AN OVERVIEW OF THE LONGSHORE AND HARBOR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ACT
Work on the sea can be difficult and dangerous. Due to the difficult nature of the labor, harbor workers, longshoremen, shipyard workers, and dockworkers may sustain an injury while performing their duties. In the event of an injury, it is important for that individual seek out legal consultation as soon as possible. The maritime attorney will be able to attend to the details of the incident and provide the injured party with their best legal recourse.
In the case of injury, the injured party may be legally entitled to receive benefits for workers compensation. The Longshore And Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) may provide these type of benefits for certain types of maritime workers.
WHO DOES THE LHWCA COVER?
The LHWCA generally covers longshoremen and harbor workers, as well as those who unload, load, repair, build, and work in general construction of vessels. It offers these maritime workers employment injury protection. The term “injury” also includes occupational diseases, such as hearing loss or other illness that might result from the nature of the work that person does. The LHWCA will not cover those working on vessels under a certain tonnage. It also does not cover clerical staff, government workers, or marina workers who are not involved in the expansion or construction of those marinas. Injuries caused by intoxication or intent to harm one’s self will also not be covered under this act.
While the state may provide some workers’ compensation coverage, often the benefits under the LHWCA are more beneficial to the injured party than those offered under the state’s workers’ compensation program. Therefore, it is important for the injured party to seek out legal consultation to determine eligibility for benefits and which program would be more beneficial.
DO YOU MEET THE TESTS?
The injured employee must meet two tests before being eligible for benefits. They must meet a “location” requirement and a “status” requirement to be eligible to be covered under the LHWCA. The location test requires that the employee work on, near, or adjacent to waters covered under the Act. Therefore, persons who work on docks, piers and wharves for at least a portion of their employment duties will most likely pass the “location” test.
The meet the requirements of the “status” test, an employee must be engaged in particular types of duties. The worker must perform “maritime” duties, specified under the Act, for at least part of their work duties.
If an individual qualifies to receive benefits under the LHWCA, one thing they may be entitled to receive is medical care. When applicable, employees may be able to receive disability compensation. Family members of qualifying employees may be entitled to death benefits.
If you or a loved one is a maritime worker who has been injured on-the-job, contact the maritime accident attorneys of Madalon Law today for your free case review. We will answer the questions you have and go over the possible options of your case.
The maritime accident attorneys of Madalon Law are based out of Fort Lauderdale, FL. With convenient locations in multiple states, our attorneys fight for the injured in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.