Employment as a longshore worker has its challenges. The physical nature of the job can tax the body, and there are hazards and risks inherent with the work. One mishap could lead a longshore worker to suffer a regrettable injury. At least there are legal options for people who suffer an injury on the job.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or LHWCA, provides options for maritime workers who are not at sea. Workers, however, must be aware of the rules associated with filing for workers’ compensation. One rule states that the worker has only 30 days to inform an employer of the injury, but 30 days might not be a lot of time depending on the harm suffered. A person could be in the hospital for most or all of that time. Knowing the rule in advance could lead the worker to ask a representative to notify the employer on his or her behalf.
The employer also has time to act. Within 14 days, the employer could commence voluntary payment actions. The employer also has that 14-day timeframe to file a dispute. As for filing the claim, a worker has one year to submit a claim with the Department of Labor. Again, claim filings are time-sensitive.
The maritime law surrounding the LHWCA has some components that the worker may find favorable. For example, the employee doesn’t have to prove that the employer’s negligence caused the injury. However, if negligence did factor into the injury, a worker might wish to speak with an attorney about filing a lawsuit. Attorneys may also assist with filing for claims on a client’s behalf.
The chances of suffering an injury could be significant for a longshore worker. Knowing how the LHWCA benefits an injured worker might be helpful knowledge.