Longshore and Harborworkers’ Compensation Act

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Maritime jobs can expose employees to certain risks that may result in an injury or death. Workers’ compensation coverage allows maritime employees to file claims for compensation following an injury. Anyone who has suffered an injury at sea should consult with a maritime attorney for more information about his or her rights. Maritime law firms are able to guide maritime workers through the process of filing claims.

An Overview of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is intended to protect dock workers, longshoremen, port crane operators, shipyard workers and stevedores. Provisions under this act give these workers compensation for medical bills and other financial losses that are directly related to work injuries. Family members who are left behind after a loved one is killed may also be eligible to collect compensation under LHWCA.

LHWCA requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance in the same way as employers that operate companies on land. Employers carry insurance in case a worker is injured, and this insurance pays compensation to employees when they are injured while on the job.

Eligibility for Coverage Under LHWCA

Workers must be maritime employees who cannot be classified as seamen in order to be eligible for LHWCA coverage. Seamen are eligible for compensation under the Jones Act. Maritime attorneys are able to help workers understand the distinction before filing a claim.

Most employees who work at a port are covered, but it is essential for employees to do maritime work in order to be considered eligible. For example, administrative employees who work at a port would not be covered by LHWCA.

Benefits Provided by LHWCA

Maritime workers who are injured on the job may wonder what kind of benefits they could expect to receive when filing a claim. Benefits that are covered under LHWCA include health care costs related to the injury, disability benefits if an injury makes it impossible for an individual to work, and rehabilitation costs. Family members of the deceased may be eligible to collect wrongful death benefits.

Workers who are injured should contact a maritime law firm for guidance. Maritime attorneys are skilled and knowledgeable about coverage afforded to maritime workers under LHWCA. Understanding whether an individual is covered by the Jones Act, LHWCA or other workers’ compensation insurance can be confusing. Attorneys with experience in cases that involve working at sea can help individuals understand their eligibility for benefits following an injury.

Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. We’re on your side. Contact us at (281) 645-5000 or email our team to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

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Featured Case

FELA/Worker Injury

A 15-year machinist for Union Pacific Railroad was injured when a locomotive coupled into his blue flagged locomotive in the diesel shop at Union Pacific’s Houston facility. Although the machinist failed to engage the shop derails and acknowledge the track alarm, the contention was that Union Pacific employee took one minute and forty-four second water break during a walk around prior to the coupling.

During this water break, the machinist blue flagged his locomotive and began working. Burwell Nebout filed suit against Union Pacific Railroad in Harris County. After a two-week trial in the 157th District Court in Harris County, the jury awarded the machinist $566,105. The jury determined that Union Pacific Railroad violated the federal regulation that absolutely prohibits coupling into a blue flagged locomotive.