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Maritime law: Longshore Act Q and A

Louisiana residents who work out at sea run the risk of experiencing work-related injuries. There is no denying that these individuals work in dangerous environments. Those who do suffer injuries while on the job may be able to access workers' compensation benefits just like most everyone else; however, maritime law is a little different, and the workers' compensation for injuries suffered at sea are covered by the Longshore Act rather than traditional workers' comp laws. This week's column will answer some common questions people may have about the Longshore Act.

Question number one for the week is: Who can utilize workers' comp benefits through the Longshore Act? Basically, anyone who works offshore in a traditional maritime occupation can file claims. This includes oil rig workers, ship builders, ship workers and harbor construction employees -- among various others.

Question number two for the week is: What does the Longshore Act cover? An injured worker may receive funds to cover medical care, income loss rehabilitation and -- if applicable -- disability benefits. If an employee dies due to a workplace accident, surviving family members may apply for workers' comp death benefits.

Finally, question number three for the week is: Who is not eligible to receive benefits under the Longshore Act? Those ineligible include seaman, government employees, those injured while intoxicated and those deemed responsible for their own injuries -- among others. The Jones Act is in place to cover certain workers not covered by the Longshore Act.

Maritime law can be a confusing thing. When hurt on the job, the last thing anyone wants is to get the run-around regarding compensation. An experienced attorney can help Louisiana-based offshore workers take the right steps to fight for fair and full compensation for their losses.

Source: dol.gov, "Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act Frequently Asked Questions", Accessed on May 30, 2018

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