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A federal law covers workers’ compensation for workers at sea

Workers struggled in Louisiana and other parts of the United States for the right protections to help them do their best work and contribute to the economy. Now, workers’ compensation laws are as secure as the ground under work boots. But what if there is no ground under those boots?

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) exists to offer the protections expected by workers on land to workers on the rivers or sea territory of America. Some of these territories may not be exclusively covered by state regulations, and the federal government’s law covers people on vessels, in shipyards and on waters within a certain distance of the United States’ coast.

Coverage for salary compensation under the LHWCA begins three days after an incident that caused injury in most cases. If a disability caused by a work injury lasts longer than two weeks, disability coverage may begin immediately from the incident. Amounts of compensation may be up to twice the value of an affected worker’s salary.

In addition, all medical expenses shown to be connected to a work injury are covered by the LHWCA. The doctor in charge of a worker’s case may be selected by the worker, assuming that the doctor is authorized to offer services under the law.

Laborers affected by injuries on ships or other areas covered by the LHWCA have the right to make claims for workers’ compensation as well as fight rejected claims. A lawyer is often the best ally for people trying to deal with the consequences of an injury on a waterborne work site.