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Federal maritime law covers longshore worker accidents

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2022 | Workers' Compensation |

Workplace accidents can lead to serious injuries and disabilities, so employees are typically offered workers’ compensation to avoid suing their employers. The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, or LHWCA, was passed to compensate the injuries of maritime employees and their families in Virginia and other U.S. states.

Types of longshore worker accidents

Longshore workers are employed in and near ships and seaports. Their duties include loading cargo on and off of vessels, driving forklifts, attaching heavy cargo onto trailers and other tasks. On every workday, they risk facing a wide range of longshore worker accidents and injuries.

Some accidents cause injuries that occur gradually over the years. These include accidents that require workers to perform repetitive movements, such as repeatedly kneeling, bending and lifting heavy items. Arthritis and other injuries that affect longshore workers are caused by gradual trauma to the muscles or joints. Serious injuries can also be caused by a single, sudden, high-impact event, such as a slip and fall or being struck by a heavy object.

The purpose of the LHWCA

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act guarantees that injured longshore workers can be compensated for their accidents and injuries. They are provided benefits for hospital and doctor’s visits, long-term vocational rehabilitation, lost wages, transportation costs and other losses. This law covers all types of longshoremen and maritime workers who work on loading and unloading ships.

Understanding the law

LHWCA is the federal law that protects longshore workers who experience accidents and injuries at sea and on ships. If you are injured in this line of work and meet the criteria, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits to help pay for medical and living expenses while you recover.