Hurt in Houston- Longshore and Harbor Worker Compensation Act
What happens when you get a work injury on the water? The answer is complex. The laws that cover you depend on your job and your location.
Workers’ compensation does not apply to many maritime workers. The Jones Act covers workers on vessels like boats and rigs. However, some people do not fall under either. Instead, they work near the water in jobs related to offshore work.
These workers include
- Dock workers
- Harbor employees
The Longshore and Harbor Worker Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers them.
What Is the LHWCA?
The LHWCA is a federal law. Its purpose is to cover maritime workers the Jones Act does not cover. It provides benefits similar to workers’ comp.
Who Qualifies for the LHWCA?
It covers employees performing maritime duties on or near navigable waters.
The location is critical. The employees must be on or near navigable waters. So, onshore employees do not qualify, even if their job would be eligible.
The job is also essential. Employees must be performing maritime responsibilities.
The LHWCA Goes Beyond Standard Workers' Compensation Coverage
It entitles maritime workers to receive all necessary care for workplace injuries. There is no limit to the amount of reasonable and medically necessary treatment an injured worker can receive.
In addition, the LHWCA provides for your family if you die.
Are All Injuries Covered?
No. The LHWCA excludes benefits if your injury
- Was because you were intoxicated
- Due to your intention to kill yourself or others
- Occurred while working for the government
- While working for a small vessel company
However, the LHWCA’s exclusions are complicated. If you are not sure whether it covers you, you should consult with an attorney.
Want to find out more about the LHWCA and whether it applies to you? Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with the Salazar Law Firm. We will review your case and advise you whether the LHWCA applies. Even if it does not, other laws may protect your rights.