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What does the LHWCA Provide?

What does the LHWCA Provide?

The heavy machinery and sophisticated equipment associated with many marine jobs creates risk for injury and in some cases even death. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act aims to provide medical care for workers to help them recover from their injuries and financial compensation to ease the loss of work. The combination of the medical and financial compensation is necessary to ensure workers can recover adequately and maintain financial stability.

The act gives injured workers the right to:

  • Medical care, including doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, surgical and other procedures, and rehabilitation services. The medical care will continue until you are able to work again or maximum medical improvement has been met. Maximum medical improvement occurs when an injured employee recovers fully or further healing does not appear possible. Workers also have the right to choose their own qualified physician.
  • Financial compensation in the in the form of two-thirds of your average weekly wages until you can fully return to work or maximum medical improvement is made. Compensation is subject to the minimum of one half the national average weekly wage and maximum of twice the national average weekly wage.

In some severe cases, a permanent disability or death may occur. When this happens the LHWCA provides avenues for workers’ and their families to receive financial compensation.

It allows for:

  • Compensation for permanent disability whether total or partial. Section 908 of the act provides further information and the payment amounts for each disability.
  • In case of death, spouses can be entitled to 50% of average weekly wages for life or until remarriage. A surviving child may receive an additional 16 and two thirds percent per child up to two children. Other dependents can be eligible for benefits as well and in some cases. Section 909 outlines the details.

 Recovering under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)

The maritime injury attorneys from Doyle LLP can make navigating a LHWCA claim considerably easier for you. After an injury, you have plenty to deal with. You probably will find it highly challenging to comply with all the features of the rules that make recovery possible. Many rules require you to provide time sensitive notices to numerous parties, and if missed, can cause you to lose your deserved benefits.

To begin with here are some steps to take when an injury occurs:

  • Notify your supervisor and employer as soon as possible
  • Seek authorized medical care
  • Secure an accident report to establish facts
  • Provide written notice of your injury or notice of death within 30 days to your employer
  • File a written claim with employer and Office of Worker’s Compensation for compensation within one year of the injury or last payment of compensation, whichever is later. A claim for compensation in the case of death should be filed within one year after it.
  • Seek legal advice

 

The process for filing a claim and securing compensation is much more complicated and involved than listed above. Employers may be reluctant to accept claims and accidents, but it is their requirement if an injury occurs on the job. They should not threaten your job security or compensation for asking for what you deserve. If this happens, we might be able to recover damages much greater than the benefits guaranteed under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.  Due to the complicated nature of recovery from the LHWCA, it is best to involve an experienced maritime attorney such as Doyle LLP. Lawyers with minimal to no experience in maritime law can fail to secure all the compensation available. We encourage you to contact our maritime injury lawyers to walk you through this process, so that you can rest assured you are getting as complete a recovery as possible.

ABSOLUTELY NO COST TO YOU UNLESS WE WIN.

The lawyers at Doyle LLP have vast experience in offshore claims and understand numerous federal maritime laws, such as the Jones Act law, that apply to offshore claims. Our Texas firm works every day to help clients across state lines and international borders in their maritime accident claims. Contact a Longshoreman Lawyer Today!

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