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When your work injury may not be covered by the Longshore Act

Being injured on the job in a New York shipyard can be devastating, and trying to determine where to look for help while attempting to deal with your injury may be overwhelming. Depending on the nature of your employment, you may qualify for help with medical expenses and other financial hardships through the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. At Tabak, Mellusi & Shisha, we are experienced in identifying the appropriate sources of compensation for shipyard employees.

The Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute explains that even though you are an employee of a maritime company and you work in a shipyard, you do not automatically fall under the scope of the LHWCA. For example, there are many employers who may require you to work onsite, but you would not be considered a longshoreman. These include the following:

  •          Vendors or suppliers
  •          Transporters
  •          Restaurants
  •          Recreational operations
  •          Retail outlets

You would not qualify if you are a master or crew member in the service of a vessel. Also, if you are a secretary or other office worker, you do data processing work, or you are a security officer, your injury would not be eligible for coverage through the LHWCA. In these cases, you are likely to receive compensation through New York’s workers’ compensation law.

Even if you are building a vessel, you may not be covered because of the size or use of the vessel. For example, recreational vessels under 65 feet long do not meet the specifications for longshoring operations. More information about the LHWCA is available on our webpage.

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