Working as a longshoreman can be a very dangerous occupation. There is always the possibility of serious injury when working around so much machinery and heavy cargo. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed while working as a longshoreman, you need a law firm that understands the intricate workings of the Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act.
This law sets up a federal workers compensation program specifically for injured longshoremen. This program was created in the early 1900’s so that there would be consistency in the protection of these injured workers – longshoremen in California would be treated the same as longshoremen in Florida.
In most cases, this program takes the place of any state workers compensation program, because the employers have to be specifically insured for the longshore activities by insurance carriers who specialize in this type of insurance. This program also is the exclusive remedy for an injured longshoreman, as generally, you cannot sue the employer.
There are very specific timelines and procedures to follow when a longshoreman has been injured. If you do not follow these procedures properly, and do not act within the required time frame, you may waive your right to recovery. Notice of the injury must be given to your employer as soon as possible, and they are required to report the injury within 10 days of that notice. If they do not, or if the employer’s insurance company denies or delays your claim, you may need an attorney to help you receive your benefits.
For an injured worker, these benefits include reasonable and necessary medical benefits, such as surgical and hospital treatment. It also includes payment of such things as prescription medications, physical therapy, diagnostic tests, attendant care, prostheses, hearing aids and necessary medical equipment, such as walkers or oxygen concentrators, and the cost of travel for medical treatment.
In the case of permanent injuries, there are calculations based on your average weekly wage to determine what your ongoing payments will be. There is often dispute over how this is calculated, and because this is such an important aspect of your case, you want to be sure it is being properly calculated. An attorney experienced in this field of law can help ensure you are receiving the maximum benefit to which you are entitled.
Insurance companies are not necessarily your friend in these types of cases. They are interested in an early settlement, and may want to try to direct your medical care. Your employer or its insurance company do not have the right to choose your doctor, you do. You should also be advised not to sign away your rights too early in your claim. You may have continuing medical issues for which the insurance company should pay. An attorney who is well versed in these types of cases can help you obtain all the compensation to which you are entitled.
It is important that you understand your rights and responsibilities under the Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation act, and it is in your best interest to retain a law firm that has the experience and dedication in pursuing these types of claims. Brill & Rinaldi, The Law Firm has this experience and can help you proceed with your case. Our free, in-depth consultation will help determine the best course of action to successfully pursue your claim