Maritime, offshore and longshore workers fall into a separate category than land workers. These groups of workers are entitled to different workers' compensation benefits than your typical worker. In order to ensure safe and fair working conditions at sea, on marinas or docks, certain acts have been put into place.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), was created for employees who are not at sea or work on an off shore oil rig, but are still considered a maritime worker.
What is the LHWCA?
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), provides injured longshore workers with benefits and medical assistance. This act is designed to protect land-based maritime workers and their families.
Who is covered under the LHWCA?
Not everyone is covered under this act. The act only covers long shore and harbor workers who work in shipyards, marinas, shipping docs or other marine locations. This can include:
- Construction workers who work on building bridges, piers or other marine structures
- Ship builders, maintenance crews or dock workers
- Longshoremen working in cargo ship terminals
- Civilian workers injured in war zones
If you are covered under this act and you've been injured, it would be beneficial to contact an experienced maritime attorney. They can help identify which benefits you are eligible for and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
What benefits are covered under the LHWCA?
Most workers typically receive:
- Percentage of their weekly wages
- Medical compensation
- Disability benefits
- If necessary, death compensation
It is important to note that the benefits for LHWCA are different from state workers' compensation benefits. In some cases, you are allowed to apply for both LHWCA and workers' compensation benefits. However, you are not allowed to "double dip," or receive benefits from both acts. Typically, LHWCA has slightly better benefits than state workers' compensation.
How to recover benefits under LHWCA
Typically, you will have one year from the time of injury to file a claim under the LHWCA. As soon as you notice an injury, it should be reported to your employer and medically examined. Even if you develop some type of illness that you believe has been caused from unsafe working conditions, this should also be reported.
A maritime lawyer can help you seek compensation from your employer. They will help protect your rights and make sure that you are being fairly compensated for your injury. An attorney can guide you through the process and address any questions or concerns you have.