The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides workers’ compensation protection for maritime workers injured or killed on a vessel in and around United States’ navigable waters.  The people working on ships do dangerous jobs, and unfortunately, their injuries are sometimes severe enough to cause death. 

The Office of Worker Compensation Plans, a division of the Department of Labor, is responsible for administering the LHWCA when death occurs from a work-related injury or illness. They have specific guidelines that they follow to determine the correct amount of money to pay in these circumstances.  The claims process isn’t easy to navigate, and one best done by Longshore and Harbor Workers Act Attorneys in Jacksonville.

In this article, we will discuss some of the death benefits available under an LHWCA workers’ compensation claim LHWCA.  If, after reading this article, you have more questions about your own circumstances, then the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act Attorneys in Jacksonville at RITE Law are here to help.  

At RITE Law, we have a group of Longshore and Harbor Workers Act 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) 500-7483 or you can fill out our contact form online.  We provide a free case evaluation, so call today.

1. Coverage

If someone falls under the purview of the LHWCA, is injured, and that injury results in death or contributes to a person’s death, then they are entitled to compensation.  If a person suffers an occupational illness, and that illness causes or contributes to their death, then the survivors are entitled to compensation.

2. How to File a Claim

If a family member dies and is entitled to benefits, then the deceased person’s survivors or their legal representatives are required to file a Claim for Death Benefits, with the Office of Worker Compensation Plans within one year after the date of death. One reason to hire Longshore and Harbor Workers Act Attorneys in Jacksonville is that specific documentation has to be filed with the claim form. Depending on the survivor’s relationship to the deceased, these forms will include items like marriage, birth, and death certificates, as well as medical records for both past conditions and conditions related to the incident.  Additionally, there is a specific form to file for funeral expenses. 

There are occasions when the death was clearly work-related. However, there could be some dispute, especially if the death was due to an occupational illness, or if the death occurred at some time after the initial injury.  Thus, it may be necessary to provide additional medical evidence. 

3. What Benefits are Available?

Survivors of someone covered under the LHWCA who dies because of a work injury or an occupational illness are entitled to specific benefits.  The rules state that if the work injury or illness causes, hastens, or contributes to death then benefits are paid.  

Any form of workers’ compensation uses Average Weekly Wage (AWW) to determine a dollar amount for the purpose of benefits. The AWW, in general terms, equals the average of 52 weeks of salary for the employee.  Using the AWW as of the baseline payment, the law allows the following benefits:

1. The spouse of a deceased person is entitled to 1/2 of the AWW for their life or until they remarry.
2. For surviving children, they allow 1/6 of the AWW in payments.
3. If no surviving spouse, then the children are entitled to 1/2 of the AWW if there is one child, or 2/3 if there is more than one child.  The children’s payments stop when they are 18 unless they are in school full time, and then they can go to age 23.

There are conditions and requirements for determining payments and for receipt of payments.  Filing claims is always tedious and can be complicated.  It is best to have a Longshore and Harbor Workers Act Attorneys in Jacksonville on your side.

Contact a Longshore and Harbor Workers Act, Attorneys, in Jacksonville with Questions.

Survivors of people who suffer a fatal injury while on the job should always try to get the benefits they need.  A skilled attorney can help you through the process and will give you much-needed advice on how to proceed with your case.  Contact Longshore and Harbor Workers Act Attorneys in Jacksonville to discuss your claim and your path to receiving benefits. 

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 Longshore and Harbor Workers Act Attorneys in Jacksonville.

Without help from the RITE team, making a Longshore and Harbor Workers Act claim 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) 500-7483 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 make a decision 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.