Longshore Act Pain and Suffering
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides income and medical care for injured maritime workers not covered by the Jones Act or state workers’ compensation. Workers qualifying for benefits under the LHWCA are entitled to disability benefits, medical expenses, and rehabilitation costs.
However, like other workers’ compensation laws, the Longshore Act does not provide benefits for pain and suffering or for diminished quality of life due to a work-related injury. However, if the injury was caused by the negligence of a third party, the injured worker may file a civil action against that party.
Sometimes, workers are injured due to the negligence of another company, person, or the owner of a vessel. In addition to receiving benefits under the LHWCA, these injured workers may receive compensation for pain and suffering and other damages by filing a lawsuit against the negligent third party. Third party lawsuits for negligence are known as Section 905(b) and Section 933 claims under the Longshore Act. Damages claimed in this lawsuit can easily exceed the compensation provided to the injured worker by the LHWCA.
Under the LHWCA, a Section 905(b) lawsuit allows an injured worker to pursue damages due to the negligence of a vessel owner or operator. These cases involve three types of negligence:
- A breach of the duty to properly maintain the vessel in safe condition.
- A breach of the duty to act to protect workers from known hazards during operation of the ship.
- A breach of the duty to prevent worker injuries while the owner is actively controlling the vessel.
Lawsuits may also be brought against other third parties under federal or state law for various types of negligence, including:
- Negligent maintenance or repair of equipment.
- Dangerous or defective equipment.
- Negligent ship loading.
- Negligence of a contractor or other nonemployer.
You Need an Attorney
If you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries under the LHWCA, you may also have the right to sue a third party for damages due to your pain and suffering. When you’ve been injured at work, you need professional legal representation to help you receive the compensation you deserve. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.
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