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Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA)

According to the United States Department of Labor, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides work-related injury and occupational-disease protection to approximately 500,000 workers who are hurt or fall ill while working on the navigable waters of the United States.


"The Act provides for compensation and medical care to employees disabled from injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas used in loading, unloading, repairing, or building certain vessels. The Act also provides benefits to specific survivors and dependents if the injury causes the employee's death."

If you suffered a maritime injury or illness, it is your right to seek compensation from your employer to protect your health, family, and livelihood. If a loved one died while in a marine position, you may also be able to seek a claim. The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act provides certain benefits for injured maritime workers.


The maritime attorneys at Arnold & Itkin LLP are experienced and have a successful track record with marine-related cases. We represent longshoremen and harbor workers all along the Gulf Coast in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, as well as throughout the United States, and we will work to get you the compensation you deserve. By talking to a maritime injury attorney at our firm during a free consultation, you can learn more about your legal rights and how we can help you seek the compensation you deserve after a serious accident or injury.

Workers covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act include longshore workers or other persons in longshore operations, and other harbor workers, including ship repairers, shipbuilders, harbor construction workers, and shipbreakers. Seamen covered under the Jones Act and other workers covered by their state workers' compensation law are not covered under the LHWCA.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, similar to many state workers' compensation laws, does not require that a worker's employer be found at fault for the worker's injury.


The LHWCA allows individuals who have suffered a disabling injury on the water, or in an area used for loading, unloading, repairing, or building certain vessels, to recover compensation. If you or someone you love has suffered a debilitating injury on a vessel, oil platform, or in a shipyard, it is your right to seek benefits from your employer.

The following are some of the benefits that should be provided by your employer under the LHWCA:

  • Medical payments for occupational diseases that arise naturally out of a person's maritime employment, such as due to long-term chemical exposure;
  • Medical and disability expenses;
  • Rehabilitation services;
  • Vocational rehabilitation;
  • And wrongful death benefits for the survivors of maritime workers who are fatally injured in a work-related incident.

If your employer is refusing any of these deserved benefits, it is strongly advised that you speak with an offshore injury attorney as soon as possible. Your benefits should include a pay rate of 66.66% of your average weekly wage for as long as the injury continues, a rate that is subject to minimums and maximums.

Wrongful Death Benefits Under the LHWCA

Additionally, wrongful death benefits for a surviving spouse are at 50% of the weekly wage, and 16.66% for surviving children. As with most workers' compensation benefits, the injury must be reported to the employer within 30 days of the accident. Within a year, a formal claim for the benefits must be filed. To learn more about the Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, please contact an offshore injury lawyer at Arnold & Itkin LLP.


Time is of the essence when initiating a claim for benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. An injured employee must notify his or her employer of the injury or illness within 30 days of its occurrence, and a formal claim for benefits must be filed within one year of the date of the harm the worker has suffered.

Our team is aggressive, experienced and ready to fight for you. If you or a loved one has been injured and you believe that you may have the right to benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, an attorney at our firm can review the matter to determine exactly how we can assist you.

Have you or a loved one been injured? Contact a maritime injury lawyer at our firm today!

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