Ship work is challenging and dangerous—even with federal safety regulations in place, workers risk serious injury in their daily job activities. It is important to know that harbor workers can receive compensation if injured during their employment with a United States company, and our firm can help with a claim.
Per the LHWCA, harbor workers include the following:
If you suffered a severe injury while performing duties as a harbor worker, it is your right to seek compensation from your employer to protect your health, your family, and your livelihood. If a loved one died while engaged in shipyard operations, you may also be able to seek a claim. The attorneys at Arnold & Itkin LLP can help you.
Harbor workers involved in the construction, conversion, overhaul, repair, alteration, dry docking, and outfitting of ships require the use and handling of machinery and large equipment.
Any worker has the right to refuse to engage in unsafe practices that he or she believes are in direct violation of the standards, regulations, and requirements established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Further, these employees cannot be discharged, suspended, or otherwise discriminated against for their refusal.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides job-injury and occupational-disease protection to employees who are injured while working on the navigable waters of the United States.
For harbor workers, the act extends to benefits for workplace hazards found in shipyards and boat yards located on navigable waters, which include adjoining shore installations. Adjoining shore installations include:
The act provides for disability compensation and medical care to employees disabled from injuries incurred while performing maritime duties. If the worker's injury results in death, the LHWCA may also provide benefits to the survivors. The LHWCA is similar to many state workers' compensation laws in that it does not require that a worker's employer be found at fault for the worker's injury. However, when dealing with occupational disease benefits, shipyards may claim that the occupational injury was due to work at a previous shipyard. Nevertheless, under the "last maritime employer rule" within the LHWCA, the last employer is responsible for covering the compensation.
Financial compensation benefits provided under the LHWCA may include:
Medical and disability payments;
Wrongful death benefits for survivors of maritime workers;
Medical benefits for occupational diseases that arise naturally out of maritime employment; and
Employees may also be eligible for vocational rehabilitation.
Due to the complexities and challenges presented with maritime law, you should not delay when initiating a claim for benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. An injured harbor employee must notify their employer of the injury within 30 days of its occurrence, and a formal claim for benefits must be filed within one year. If you do not follow these requirements you could risk losing your benefits altogether.
Contact a maritime injury attorney at our law office today to discuss your rights as a harbor worker.
Arnold & Itkin represented nearly a third of the crewmembers injured in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Because maritime law is so complex and so complicated, it is crucial that you work with an attorney who has an in-depth understanding of how it works and who has proven themselves in similar cases before.