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Does Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act cover you?

Working on the waters in and around Louisiana may provide you with a lucrative living, but it also exposes you to certain risks and hazards. You may understandably be concerned about how your injuries will be covered if you are hurt while working. You may know that you may not receive benefits under the traditional workers' compensation insurance, but you may not know whether you qualify to receive compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act.

You may have reason to wonder since the LHWCA is not the only act covering people who work on the country's waterways. Generally, if you load or unload vessels or repair or build vessels, you may qualify under the LHWCA. An extension of the act called the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act covers those who work on oil platforms that lie within the waters of the United States. It may be easier to talk about the people who would not qualify for compensation under this act.

Of course, if you could obtain benefits under the workers' compensation insurance program, you would receive benefits from it for work-related injuries. If you are a crew member or master of a vessel, you would not seek compensation under this act, but the Jones Act instead. Federal employees, Louisiana employees and those who work for foreign governments do not qualify either.

After an injury, the only thing should occupy your time is your recovery. If you are unsure regarding whether you receive compensation for work-related injuries from the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, the Jones Act or workers' compensation insurance, you may want to discuss the matter with an attorney who can help you make that determination. If you end up qualifying under the LHWCA, you may need assistance receiving help with your medical bills and lost income, among other things. 

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