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Why do you need an attorney after a work injury at sea?

| Apr 14, 2021 | Longshore And Harbor Workers' Compensation Act |

If you are hurt on the job while you’re at sea, you may want to look into working with an attorney to make your claim. This is because the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act is a complex federal law that covers specific losses and care for those who are injured in specific places.

By law, the LHWCA protects those who work on oil rigs, in ship repair or in shipbuilding. There are now several extensions that have been added to the law, so that more people can be protected, too. Some of those extensions include:

  • The Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act, or NAFIA, which is designed to protect civilians working on armed forces facilities
  • The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, or OCSLA, which is specifically for people working on oil rigs and on projects that are on the Outer Continental Shelf of the coast of the United States
  • The Defense Base Act, or DBA, which is for civilian workers who work on public works overseas or on U.S. military bases

It is important to first establish if you’re eligible for compensation and coverage under the LHWCA.

Who does the LHWCA cover?

The LHWCA covers people who are working to repair or build vessels that are located in navigable bodies of water. This includes individuals working to unload these vessels as well as those working on oil platforms in navigable federal waters.

The LHWCA covers a number of kinds of injuries suffered on the job ranging from illnesses due to chemical exposure, broken bones and other serious work-related injuries.

What do you need to do if you are hurt?

The first thing to do if you’re hurt is to see a medical professional to seek care. After that, it’s important to work with an attorney if you’re hurt, because they will be able to help you understand if you qualify under the LHWCA and the types of coverage you should receive. Since insurance companies may try to minimize their payouts, working with an attorney will help protect you against unfair treatment and being taken advantage of. Good support can make a difference, especially since the process could take longer depending on all the factors involved in your case.