrounding your workplace accident and the severity of the resulting injuries are prominent factors in how much compensation you may be owed.

Your Rights Under The Longshore And Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

Longshore & Harbor Worker Accident Lawyer

A Longshore & Harbor Workers’ accident lawyer can help you navigate the complex processes of maritime personal injury law. Seek medical care immediately and comply with all employer reporting requirements. Do not admit fault or agree to sign any documents without first speaking with your lawyer.

Remember that the insurance company works for your employer and will not provide compensation with your best interest in mind. They will attempt to provide you with as little compensation as possible. An experienced maritime lawyer can help guide you through the process of filing a claim under the LHWCA.

Choose a maritime personal injury lawyer who is known for compassionate and professional services. Willie D. Powells III is Houston’s choice for a maritime personal injury accident lawyer. He is happy to help his clients gather evidence and build a case to prove employer negligence. Willie D. Powells III cares about his clients and is not afraid to fight for them in the courtroom.

Contact Willie D. Powells III today, even if you have already accepted a payout, or if your claim was denied. Willie D. Powells has helped injured clients in Houston and throughout Texas get maximum compensation for their maritime injuries. Call 281-881-2457 or contact Willie D. Powells III online.

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