What Do I Need to Do to Protect My Longshoreman Rights?
If you are worker who has been injured on an offshore drilling platform, oil rig, port, dock, terminal or other permanent structure, you may be able to collect compensation and benefits under the Longshore Harbor and Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA). The LHWCA is a federal program that provides compensation, medical care and other benefits to certain categories of maritime workers. Similar to state workers’ compensation insurance programs, your right to receive benefits under the longshoreman program is absolute. This means that if you fall within the LHWCA’s protections, you will be entitled to collect longshoreman benefits regardless of who may have been at fault for your injuries.
In order to protect and preserve your longshoreman rights, below are a four important actions that you should immediately take if you are injured while working on the job:
- File Notice of Your Injury or Illness
- Seek Experienced Legal Counsel
- Refuse to Give Any Interviews or Sworn Statements
- Choose Your Own Physician
If you are injured you should file notice of your injury or illness as soon as possible. Under the LHWCA, injured employees are generally required to report an injury or accident to their employer and the federal Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs within 30 days of the accident. While exceptions to the thirty-day deadline exist, the exceptions are limited and it may be difficult to convince a judge that your situation meets the required criteria.
While your employer may promise that the company is going to take care of you, it is important to discuss your situation with a lawyer who has extensive experience handling offshore accidents and LHWCA claims. Attorney David Willis has been helping injured maritime workers and longshoremen for over thirty years. He knows that when workplace accidents arise, it is rare for the company to voluntarily provide injured workers with the compensation, medical care and other services they need to recover from their injuries. Attorney Willis will guide your through the process, protecting your rights and helping you to receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to obtain under the law.
When you are injured in an accident, your employer is likely to ask you to submit to an interview and give a sworn or recorded statement about the incident. You should never agree to provide a statement or be interviewed until you have spoken with your attorney first and decide is an interview is in your best interest.
Employers are smart. Regardless of how severe your injuries may be, your employer is probably going to try to send you to a company doctor so that you can get back on the job. Under the LHWCA you have the right to seek medical care and treatment from a qualified physician of your own choosing. If your employer is pressuring you to see the company doctor, we will step in and make sure that you find a qualified medical specialist who can properly evaluate and treat your injuries.
An Offshore Accident Lawyer at The Willis Law Firm can Help
If you are a longshoreman, harbor worker, ship repairer or other maritime work or who has been injured on a platform, rig, dock, pier or other structure and your employer is refusing to send you to a medical specialist, is not paying for your medical care, or is not providing you with the compensation you are entitled to, call us for a free confidential consultation at 1-800-468-4878. An attorney at the Willis Law Firm will answer your questions and work one-on-one with you to help you collect full benefits under the law.