If you are a longshore worker, a harbor construction worker, or someone who works on a U.S. military base overseas, then your workers’ compensation benefits are likely covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act or one of its extensions like the Defense Base Act.  So, if you are injured on the job, you need to know what to do to make sure that you obtain the benefits you need.  Indeed, if you sustain a serious injury on the job, you want to make sure that you do what is necessary to protect yourself and your family.  

In this article, we will talk about the steps you need to take in filing a workers’ compensation claim under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (Longshore Act or LHWCA), and the benefits you can expect under the plan.  

If, after reading this article, you have more questions about your own circumstances, then the Longshore Act claims attorneys in Jacksonville at RITE Law are here to help.  At RITE Law, we have a group of workers’ compensation attorneys in Jacksonville who have your best interests at heart, and who have the training and resources to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.  Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online.  We provide a free case evaluation, so call today.

The Steps to Filing a Longshore Act Claim

As soon as you are injured on the job, you likely have a million things to worry about.  First and foremost, make sure you get the immediate medical attention you need.  That is of primary importance.  Once you have dealt with any emergency medical needs, then you can start to think about filing a workers’ compensation act claim.  

The following are the steps you need to take to file a Longshore Act claim.  Rest assured, your employer will have pamphlets and/or a human resource person available to explain the claim process to you.  

1. How To File a Claim 

1. Notify your supervisor as soon as possible.
2. Seek treatment immediately, if needed.
3. Request Form LS-1 from your employer, which is a request for examination and/or treatment. If you need treatment immediately, you can get the treatment and request authorization after completing it.
4. File a written claim with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) within one year of your injury

If you do not file a written claim in a timely manner, your employer may object and deny compensation benefits. Make sure that you follow the steps and file a claim on time. 

If you are a family member of a person who dies as a result of a work accident, then you as a surviving dependent should file a claim.  In order to support this claim, you will have to provide documentation showing that you are eligible for these benefits, such as a marriage certificate, a birth certificate, medical records from the employee, and a form for funeral expenses.

What Kind of Benefits Does the Longshore Act offer?

Two important questions that need to be answered when applying for benefits through the LHWCA are (i) whether the injury is permanent or temporary, and (ii) whether the injury has caused total or partial disability. 

The Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act offers the following types of benefits:

1. Temporary partial disability
2. Temporary total disability
3. Permanent partial disability
4. Permanent total disability

In this context, disability means the inability to earn the same wages that the employee was receiving before the injury occurred. 

A disability is considered temporary if the employee is recovering from the injury and is expected to work again in the future. A disability is deemed permanent if the employee’s condition is not likely to improve enough to return to work.

A partial disability is one where the employee cannot engage in the work they were doing prior to the injury, but they can do some work in a modified manner. When an employee cannot do any work whatsoever, even if it is modified, this is considered total disability. 

Documenting Your Claim

As a final point, a Longshore Act claim may take a long time to resolve.  In order to maximize the compensation owed to you for an injury, it is important to request and keep all relevant reports regarding the incident.  Those reports include, most importantly, medical records.  

Whether they are physical therapy reports, medication lists, or periodic blood work, your medical records are the key to understanding the benefits you will ultimately need for a full recovery.  The Longshore Act claim attorneys in Jacksonville at RITE law know precisely what types of medical information are required to get certain workers’ compensation benefits.  You are, therefore, welcome to contact us at RITE law for additional information.

Call the Workers’ Compensation Claims Attorneys in Jacksonville at RITE Law

At RITE Law, we started the firm for one reason – to help those in Florida and elsewhere have the resources of a firm that was “big enough to fight but small enough to care.”  At Rudolph, Israel, Tucker & Ellis (RITE law), we have the resources and experience to go to trial when it is necessary, and we have the wisdom to advise you appropriately.  

Expect lots of attention, passionate representation, and a healthy disdain for big insurance companies. We believe that leads to the best result possible. Unlike larger firms, your case isn’t handed to a paralegal or assistant to do the heavy lifting. The attorney you meet initially is the one who will be by your side every step of the way. 

We also take pride in creating an atmosphere where every client is treated like family.  Family members stick up for one another no matter what.  You should expect nothing less from the RITE Law DBA claims attorneys in Jacksonville.

Without help from the RITE team, making your own personal injury claims can be very difficult.  When you turn to our firm, we spring into action, making sure that every detail of your claim is addressed.  Call us for help.  Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online.  We provide a free case evaluation, so feel free to call us today.

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not decide whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.