Longshoremen and workers in the harbor who keep Southern California's economy chugging along, have a challenging job to do every day. Each day, they face significant hazards that could result in workplace injuries or fatalities. Even a longshoreman who exercises care and caution on the job could suffer major injuries, often, through no fault of his own.
Our Los Angeles work injury lawyers have helped a number of harbor workers and longshoremen over the years to receive compensation for their injuries and losses. In addition to workers' compensation, longshoremen may be able to file a separate injury claim that could help maximize the damages they recover. Our experienced longshoreman injury attorneys can help workers and families through what could be a complex and intimidating process.
If you're ready to get help from an experienced injury attorney, please fill out our form to schedule a free consultation.
Laws That Help and Protect Longshoremen
While a number of longshoremen and harbor workers may be aware that they are entitled to workers' comp benefits if they are injured, they are typically not aware about other laws that could work to their benefit. It is true that workers' compensation covers medical expenses and a portion of lost income when workers are injured on the job. However, it is important to be aware of other laws that can help you get the compensation your rightfully deserve.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act or LHWCA can help harbor and maritime workers who have suffered injuries while performing jobs such as repair work, loading and unloading. In these situations, our work injury lawyers help longshoremen secure compensation for those who have been injured due to the negligence, carelessness or wrongdoing of an individual or entity that is not their employer or co-worker. You may not be able to file a lawsuit against your employer or co-worker. However, this federal law allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party for damages.
A number of accidents that occur at the harbor are related to equipment and transportation. For example, if you are a longshoreman working on unloading a vessel and get hit by a forklift or a truck, you may be able to file a lawsuit against that negligent forklift or truck operator to seek compensation for your damages and losses.
While workers' comp benefits do cover some of the losses, they may not cover all your losses. A third-party injury lawsuit helps you seek compensation for damages such as lost future income, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering - damages you cannot typically seek through workers' compensation.
Maritime Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries
If you work as a longshoreman or in the harbor, you are probably well aware of just how dangerous it can be. The process of loading and unloading ships, containers, trains, and trucks in the harbor often involves the use of heavy machinery such as forklift injury accidents, tractors, cranes, etc. All of this machinery has the potential to cause significant injuries. Longshoremen and women could be left with long-term injuries and disabilities. Here are some of the most common injuries sustained in maritime accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries (ranging from concussions to skull fractures
- Spinal cord trauma
- Soft tissue injuries that can cause chronic pain
- Shoulder and rotator cuff injuries
- Broken bones that could lead to disability and disfigurement
- Amputations or loss of limbs
- Crush injuries
When these injuries are severe or catastrophic, injured victims may not be able to return to any type of work. They may need nursing care 24/7. It is absolutely essential for victims and their families to protect their rights and do everything possible to get all the benefits to which they are entitled to under the law. An experienced Los Angeles longshoreman injury attorney can help ensure that victims' rights are protected every step of the way.
How a Longshoreman Injury Lawyer Can Help
The LHWCA is a no-fault insurance system. This means that injured workers who are covered under this law can seek and obtain benefits regardless of who was at fault or an accident. In addition, workers may also have a civil lawsuit if the injury as caused by someone other than an employer or co-worker.
Benefits under this law are paid by self-insured employers or insurance companies who may play hardball with workers who are injured and need the money right away to pay medical expenses and other injury-associated costs. It is important that victims and their families retain an experienced longshoreman injury attorney as soon as possible.
Here are some ways in which an attorney can protect your rights during the claims process:
- An attorney can help review the facts of your case and determine that type of claim you have
- Your injury lawyer will help ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner, that all the related facts and information are accurate.
- Your lawyer will also assist with compiling evidence that can help substantiate and strengthen your claim. This can maximize and expedite your chances of getting your benefits.
- If you claim moves to a hearing, your lawyer can help represent you and present powerful evidence supporting your claim.
Because maritime accidents and LHWCA claims are complex, it is important that you seek the counsel of a lawyer who is well-versed in this area of the law. At Greenberg and Ruby, our longshoreman injury attorneys have a long and successful track record of helping injured workers and their families fight for their rights and secure the compensation they deserve. Call us today to find out how we can help you.