Accident and Injury Frequently Asked Questions

Many accident victims are overwhelmed by their injuries, and the thought of a legal case can seem daunting. At Hofmann & Schweitzer, our legal team understands these feelings, and we’ve compiled our thoughts on many common worries here to help you get started finding the answers you need to protect yourself and your family. If you’ve been hurt in a construction, maritime, or railroad accident, browse our FAQs today.

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  • Who isn't covered by the LHWCA?

    longshore & harbor attorneyLike any injury compensation system, the system set up by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act has various eligibility rules. Among these rules are rules limiting who is covered under the act. Today we will talk about what workers do not qualify for coverage under the act.

    A worker is not covered by the LHWCA if they are not engaged in maritime occupation/work.

    However, not all maritime workers are eligible for coverage. Certain workers are outright excluded from coverage by the act. These workers are: state employees, federal employees, employees of foreign governments, vessel crew members, vessel masters and individuals involved in the repairing/unloading/loading of vessels below a certain weight as a result of being engaged to do so by a master.

    Workers Who Are Excluded from the LHWCA

    Also, the act excludes certain workers from LHWCA coverage if they qualify for workers’ comp coverage under the workers' comp system of the applicable state. These workers include: aquaculture employees, workers who dismantle/repair/build recreational vessels under a certain length, retail outlet employees, museum employees, camp employees, restaurant employees, club employees, recreational operation employees, certain marina workers, certain small vessel workers and workers exclusively employed for office clerical/security/secretarial/data-processing work.

    Now, a maritime worker being excluded from LHWCA coverage does not mean the worker has no compensation-seeking options following suffering a workplace injury. They may qualify for state workers' compensation or they may be eligible to take certain other legal actions, like making a Jones Act claim. Experienced attorneys can help injured maritime workers understand what specific compensation-pursuing options they have given their particular job position and other aspects of their particular situation.

    Contact Our Longshore & Harbor Attorneys Today

    If you have been injured, talk with the lawyers at Hofmann & Schweitzer, even if you’re not sure whether you have a claim. We’ll discuss your situation, help you determine whether you have a viable claim, and explain your rights and options. Our legal team has a comprehensive understanding of LHWCA, and we have helped many maritime workers qualify and obtain maximum compensation after a work injury. Some statutes of limitation give injured longshoremen and other marine workers as little as 30 days to file a claim, so it is vital to get started with your case as soon as possible.

    Contact us online or call us directly at 800.362.9329 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney from Hofmann & Schweitzer.

  • How to Tell if Your Vessel is Seaworthy?

    maritime accident attorney NYCAs a seaman, you have the right to expect that the vessel furnished by your employer is safe. In maritime legal terms, seaworthiness is an important aspect of vessel safety.

    How do you know if a vessel is seaworthy?

    It seems simple to say that a vessel should be seaworthy, but how do you know if your vessel is seaworthy? According to established maritime law, you should consider:

    • Whether the vessel is able to make its particular voyage safely. The concept of seaworthiness is very much dependent on the specific facts of the situation. A vessel that is seaworthy in the Gulf of Mexico may not be seaworthy off of the coast of Alaska, for example. Other considerations, such as cargo and the length of the voyage, are also important in determining whether a vessel is seaworthy;

    • Whether the equipment on the vessel was safe and functioning, and

    • Whether the training, skill, and health of the crew members is appropriate for the voyage.

    Your employer has an obligation to provide you with a seaworthy vessel upon which to do your job. In other words, the vessel must be fit for the normal perils of the sea and be reasonably safe. If your employer failed to provide you with a vessel that meets that standard and you've been hurt, then you may be entitled to damages. Contact a New Jersey or New York maritime attorney today for more information.

    Contact Our Top Maritime Attorneys Today

    The New York and New Jersey maritime lawyers of Hofmann & Schweitzer represent seamen who have been hurt on unseaworthy vessels