Injured dock and harbor workers can recover lost wages and medical benefits through the Longshoreman & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). The LHWCA, commonly referred to as the “Longshore Act,” is a federal workers’ compensation law, enacted in 1927, that covers most dock workers and maritime workers, including most ship builders, crane operators, forklift operators, and ship repair personnel. Those covered by the LHWCA are entitled to temporary benefits while undergoing medical treatment for on-the-job injuries. Permanent disability is compensated with either a scheduled award for injury to body parts (as enumerated by law) or by two-thirds of the workers’ loss of earning capacity. The LHWCA entitles a worker to compensation for medical bills, temporary or permanent total disability, temporary or permanent partial disability, and rehabilitation.
In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Longshore Act does not supplant state workers’ compensation laws but instead supplements them. Those in California who work on or around docks, piers, and harbors risk themselves every day to serve the public. These workers typically utilize heavy machinery and often work at high altitudes. The risk these brave men and women confront every day makes them more likely than most of us to be seriously injured at work. They commonly suffer brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, back injuries, and repetitive stress injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a work-related accident, get legal help right away from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
The LHWCA application process is complicated. Entering the wrong information or forgetting a deadline may hurt your chance to receive your benefits. A good workers’ compensation lawyer can guide you through the legal process and help you obtain the benefits you deserve. If you’re injured doing any kind of maritime work in California, protect yourself, your health, and your future; don’t hesitate to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney immediately.