If you have been injured as a Longshoreman while working on Ports in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Port Hueneme, Sacramento, San Diego, or Stockton, it’s imperative that you retain an attorney as soon as you can.
You are likely entitled to benefits under federal law, but it’s vital that you act quickly.
In addition, the representation of an attorney can ensure that you receive the maximum amount of benefits to which you are entitled.
If you have been injured as a Longshoreman while working on Ports in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Port Hueneme, Sacramento, San Diego or Stockton, it’s imperative that you retain an attorney as soon as you can.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act is a federal law that provides certain benefits for workers who suffer injuries in accidents on navigable waterways or adjoining docks.
The benefits that you can obtain include coverage for lost income, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation.
In addition, if an employee is involved in a fatal accident, dependents may be entitled to survivor benefits.
The law covers a wide variety of maritime workers, including longshoremen, harbor construction workers, shipbreakers, ship repairers, and shipbuilders.
In order for you to be covered under the Longshore Act, the accident in question must have occurred on a navigable waterway of the United States or an adjoining area, which can include docks, piers, terminals, wharves, and areas used for unloading or loading ships.
This is called situs. You must also have status as a maritime worker
Failing to start your case in a timely manner can result in the loss of benefits you need and deserve after a serious injury.
You need to report your Longshore injury to your employer. You have one year from the injury to file a Longshore claim with the Department of Labor.
If you work as a longshoreman, in the maritime industry, or on the waterfront, you know just how dangerous this type of work can be.
The process of loading and unloading ships and containers involves the use of heavy machinery like cranes, gantry cranes, UTRs, tractors, top picks, side picks, and transtainers.
Working as a linesman can be hard on the shoulders. Lashers who use the rod to unlock the container cones work at heights and risk falling.
All of this machinery can cause serious injuries, Longshoremen, and women, leaving them with long-term medical problems and disabilities.
Some of the more common serious injuries sustained in maritime accidents include the following:
Traumatic brain injuries
Serious soft tissue injuries
Shoulder and Rotator Cuff Injuries
Spinal cord injuries
In the most severe cases, maritime accident victims are unable to return to any type of gainful employment and may need around-the-clock medical care.
For this reason, it’s critical that victims protect their rights and do everything they can to obtain all of the benefits to which they are entitled under the law by retaining a longshoreman injury attorney.
The LHWCA is a no-fault insurance system, which means that injured workers who are covered by the law can obtain benefits regardless of who was at fault for an accident.
You may also have a civil case in addition to the Longshore case, if the injury was caused by someone else other than the stevedore, like an outside truck driver or ship.
Obtaining benefits may be relatively straightforward, it’s important to keep in mind that LHWCA benefits are paid by self-insured employers or for-profit insurance companies, which both have an incentive to pay out as little as possible.
Longshoremen and women are entitled to a doctor of their own choosing and an average weekly wages, insurance companies can engage in tactics that are designed to minimize the amount they payout.
Frequently they will calculate the AWW lower www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/lsrates.htm, or shuffle the Longshoreman to the employer’s favorite doctor.
For this reason, it’s critical that injured victims retain an experienced Longshore attorney to represent them as soon as they are injured or suffer a cumulative trauma injury.
Some of the specific ways that an attorney can protect your rights during the LHWCA claims process include the following:
An attorney will review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a claim under federal and/or state law
Your lawyer will ensure that your claim is filed promptly, accurately, and with supporting materials that will maximize your chances of getting your benefits as quickly as you can
If the Office of Workers Compensation Programs issues an adverse recommendation, your lawyer may appeal the decision to the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ).
If your claim proceeds to a hearing, your lawyer will represent you and present evidence in support of your position that you are entitled to benefits under the law.
As a victim of a maritime accident, it’s important to understand that LHWCA claims are incredibly complicated.
In addition, not all attorneys practice in this area of law, and many personal injury attorneys are unfamiliar with federal workers’ compensation statutes and may never have practiced maritime law.
For these reasons, if you’ve been hurt on the job and think that you have an LHWCA claim, it’s imperative that you retain a longshoreman injury attorney with experience in this highly specialized area of law.
Attorney Daniel Weltin is an experienced injury attorney who is committed to helping injured longshoremen and dock workers obtain federal workers’ compensation benefits.
He has been practicing Longshore law since 2003 and has secured hundreds of settlements on behalf of injured victims.
To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Weltin, call our office today at (510) 319-1904 or send us an email through our online contact form.