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October 27th, 2011

Am I Eligible for LHWCA Compensation If the Injury Was My Fault?

A certain class of maritime workers qualifies for injury compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. These workers include shipyard and ship building workers, longshoremen, dockworkers, port crane operators, and stevedores.

When these workers are injured, they are automatically eligible for compensation under the Act, even if their injuries have been the result of their own negligence. Further, a shipyard worker or crane operator who is injured, has the right to Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act benefits, and does not need to prove the negligence of the employer in order to collect benefits. This is in contrast to several Jones Act benefits that may only be available to persons who can prove the negligence of their employer.

In this manner, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act works very similarly to state Workers’ Compensation laws. Workers Compensation laws do not require workers to prove the negligence of the employer in order to collect benefits. The only criterion to be eligible for LHWCA benefits is that you qualify as a maritime employee covered by the Act.

Not everybody who works in a port may be covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. For instance, port clerical workers may not qualify as maritime workers under the LHWCA, and may not be eligible for benefits when they are injured. Similarly, federal government employees, who work in a port, may not be covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Besides, maritime workers, who are also Jones Act seamen, may not qualify.

The maritime law attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent longshoremen, crane operators, stevedores, shipyard and ship building workers and other workers covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

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