The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act ("LHWCA")
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, 33 U.S.C. §§ 901 et seq., is often referred to as the Longshore Act, the LHWCA, or federal comp. The Longshore Act is a federal statute enacted by the U.S. Congress for the purpose of providing workers' compensation benefits to men and women injured on or near the navigable waters of the United States.
The Longshore Act provides greater wage replacement benefits than the New York or New Jersey state workers' compensation programs. Therefore, in nearly every instance, an injured person will receive a larger weekly paycheck under the Longshore Act than he or she would under the New York or New Jersey state workers' compensation programs.
Longshore Act benefits are available to those who work on the waterfront or near the waterfront performing tasks that are in some way related to maritime commerce. Generally, workers involved in stevedoring operations, cargo handling, maritime construction or demolition, and a whole host of other activities, are covered by the Longshore Act and should receive increased wage replacement benefits.
YOU NEED EXPERIENCED MARITIME LAWYERS
Whether you are covered by the Longshore Act is not black and white. In fact, there are many cases where injured workers might be covered by the Longshore Act or might be covered by the state compensation program. And in a lot of those cases, the employers and their insurance carriers automatically decide to provide state workers' compensation benefits without ever consulting with the injured workers. In other cases, employers and insurance carriers decide to provide Longshore Act benefits to injured workers, but instead of using the statutory method for calculating wage replacement benefits, they use a much simpler formula that oftentimes leaves those injured workers receiving less money than they should.
The Longshore Act is a powerful statute for those that it covers, but it is not easy to interpret or navigate. There are many ways that it can be misapplied and there are many hidden traps. If you think that there is any chance that you should be receiving Longshore Act benefits or you are receiving them now, please contact lawyers who know how to handle Longshore Act cases right away. No workers' compensation program will completely replace your normal wages while you are recuperating, and that is why you must be certain that you are getting every penny that you deserve and every bit of medical care that you need to get healthy again.
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