If you work in a shipyard, you know that the job can be dangerous. Shipyard accidents can affect shipyard workers, dock workers, pipe fitters, and many others who work hard to get the job done in often-unsafe conditions. You may be entitled to receive compensation under federal law, but the process is often difficult to navigate without legal experience.
Make use of our team’s experience. Consult with a Pearland shipyard accident lawyer right away. Your maritime injury claim deserves to be handled the right way and with a concerted effort to win you the compensation you need.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Shipyard accidents typically fall under a certain federal maritime law that acts similarly to other state workers’ compensation systems. Specifically, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) protects dock workers and other shipyard employees who have been injured on the job and even provides benefits to their family members, depending on the facts of a specific case.
Shipyard accidents can be serious or even deadly. The LHWCA provides the following benefits to injured shipyard workers and their loved ones:
- Vocational rehabilitation services
- Medical care and expense coverage
- Disability assistance
- Survivor benefits for dependents
Determining Eligibility for Compensation after a Shipyard Accident
The LHWCA is designed to compensate shipyard employees for their work-related injuries when civil law and workers’ compensation do not apply. A shipyard employee is eligible under this law when they incur an injury while working on or adjacent to navigable waters within the United States. Navigable waters include any body of water that leads to the ocean, as well as coastlines and the ocean itself. Employees working in a shipyard on shore or very near it will likely qualify under the LHWCA.
However, it is important to note that the LHWCA requires injured shipyard workers to provide notice of the injury to their employer within 30 days of when it occurred, and claims must be filed with the U.S. Department of Labor within a year of the accident. An employer is allowed to contest the claim or choose to pay it within 14 days of when the shipyard accident occurred.
Each of these rules has complicated nuances that should be handled by a competent attorney. Maritime laws are different from state workers’ compensation laws and may require the assistance of a Pearland attorney to fully understand in the context of a shipyard accident.
Third-Party Claims for Shipyard Accidents
The LHWCA also allows injured workers to seek compensation through third-party claims when the shipyard accident is caused by someone other than the employer. If that party’s negligence is the reason for the shipyard accident, they can be ordered to pay for all the shipyard workers’ losses. Examples of potentially liable third parties include contractors, another vessel, machinery manufacturers, or many others.
An injured shipyard worker does not have to know who may be responsible for the accident before approaching an attorney. This determination is often complicated, but a knowledgeable Pearland shipyard worker accident attorney may be able to help.
Discuss Your Case with a Shipyard Accident Attorney in Pearland
A shipyard accident may leave you severely injured and dealing with tremendous costs. Medical bills, missed income, rehabilitative costs, and so much more can drain your savings and have a major impact on your life. The emotional suffering you have endured may be compensable, as well.
To start your claim, get in touch with a Pearland shipyard accident lawyer at our firm today.