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.
The attorneys of Brill & Rinaldi, The Law Firm regularly represent the legal interests of injured longshoremen and other dockworkers hurt on the job. We understand when workers are hurt, they should be focused on healing and not worried about how to pay for their medical care and make up for lost income.
The Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) administers the provisions of The Act. Benefits are paid for by workers’ compensation insurance companies or by self-insured employers authorized by the OWCP.
The Act has a status test to determine who is eligible to receive benefits under its provisions. The status test examines the nature of the work performed by the employee to see if he or she qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits.
Under The Act, workers must perform some maritime duties to qualify for benefits. The employee’s duties must revolve around nautical duties or otherwise involve maritime transport. Persons who usually qualify for benefits under The Act include:
Workers must also pass the situs test for receiving benefits under The Act. Only workers employed near navigable waters may claim benefits under The Act. Employees working at least part time near docks, shipyards, and piers will usually qualify to receive benefits.
While most of this may seem intuitive, the Department of Labor specifically excludes certain classes of workers from claiming eligibility for benefits under The Act. Employees who are excluded from The Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act include:
Under The Act, employees hurt on the job may be entitled to receive a number of different benefits. In tragic cases of fatalities, surviving family members may also claim certain benefits. Injured workers may receive disability benefits for lost wages, reimbursement for medical bills, and vocational rehabilitation.
In tragic cases of workplace deaths, the families of deceased workers covered under The Act may be entitled to financial benefits. Typically, spouses are the primary claim holders, followed by children or other dependents like parents and siblings who relied on the deceased for financial support.
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