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Katy Longshore and Harbor Workers Accident Lawyer

If your job involves land-based work supporting maritime industries, you might qualify for protection under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA). This law provides benefits similar to Workers’ Compensation benefits to people in these industries who suffer injuries on the job.

If you are a longshoreman, stevedore, hauler, boat builder, crane operator, or you hold another shore-based job supporting shipping, the LHWCA might apply to you. When you get hurt on the job, you need a well-versed maritime injury attorney to help you get all the benefits you are entitled to receive.

A Katy longshore and harbor workers accident lawyer has the knowledge to provide capable representation to injured workers. Contact us as soon as possible after your injury for help understanding your rights and pursuing your benefits.

Shipyards and Docks are Dangerous Workplaces

Loading and unloading cargo, repairing boat engines, and other work that happens in a shipyard or shipping terminal is physically demanding and mentally taxing. Exposure to the elements, heavy equipment, and many things happening at once increases the risk of accidents.

Longshoremen, stevedores, crane operators, and other dock workers risk severe injury and death every day. Although the companies that employ them have a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace, the job and setting are inherently risky. Some incidents that commonly occur dockside include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls, including falls into the water
  • Releases of toxic substances
  • Fires and explosions, causing burn injuries
  • Tipping or collapsing shipping containers
  • Forklift accidents
  • Crane failure or collapse

Any injury resulting from such an accident entitles the worker to compensation under the LHWCA.

Workers in the maritime industry also face injuries and diseases that might develop after years on the job. Hearing loss is common among these workers. Years of manual labor might cause joint erosion or spinal degeneration. Respiratory diseases from exposure to toxins is possible. Shipyard workers are often exposed to asbestos and other carcinogens. A Katy worker’s attorney could help a worker suffering from such conditions claim LHWCA benefits.

Benefits Under the LHWCA

LHWCA benefits are generous compared to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Both programs provide no-cost medical care to an injured worker but the LHWCA also reimburses incidental expenses the worker incurs while traveling to receive medical treatment.

The LHWCA offers a wage supplement while the employee is medically unable to work. The benefit begins on the date of injury and pays two-thirds of the employee’s wages while they are temporarily disabled. If the injury has a permanent impact, the LHWCA pays permanent partial or total disability benefits.

If an injured worker’s employer subscribes to the Workers’ Compensation program, they might be eligible for benefits under both programs. Because the LHWCA program offers more generous benefits, sometimes employers wrongfully try to deny benefits, asserting the worker is only eligible for Workers’ Compensation. A Katy attorney could advise a worker whether their job qualifies them for LHWCA benefits.

Who Does the LHWCA Cover?

The LHWCA provides benefits for workers who do not qualify as seamen but still work supporting maritime activities. The LHWCA specifically excludes seamen because they receive benefits under the Jones Act. Other workers the LHWCA excludes include administrative staff, aquaculture workers (fish and seaweed farm workers), and workers who construct, repair, and maintain recreational vessels under 65 feet long.

Other people who work on the docks supporting maritime activities likely qualify for LHWCA coverage. However, the program would cover their injuries only if the accident happened near navigable water. To meet the tests for LHWCA coverage, the injury must have occurred while the individual was working on a floating vessel or a shipyard, dock, wharf, terminal, or marina within one mile of navigable water.

Employers sometimes challenge whether a worker’s job qualifies as supporting maritime activities or whether they were near enough to navigable water when the accident occurred to qualify for LHWCA benefits. An experienced Katy attorney could investigate these questions at the outset and candidly advise an injured person on whether they are likely to qualify for benefits under LHWCA.

Seek Compensation for Injuries with a Katy Longshore and Harbor Workers Accident Attorney

Employees in the maritime industry work hard and they do not like being sidelined. However, if a workplace accident left you too injured to work, taking the time to fully recover is essential.

LHWCA benefits make it easier to take the time you need and provide critical support if your injury leaves you with a permanent disability. Contact a Katy longshore and harbor accident lawyer for assistance with your LHWCA claim.

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