Longshore Worker Injury Lawyers
Have you been injured as a longshore worker?
The Longshore Harbor and Workers Compensation Act (“LHWCA”) provides benefits to people who have been injured while working in a maritime context, but who are not necessarily working on an actual vessel. Injury benefits under the LHWCA are specifically defined, and the procedure for obtaining these benefits is similar to that of obtaining state workers’ compensation benefits.
Under certain circumstances in longshore situations, an injured worker may bring a claim for benefits beyond longshore benefits, such as general damages for pain and suffering and disability damages directly against a vessel owner. Injury At Sea frequently represents people with these kinds of claims (also known as “third party” claims). Our experienced maritime injury attorneys are here to assist injured longshore workers in finding competent longshore legal counsel for the longshore portion of their claims.
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Third Party Actions
Third party actions may provide substantial additional benefits to longshoremen beyond what they can receive under the LHWCA, which generally only pays set, limited compensation for wage loss and partial, temporary, or permanent disability. Injury At Sea regularly analyzes longshore cases to see if they are appropriate for third party actions and, if so, may bring a third party action under a contingency fee agreement.
Additionally, our experienced maritime injury attorneys will work with longshore legal counsel and coordinate the third party claim in the pursuit of obtaining longshore benefits. In most circumstances, any longshore benefits paid will be credited against the amount recoverable on the third party claim. In complex matters such as these, it is important that you have an experienced in maritime injury attorney on your side.
If a vessel owner breaches any one of three specific duties, a third party claim may be brought in appropriate circumstances. These duties include: (1) the “turnover” duty; (2) the “active involvement” duty: and (3) the duty to “intervene.”
1. The "Turnover" Duty
The “turnover” duty requires a vessel to exercise ordinary care under the circumstances to turn over the ship, its equipment, and any of its appliances in such a condition that an expert and experienced stevedoring contractor, mindful of the dangers arising from the hazards of the ship’s service, would be able to carry on cargo operations with reasonable safety to persons and property by the exercise of ordinary care.
A corollary of the turnover duty requires that the vessel warn stevedores of any hazards on the ship – or associated with the ship’s equipment – so long as the hazards: (1) are known (or should be known) to the vessel in the exercise of reasonable care; and (2) would likely be encountered by a stevedore, and would not be obvious to or anticipated by the worker.
2. The "Active Involvement" Duty
The “active involvement” duty arises in situations where a vessel, vessel owner, or employer is actively involved in cargo operations and either (1) negligently injures a longshoreman; or (2) fails to exercise the due care necessary to avoid exposing longshoremen to harm from hazards they may encounter in specific areas on the vessel (or from equipment under the active control during the stevedoring operations).
3. The Duty to "Intervene"
A duty to “intervene” may arise in certain limited circumstances in which there is an apparent or known likelihood of injury, and the owner or employer is in a position to intervene to prevent injury.
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