If you work in a maritime profession, then you’ve likely heard of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). It’s a federal law that protects those working on the United States’ navigable waters in case they are seriously injured or die while building, repairing, unloading or loading vessels.
Benefits a worker may receive under the LHWCA are generally provided through their employer’s own insurance policy. They’re intended to cover an injured employee’s vocational rehabilitation and medical care. Occupational diseases, such as hearing loss, are considered to be injuries according to how LHWCA is written. LHWCA benefits can also be extended to the survivors of those who die on the job after being hurt or becoming ill.
To be eligible to receive injury or death benefits under LHWCA, you must be able to prove that you were employed in a standard maritime job at the time the incident occurred. Acceptable roles that these individuals may have been employed in include harbor construction, longshore work, shipbuilding, ship-breaking or ship-repairing. All covered injuries must have occurred on U.S. docks, wharves, vessels, docks or terminals.
Those excluded from receiving benefits under LHWCA include most seamen, any employee that willfully caused his or her injury or anyone that was intoxicated at the time the incident occurred. U.S. government employees and those working for any foreign government are also ineligible to file a LHWCA claim.
If you’ve suffered serious injuries while working in a maritime profession, then a Louisiana Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act attorney can advise you of your rights to file a claim in your case.
Source: United States Department of Labor, “Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC),” accessed May 18, 2018