Longshoreman and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) Claims

Representing Injured Workers - Toll Free: 1-800-523-5787

The federal Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) allows harbor workers to recover the costs of medical care and two-thirds of their average weekly wages during periods of disability due to injury on the job. After being injured on the job, it is important that longshoremen and harbor workers enlist the assistance of an experienced maritime law firm.

At Leger & Shaw in New Orleans, our lawyers are able to review clients' injury cases to determine the types of benefits and compensation for which they may be eligible. Many federal acts, such as the LHWCA and the Jones Act, provide additional protections for workers who work on the water and in support of water-going vessels. We strive to see that our clients exercise their rights under the acts that have been designed to protect them and provide for them in the event of on-the-job injury or disability.

The term "harbor workers" includes a wide range of jobs:

  • Shipbuilders
  • Crane operators
  • Longshore checkers
  • Marine construction workers
  • Vessel repair workers
  • Salvage and repair divers

The LHWCA also applies to some gas or oil rig employees working from fixed offshore platforms.

While the benefits provided by the LHWCA are payable without the employer having to acknowledge fault, in many cases the benefits will be much less than the damages that may be recovered in a third-party negligence action. The LHWCA generally forbids the injured worker from directly suing his or her employer, but does allow the injured employee to sue a third party, such as the owner of the ship or manufacturer of equipment that contributed to the injury, for compensation under the general maritime law guidelines.

It is important to note that you do not have to be working directly on a ship to be covered by the LHWCA. If you are engaged in ship support, such as a driver operating a forklift and stacking pallets, and are injured due to the unbalanced load of pallets, you may be entitled to file a claim against the ship's owner.

To discuss your rights under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, please schedule a free confidential consultation by calling us at 504-588-9043 or toll free at 1-800-523-5787, or contact us here. Put our decades of maritime and admiralty law experience to work for you.