Longshoreman and Harbor Worker’s Compensation

Workers who labor on the docks and work to keep the ocean going cargo moving often work in dangerous conditions. They constantly work around equipment weighing several thousand tons. Likewise, the fitters, stevedores, crane operators, and clerks and checkers constantly work in dangerous conditions. Frequently, workers suffer injuries while working. Often, these injuries can be devastating.

Congress recognized the need for special protection of these workers and created the Longshore and Harborworker’s Compensation Act. Every worker covered under the Act is entitled to benefits for any injury that occurs while the worker is on duty regardless of who caused the injury. It also covers any occupational disease a worker develops from being exposed to harmful chemicals and materials over an extended period of time. It also includes physical conditions and injuries that are caused by repetitive stress injuries.

Most importantly, a Longshoreman who is injured on the job is entitled to be treated by the physician of their choice. A Longshoreman is not required to go see the “company doctor” or a doctor suggested by the insurance company adjuster or case worker. Frequently, we see Longshoremen make this mistake because there is a catch to being seen by the doctor of your choosing. The first doctor a Longshoreman seeks treatment from is the doctor the must treat with until they are returned to work or reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). A Longshoreman can only change their chosen doctor if the employer or insurance company agrees to the change. This is why it is a mistake to go to the “company doctor.” Once the choice is made to see the doctor the employer or insurance company wants a Longshoreman to see, there is no reason for the insurance company to agree to allow the employee to see another doctor, that is not a “company doctor.”

Being Made Whole — Additional Damages:

The benefits under the LHWCA do NOT fully compensate a worker for lost wages. The benefits payable, in addition to medical expenses, are only a portion of the Longshoreman’s average weekly wage. The benefits also do not include any compensation for “human damages’ — disfigurement; loss of enjoyment of life; depression, or; pain and suffering. However, if a the individual or entity responsible for the injury is not the employer, the Longshoreman may be able to recover their “human damages” from the responsible party.

If you or someone you know has been injured while working as a Longshoreman, we may be able to help.

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What is an Injury Accident Plan?

No one likes to think about the unthinkable. It is not pleasant to consider what might happen if you or a family member were involved in an incident and were rendered unconscious or incapacitated. Worse yet, what if you were killed? Unfortunately, the unthinkable happens to someone each day. Disaster can and will strike.

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