Abbott Clay & Reed

Posts Tagged ‘harbor injury’

Do Dockworkers Have Special Laws That Protect Them In the Event Of an Injury?

In Jones Act Law, Legal Representation, LHWCA on July 13, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Dockworkers and Longshoreman do, in fact, have a specific law which is targeted at protecting them financially in the event that they are injured while on the job. There are a number of laws like this that are profession specific. These laws usually relate to those jobs that are more dangerous or more likely to result in the injury of a worker in order to ensure that people still feel protected enough to fulfill those essential services. In the case of dockworkers and longshoremen, it is the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. Usually you will just see this listed as the LHWCA.

This act provides medical benefits as well as covering the cost of rehabilitation for any injury sustained by these workers by on the job. In fact, this act also provides benefits for diseases that they may contract from their work, or that may be made worse by the conditions in which they work. They also will receive compensation for lost wages so that they can continue to support themselves in a proper lifestyle; meeting a basic standard of living. When this law was originally created, it only covered workers who weren’t already covered by a workers’ compensation law in their state. However, it has now been changed to cover all workers who specifically fall under its guidelines.

It is important to understand who is covered under the LHWCA in order to realize who can receive these types of benefits and who would be required to file a more traditional workers’ compensation claim in the event of an injury while at work. Longshoreman, dock workers, harbor workers, anyone directly working on building or repairing ships, and ship breakers are all considered covered under this law. However, those who might work for a harbor in an office situation as an example, are not covered, and would have to file a different type of claim if injured on the job.


If I File a Claim Under the Jones Act, What Paperwork Will I Need?

In Jones Act Law, Legal Representation on May 29, 2009 at 6:00 AM

If you are injured while working on a maritime vessel or for that vessel and are injured even while on land, such as on a dock or in a harbor, you are likely going to be eligible to file a claim under the statues of the Federal Jones Act. The Jones Act is a maritime law or admiralty law which protects maritime workers and seamen. However, there are some important things to remember when it comes time to handling all the paperwork and processing of putting through a Jones act claim.

First of all, let’s cover what you don’t need. What you don’t want to do – ever – is to sign a document that the company puts in front of you immediately after you’ve been injured. In many cases this is what happens, and the company throws paper at their injured worker and before they know it, they may have signed away any rights they had to make a claim under the Jones act. This needs to be avoided at all costs, and is why you should always consult a lawyer who specializes in Maritime Law before you sign anything the company puts in front of you.

What you will need in terms of paperwork is medical records. Your attorney can handle the rest, and sometimes can handle getting copies of your medical records as well, but it is vital that you obtain as detailed copies of all relevant medical information as possible. This means much more than just a doctor’s note, and includes things like X-rays, lab results and the results of any scans or tests which are done that prove the extent of your injuries, as well as the costs being incurred for medical treatments. You are going to need to make sure that your lawyer receives a copy of all of this documentation, and you should also try and keep copies for your own records in case you run into any discrepancies down the road.