Working on a vessel can be both a rewarding and demanding career for individuals in Louisiana. While a career as a longshoreman can be satisfying, it is also one that has many risks. The nature of this work presents dangers when they are moored on shore and when the vessel is out at sea. Thus, it is important that these individuals understand maritime laws and what rights and options they have if they were to suffer harms in an incident related to their work.
Much like any injured worker could seek compensation to address his or her harms suffered in a work accident, longshoremen can as well. This means that individuals injured do not have to experience harms when he or she is out at sea. For those injured at sea, this is where the Jones Act comes into play; however, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act is available for those injured in the course of work with a vessel but does not work in the connection with the vessel being at sea.
Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, injured longshoremen are provided compensation and benefits to addresses medical care, lost wages and vocational rehabilitation. Whether an employee is unable to work temporarily or for an extended period of time due to a disabling injury, these benefits are available to those harmed in the course of work as a longshoreman. This typically includes work that involves the loading, unloading, repairing and building of a vessel.
Based on this Act, an injury refers to not only physical harm caused by an accident but also occupational diseases, hearing loss and illnesses that arise from the individual’s employment as a longshoreman. In addition to these benefits assisting the employee suffering harm in a work-related accident, this Act provides for survivor benefits. This means that if a worker suffers a work injury and this injury cause or contributes to the death of the employee, benefits are paid to the surviving family member of the worker.
A workplace accident could greatly impact one’s life significantly. Therefore, it is vital that one understands what rights and options they have following such an incident. When seeking workers’ compensation, one should not only know the application process but also what can be done if one is initially denied these benefits.