Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal workers’ compensation law. It allows most dockside workers — whether in shipyards, piers, wharves, or shipping terminals or other vessel-related activities — to recover disability payments and compensation for medical bills when injured.

The LHWCA also allows for wrongful death benefits to be paid to the surviving spouse or children of a maritime worker, longshoreman, or harbor worker who is killed on the job.

Importance of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

The LHWCA was first enacted in 1927 to cover most maritime and dock workers not otherwise covered by the Jones Act or other workers’ compensation laws. It was amended in 1972 to extend coverage to maritime workers on land.

If you are a longshoreman or harbor worker and you have been seriously injured in a Houston offshore accident, or have contracted a serious occupational disease while working, your employer may be held liable. The compensation you may receive under the LHWCA can help you maintain financial stability and cover the costs of your medical treatments while you recover from a serious injury.

Additionally, the act allows an injured worker, or surviving family members, to sue a third party for negligence in causing the injury or death. In such a case, an injured worker may be entitled to monetary compensation for past and future medical costs, loss of earning capacity, physical limitations, and physical pain. Families of longshore and harbor workers killed in accidents may be able to pursue compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one.

Who is Covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?

Longshoremen, repairmen, shipbuilders, ship-breakers, loaders, and unloaders are generally covered under the LHWCA. Employees who meet those requirements are generally eligible for temporary or permanent disability payments, depending on the nature of their injuries, as well as medical treatment, transportation, and rehabilitation efforts.

LHWCA benefits are available to maritime employees who pass both “status” and “situs” tests.

  • The status test has to do with the type of work an employee performs. Under the LHWCA, at least some of an employee’s duties must be considered “maritime” duties.
  • The situs test relates to the location where the employee generally performs his or her duties. Employees who work on, near, or around the water are typically covered.

How Our Houston Maritime Injury Attorneys Can Help

If you have been injured while working as a longshoreman or harbor worker, it’s important to contact a knowledgeable maritime lawyer who is well-versed in all legal matters related to federal maritime laws, including the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our compassionate Houston maritime accident lawyers will be with you and your family every step of the way. When an accident leaves you temporarily or permanently injured, our team will fight to ensure that the employer or third party responsible for your injuries is held accountable and that you receive fair compensation.

Our maritime accident lawyers have represented Texas residents injured in the Gulf of Mexico, at ports of call in several Gulf Coast states, and in shipping terminals off the coast of Texas. We provide a free consultation if you are seeking compensation for a catastrophic injury.

Contact our Houston personal injury lawyers at today to learn how we can help.