June 15, 2023

St. Mary Parish Maritime Attorney: A Comprehensive Guide to the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA)

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Understanding the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) is crucial for maritime workers seeking compensation for work-related injuries. As a leading St. Mary Parish Maritime Attorney, Cueria Law Firm LLC is dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of this federal law. This comprehensive guide will cover who qualifies for longshore and harbor workers comp, the claim process, potential denial reasons, and the possibility of filing claims against third parties.

Who Qualifies for Longshore and Harbor Workers Comp?

The LHWCA provides compensation for maritime employees who suffer injuries or occupational diseases while working on navigable waters or adjoining areas. To be eligible, workers must be engaged in maritime occupations such as:

  1. Longshore workers
  2. Harbor workers
  3. Shipbuilders
  4. Ship repairers
  5. Shipbreakers

As a St. Mary Parish Jones Act Attorney, Cueria Law Firm LLC also represents workers covered under the Jones Act. This federal law provides additional compensation and protection for seamen injured on vessels in navigable waters.

LHWCA

Who Doesn’t Qualify for Longshore and Harbor Workers Comp?

Certain maritime workers are not eligible for compensation under the LHWCA, including:

  1. Members of a vessel’s crew (covered under the Jones Act)
  2. Employees engaged in exclusively clerical or office work
  3. Small vessel builders and repairers
  4. Recreational boat repairers
  5. Aquaculture workers
  6. Masters and crewmembers of vessels engaged in interstate or foreign commerce

How to Claim Longshore and Harbor Workers Comp Benefits

To claim benefits under the LHWCA, follow these steps:

  1. Report the injury: Notify your employer immediately after the injury occurs. You must provide written notice within 30 days of the incident.
  2. File a claim: Complete and submit Form LS-203 (Employee’s Claim for Compensation) to the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) within one year of the injury or the last payment of compensation, whichever is later.
  3. Seek medical treatment: Obtain medical care from a physician of your choice. Your employer must authorize necessary medical treatment.
  4. Follow up with the OWCP: Stay in contact with the OWCP and provide any requested documents to ensure timely processing of your claim.

Why Your Longshore and Harbor Workers Comp Could Be Denied

Claims under the LHWCA may be denied for various reasons, including:

  1. Failure to provide timely notice of the injury
  2. Incomplete or inaccurate claim forms
  3. Insufficient medical evidence
  4. Disputes over the extent of the injury or disability
  5. Fraud or misrepresentation

If your claim is denied, consult a St. Mary Parish Maritime Attorney at Cueria Law Firm LLC to discuss your options for appealing the decision.

Can You File a Claim Against a Third Party if You’re Receiving Longshore Benefits?

Yes, LHWCA allows injured workers to file claims against third parties responsible for their injuries, such as vessel owners, operators, or contractors. However, any compensation received from a third-party claim will be offset against the benefits under the LHWCA.

Can You File Suit Under Both the Jones Act and Longshore Act at the Same Time?

While some workers may be eligible for benefits under both the Jones Act and the LHWCA, they cannot file suit or receive compensation under both laws simultaneously. A St. Mary Parish Jones Act Attorney can help determine your eligibility and the best course of action.

List and Description of All LHWCA Amendments

Since its inception, the LHWCA has been amended several times to address various issues and expand coverage. Some notable amendments include:

  1. The Defense Base Act (1941): Extended LHWCA benefits to civilian employees working on military bases outside the United States.
  2. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (1953): Applied LHWCA benefits to workers on offshore oil and gas platforms.
  3. The Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act (1958): Expanded coverage to civilian employees of nonappropriated fund organizations operated by the U.S. military.
  4. Amendments of 1972, 1984, and 2009: These amendments increased compensation rates, expanded coverage, and clarified various aspects of the LHWCA.

For more information on the LHWCA or legal assistance with your claim, reach out to the experienced St. Mary Parish Maritime Attorney at Cueria Law Firm LLC.

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