Longshore Act Attorney
The Longshore Act is a Federally created statute found at 33 United States Code 901 that generally applies to dock workers in the Gulf of Mexico. The Longshore Act can be thought of as a Federal workers compensation statute. It allows the injured employee to collect both compensation and medical benefits from his employer when he is injured. The Act is not fault based, and just like a maintenance and cure claim for a seaman, a Longshoreman will generally collect benefits for any injury that simply happens at work, regardless of how it happened.
The amount of compensation benefits to which you are entitled will depend upon the type of injury you suffered. Some injuries are called ‘scheduled’ injuries, such as injuries to a finger, hand, foot, wrist, eye or arm. Other injuries, such as injuries to a neck, back or shoulder are ‘nonscheduled’ injuries. The compensation due for a scheduled injury will depend upon the percentage disability rating that your doctor assigns to you when he is done treating you. For example, a 25% impairment rating to a finger would receive more compensation than a 15 or 20% impairment rating. Under a scheduled injury it does not matter whether or not you can return to your old job after the injury–you simply receive the scheduled payment based on the disability rating and nothing more. For a nonscheduled injury you will be entitled to lifelong benefits, but the company will receive a credit for any money that they prove you can go out and earn. In nonscheduled injury cases, the ability of the employee to return to work is very important, as is his education and the area where he lives. The amount that the employee can earn after the accident will determine the compensation to which he is ultimately entitled.
We are very familiar with the Longshore Act and we can discuss your rights with you under the Act. It is very important to remember that you can also file suit against any third party that may be responsible for your accident–and you can seek full damages including pain and suffering and full lost wages from this party. Many platform workers are injured while offloading boats and even though they may be limited to collecting benefits under the Longshore Act from their employers, they can file separate suits against the boat owner if the captain or deckhands were at fault in causing the accident. This happens often when a boat captain may not keep the boat steady or when he allows offloading during rough sea conditions.
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