Legal Rights of an Injured Longshoreman

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Workers who work to load and unload ships, especially cargo ships are called Longshoreman. They are also referred to as Harbor Workers. A longshoreman or harbor worker is any maritime employee who works in or around navigable waters, but is not a member of the crew of a vessel.  The job of a Longshoreman can sometimes be dangerous in several ways. The cargo can be heavy at times which can cause an injury to the Longshoreman’s back. If the cargo is stacked too high it could cause the load to shift weight and fall onto the workers. There are several things that can happen to a Longshoreman.

Longshoremen and Harbor Workers Compensation Act

Because of the dangers, Longshoremen are protected by Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or LHWCA. This act entitles the Longshoremen and Harbor workers to receive benefits that is also given to federal workers if they experience an on the job injury or even death.

Longshoremen have different legal rights than Jones Act seamen.  The compensation a Longshoreman may receive is different than what a Jones Act seaman may obtain.  A Longshoreman has an administrative claim against his employer that is filed with the Department of Labor.  A Longshoreman also has a third party case against a vessel owner under the LHWCA.  Sometimes the employer is the vessel owner, so a longshoreman may have a claim against his employer if it is also the owner of the vessel.  Claims by longshoremen against vessels and their owners are called 905b claims because they fall under that part of the LHWCA.

Injury Claims and Liability for Injured Harbor Workers

If a Longshoreman is injured while working on the job he may be eligible to file a claim against the owner of the ship if negligence can be determined. It’s the job of a ship owner to make the ship safe for all those who work for them. If there are dangerous conditions on the ship then it is the responsibility of that ship owner to let each and every Longshoreman know of this danger.

If you are a Longshoreman and you were injured while working aboard a ship you will need to find a lawyer that has experience in Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. If you do not find a lawyer that has the experience in this field you may not receive all the benefits that are due to you.

Do not discuss your case with anyone but your lawyer. You may be giving the company a chance to prepare for your case which may also decrease the amount of money you will receive. You want to make sure that you receive your fair share of the money when you are injured. You should never have to suffer financially because you were injured on the job. If you recover from your injury you can go back to work but until then you need to make sure that your bills are paid including your personal finances that usually get paid with your wages. You also need to make sure that you do not pay for your medical bills out of your own pocket.

Contacting a lawyer is just the first step in recovering from your injury. These claims can take a while so be prepared for a delay. There is a law that protects you from these situations and your lawyer will know all about them and how to handle your case.

More info: For more information about your claim under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensaton Act, contact Doyle Raizner LLP

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