When maritime workers suffer injuries, there are complex laws that determine the workers’ legal rights. In particular, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers maritime workers who work on or near navigable waters. However, there are numerous nuances and exceptions to determining who is covered, and the process itself is extremely difficult. If you are a longshore worker, harbor worker, ship repair worker, ship builder, or similar maritime worker who has been hurt on the job, talk with an experienced attorney who can help you through the legal process.
At Hofmann & Schweitzer, we have an exceptional team handling maritime injuries of all kinds, including claims under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Lawyers from our firm have been representing injured clients throughout New York City’s five boroughs since 1977, and we can help make sure you get the best compensation award available under the law.
What Is the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act?
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act is a federal law that provides compensation for injured workers who work on navigable waters or in adjoining areas used in the loading, unloading, repairing, or building of a vessel. It can also provide payment to surviving family members of workers who are killed on the job. The law applies to most workers whose work takes place on a pier, wharf, dry dock, marine railway, or adjoining location. The LHWCA is similar to the Jones Act, but it is much broader in its coverage of employees.
Who Is Eligible for Compensation Under the LHWCA?
The LHWCA covers a number of different types of employees. While the Jones Act is aimed at seamen, the LHWCA covers any worker in maritime work, meaning that a majority of the employee’s work must involve the water or marine transport. Additionally, to be eligible under this law, the employee must work on, near, or adjacent to navigable waters.
These employees commonly include:
- Ship repairmen
- Ship builders
- Ship breakers
- Harbor construction workers
Additionally, the LHWCA provides coverage for a number of marine military-related occupations and those who work on the outer continental shelf.
This is not a complete list of those covered, though, and it may be possible to obtain compensation for many different maritime work injuries. The experienced attorneys at Hofmann & Schweitzer can help you understand your rights and pursue all compensation available.
Obtaining Compensation Under LHWCA in New York
Claims under the LHWCA are similar to workers’ compensation claims. Injured workers have an opportunity to obtain compensation through the legal system that works much like a standard workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation, however, rarely covers the full extent of medical costs and other damages, and injured workers often look for other means of compensation.
Although injured harbor and longshore workers cannot sue their employees directly, there are other options available. One of the most effective options involves third-party liability claims. In these claims, injured workers bring lawsuits against third parties (not their employers or co-workers) who were in some way responsible for the accident that caused the injuries. If some of the tools being used were defective, a dock itself was faulty, or a third-party vendor acted negligently to cause an accident, the manufacturers or vendors could be held responsible.
It can be possible to obtain a number of different benefits after a maritime work injury under this law, including:
- Temporary total disability
- Temporary partial disability
- Permanent total disability
- Permanent partial disability
- Vocational rehabilitation
Contact Our New York LHWCA Lawyers 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.
Call us right away or fill out the contact form on this page to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney from Hofmann & Schweitzer.