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Claiming compensation as an injured longshore worker

The vast majority of workers in the United States are protected against financial damages when they are injured in the workplace. However, those who are not covered by standardized workers' compensation laws include longshore and harbor workers. This is because maritime workers are subject to different laws than those which apply to workers on land.

To rectify the fact that longshore and labor workers would otherwise be ineligible for workers' compensation if they are injured, a federal law was put in place called the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA). If you have been injured in your workplace as a longshore or harbor worker, it's likely that you'll depend on this law to get the compensation that you deserve. The following is an overview of the basics of this law.

What is the LHWCA?

The LHWCA provides for the payment of compensation, medical care and rehabilitation for workers who have become injured during their work on water. If a worker dies as a result of their injuries, the law provides for survivor benefits paid out to dependents.

What is included in the definition of injury under the LHWCA?

An injury, in addition to physical bodily damages, includes occupational diseases, illnesses that have clearly arisen from the employment conditions and hearing loss.

How do I know if I'm covered under the LHWCA?

Employers who work in traditional maritime occupations, for example, longshore workers, shipbuilders, ship-repair workers and harbor construction workers, are eligible to claim under the LHWCA. However, to be successful in making a claim, their injury must have occurred on waters in the United States. This could include docks, piers or wharves, and areas on land that are used for loading and unloading vessels.

Who is not covered under the LHWCA?

Seamen, most specifically, are not covered under the LHWCA. In addition, employees who suffered an injury due to intoxication or through intention are not eligible to claim for damages. Employees of any government are also not covered by the LHWCA.

If you believe that you are eligible to make a claim for damages under the LHWCA, make sure that you take action in good time so that you can get the damages and the services that you deserve.

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