Longshoreman Rights

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Longshoreman & Harbor Workers Compensation Act – (LHWCA)

If a dock worker or stevedore is injured while unloading a ship or his injuries occurred on a offshore drilling rig platform, then his compensation may be governed under the Longshoreman & Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA). The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, provides medical benefits, compensation for lost wages and rehabilitation services to longshoremen, harbor workers and other maritime workers who are injured during the course of employment or suffer from diseases caused or worsened by conditions of employment. The Act is a federal law that was enacted to provide for those employees in occupations having a traditional relationship to maritime employment injured while loading or unloading vessels, or those involved in the construction or repair of ships. Any worker who is injured on a pier, dry dock, wharf or shipping terminal may be compensated under the Act. Workers injured near these facilities may also be compensated if their normal occupation involves loading, unloading, building or repairing ships.

If you are a seaman and have been injured on a ship or vessel and your employer is not paying your medical bills, refusing to send you to a medical specialist or not paying you maintenance, then call us for a FREE CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION at 1-800-468-4878.

The act was initially passed by the United States Congress in 1927, and provided coverage to longshore workers working upon navigable waters of the United States in instances in which no state workers compensation law applied. However, in 1984, Congress amended the LHWCA in an attempt to give all longshore and harbor workers the same type of protection. This new amendment allowed coverage to the Act to be dependent upon the location of where the employee was working, and dependant upon whether or not the type of work performed had a traditional relationship to maritime employment.The LHWCA provides the injured worker medical care and income benefits.If an injured longshore worker is unable to work because of his or her injury, then temporary disability benefits are paid monthly. The employee should receive 66 2/3 percent of his or her average weekly wage at the time of the injury.

The Lonshoreman’s Act also allows the injured employee the right to choose his or own treating doctor. The primary function of the Longshore compensation program is to act as a mediator in resolving disputed claims. By means of an informal conference claimants and their employers discuss the issues and voluntarily resolve their disputes. Lacking this informal mechanism for resolving controversies, the parties must request a formal hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.

For purposes of the Act, the term “employee” means:

  • Any longshoreman (or other person engaged in longshoring operations)
  • Harbor-workers
  • Ship repairmen
  • Shipbuilder
  • Ship-breakers

Under the LHWCA, the term “employee” does NOT include:

  • Individuals employed exclusively to perform office clerical, secretarial, security, or data processing work
  • Individuals employed by a club, camp, recreational operation, restaurant, museum, or retail outlet
  • Individuals employed by a marina and who are not engaged in construction, replacement, or expansion of such marina (except for routine maintenance)
  • Individuals who (i) are employed by suppliers, transporters, or vendors, (ii) are temporarily doing business on the premises of an employer described in paragraph (4), and (iii) are not engaged in work normally performed by employees of that employer under this Act
  • Aqua culture workers
  • Individuals employed to build, repair, or dismantle any recreational vessel under sixty-five (65) feet in length
  • A master or member of a crew of any vessel
  • Any person engaged by a master to load or unload or repair any small vessel under eighteen tons net

Notice To All Injured Longshore & Harborworkers

You must file a Longshoreman and Harbor Workers’ accident claim within ONE (1) year from the date of accident or injury by filing a blue form LS-203 with the U. S. Department of Labor. For more information on the Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, contact the U.S. Department of Labor at 1-866-4-USA-DOL or visit their website.

Legal Actions For Longshoremen – Third Party Lawsuits

Longshoremen, harbor workers and ship repairmen generally receive longshoreman and harbor workers’ compensation or state workers’ compensation benefits, but may have a 3rd party cause of action for injuries caused by dangerous conditions on board the vessel or negligence of someone other than their own employer. If you have been seriously injured as a result of the negligence of a third party and would like to speak to a lawyer, then call 1-800-468-4878 for a free confidential consultation.

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