Longshore workers are unable to sue their employers after on-the-job injuries.
However, if someone other than your employer caused your injuries, you have the right to sue. But is it worth the trouble to sue someone else, when the Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act already provides benefits for injured workers? In this blog post, we will answer that question.
Will you get more if the third party is proven liable?
As we have previously discussed, your LHWCA compensation rate is two-thirds the amount of money you were making while working. This may not be enough to cover your needs.
The LHWCA does allow you to file claims against a third party if their negligence caused your injury. While the lawsuit results vary on how bad your condition is and the defendant’s role in it, you could get compensation that exceeds what the LHWCA offers.
Additionally, if you third party lawsuit ends up with a settlement that has less than what the LHWCA offers, employer is liable for compensation as long as you provide a written approval of the settlement. This means that you will still likely end up with at least two-thirds of your rate if the lawsuit doesn’t work out the way you wanted.
Is it worth it?
Pursuing a third-party claim adds another layer to an already complicated process. While success isn’t always a guarantee, the amount of compensation you could receive might make it worth the effort.
It isn’t easy to do this alone. If you have questions, contact a lawyer who has experience in this area of the law.