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Why the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act exists

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that creates a route for medical care and monetary compensation for workers injured on navigable waters of the United States or certain types of areas adjoining such waters.

The LHWCA was created to help marine employees, dock workers and those working around ocean ships but not sailing on them. It enables these workers to recoup losses from injuries or illness that happen while on the job.

For other types of workers, state workers' compensation systems are typically where they turn to for financial relief when injuries strike. However, for individuals in fields like those mentioned above, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act can be the main relief source.

Workers generally covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act include:

  • Harbor construction workers
  • Shipbuilders
  • Ship maintenance workers
  • Longshore workers

The LHWCA has some exclusions, including any government employees (from any country) and ship crewmembers.

This law could help ensure you receive the proper medical care after an injury, which can allow you to recover without worrying about the costs of missing work.

The difference between the LHWCA and other laws covering marine workers, like the Jones Act, can be complicated. Filing the proper claim after an injury can be confusing, and knowing what law you qualify for can be difficult. So, the guidance you have in such a situation can be critical. Make sure you put yourself in a strong position to pursue the compensation you deserve after an injury by contacting an attorney who focuses on this unique provision of federal law.

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