No maritime vessel can operate without help from a dependable on-shore crew responsible for regular maintenance and repair, loading and unloading cargo, and various other tasks that must be complete each time a ship comes into port. Just like workers onboard those ships, the people working around them in harbors and on docks are at risk of serious injury from any number of potentially dangerous conditions they may face during an average working day.
If your job as a longshore or harbor worker directly led to you sustaining a serious injury, a maritime injury attorney could help you take full advantage of your options for pursuing financial recovery. With a Pearland longshore and harbor worker accident lawyer’s guidance, you could improve your chances of obtaining the compensation you need without being impeded by any procedural or legal roadblocks.
What Benefits Are Available to Injured Longshoremen?
Just as the Jones Act provides what effectively amounts to workers’ compensation coverage to maritime workers whose job duties occur mainly out at sea and/or in navigable waters, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers maritime workers who work near bodies of water but not directly on ships. Similar to traditional workers’ comp, a successful LHWCA claim allows a longshore or harbor worker injured on the job to seek compensation for all medical treatment necessary to achieve maximum medical improvement, as well as reimbursement for related expenses like tolls and parking fees.
Importantly, the LHWCA also provides temporary total disability benefits for injuries that temporarily prevent you from returning to work, which are equal to two-thirds of your average wage per week prior to getting hurt. Long-term benefits for permanent partial or permanent total disabilities are also available to injured longshoremen and harbor workers in Pearland.
Finally, if an injury results in a longshore or harbor worker’s premature death, their surviving family members may seek compensation for funeral expenses and certain other death benefits in their loved one’s name under the LHWCA. A local attorney could provide clarification about what benefits may be available in your situation during a private consultation.
Determining Eligibility for LHWCA Benefits
There are two tests used to determine whether someone who works in a harbor, marina, or dock environment qualifies as a “maritime” worker for the purposes of coverage under the LHWCA.
The first is the status test, which examines whether your job duties qualify you for LHWCA coverage. People who primarily perform administrative or office work related to a maritime industry are not covered by the LHWCA, nor are workers who are responsible for repairing and maintaining recreational vessels, aquaculture workers, or shipbuilders contracted to build recreational vessels less than 65 feet in length.
The second is the situs test, which examines whether you were hurt while working on or adjacent to navigable waters. What constitutes “adjacent to navigable waters” for an LHWCA claim is often a subjective matter, making representation from a skilled Pearland lawyer especially crucial for the success of injured longshore and harbor workers who were harmed in accidents not immediately next to bodies of water.
Talk to a Pearland Longshore and Harbor Worker Accident Attorney
Depending on your exact job title and the duties you perform while working in a harbor or marina, you may have different options for financial recovery after a workplace accident than other maritime workers would have. Making sense of the rules that apply in your unique situation and taking advantage of them can be challenging without guidance from a seasoned legal professional.
You could get the support you may need to obtain the restitution you deserve by contacting a Pearland longshore and harbor worker accident lawyer. Call today to schedule a meeting.