When you get hurt on the job, you can usually seek out workers’ compensation. Some fields, including the maritime industry, do not handle worker injuries in the same way though. You may have to file through the Jones Act or the Longshore Harbor and Workers’ Compensation Act, also known as LHWCA, instead. A Snohomish County maritime injury lawyer from our firm can help you figure out your next steps.

What Does the LHWCA Do?

The LHWCA is meant to provide temporary benefits for workers in the maritime industry who get injured. Generally, it applies to workers who work on the water and any adjoining areas. This can include docks, shipyards, and piers.

If you get hurt and make a successful claim, you can receive two-thirds of your wages and additional compensation that helps make up for your medical expenses. Like the workers’ compensation system, an employee who has been injured is evaluated after they file a claim through the LHWCA and put into one of four categories:

Temporary total disability: This means that the person making the claim is completely unable to work, but they will be able to return to the job after some recovery time.

Temporary partial: The worker may be able to handle some aspects of the job right now and they will eventually be back to their full capabilities.

Permanent total: This worker is never going to be able to return to the job.

Permanent partial: The person who made the claim is permanently disabled in some way that makes it impossible to handle some parts of their job.

The amount of benefits paid out depends on the severity of someone’s injuries and the ability of a claimant to return to work. The LHWCA can also provide for vocational rehabilitation in some cases, allowing workers to transition into another occupation if they can no longer do their previous job.

Why is the LHWCA Needed?

The LHWCA is a necessity because the maritime industry can be a dangerous one. Despite the dangers, most companies in this industry do not carry traditional workers’ compensation insurance. So the LHWCA ensures that these essential workers have some kind of benefits to rely on if they get hurt in an accident.

How Long Do Injured Maritime Workers Have to File Claims?

When a maritime worker is eligible to file a claim under the LHWCA, they should act quickly. The statute of limitations here is one year, the same as it is for typical workers’ compensation claims.

Can I File a Claim Under the Jones Act Instead?

The Jones Act is primarily designed to protect seaman, those that spend most of their time on the water. Essentially, which kind of claim you file would depend on whether you work on the water or near it. For example, a dock worker would probably be covered under the LHWCA, not the Jones Act.

Talk to an Attorney Today

If you were injured at work, contact Amy C Brown Law, PLLC. We can help you figure out if you are eligible for compensation under the LHWCA.