The Longshore And Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act FAQ

If you work in the maritime industry but not as vessel captain or crew, there’s a good chance you are covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Navigating the claims process after an injury can be complicated, and time is not always on your side.

Here are some general answers to some common questions clients ask us about the LHWCA. Please call Frischhertz & Impastato to consult a lawyer about your particular situation.

Who is covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?

The LHWCA covers workers who are injured while working on the navigable waters of the United States, as well as areas adjoining the water — including on docks, piers and wharves — where vessels are built, repaired, and loaded and unloaded. Types of workers covered by the act include:

  • Longshoremen
  • Shipbuilders and repairers
  • Harbor construction workers
  • Oil rig and platform workers who are not covered by the Jones Act or traditional workers’ compensation
  • Vessel crew members who do not meet the requirements to be considered a “seaman” under the Jones Act

What damages can I collect?

The LHWCA typically provides compensation for medical care after a workplace injury. If you are unable to return to your past job after your injury, your compensation may also cover vocational rehabilitation, and you may also be eligible for temporary or permanent disability benefits.

How long do I have to file a claim after an injury?

You need to report your injury to your employer within 30 days of when your injury occurred or when you realized you have been injured. You have one year from the date your injury occurred to file a claim with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Program.

Can I lose my job if I file a claim?

It’s against the law for employers to fire employees just because they have filed a workers’ compensation claim. Under the LHWCA, employers cannot retaliate against anyone simply for filing a claim in good faith.

Ask Us Your Other Questions

Contact our experienced maritime attorneys for answers to questions about how the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act applies to your specific situation. Call our New Orleans office at 504-264-9915 or toll free at 866-920-5611, or send us a message online. We offer free initial consultations.

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