Harbor worker accidents are too common and can be career ending. The port industry is a vital part of our nation’s economy that moves billions of dollars of goods into and out of our country annually. It takes thousands of hardworking, dedicated longshore workers to move this cargo through ports. However, the longshore workers who make their living in this industry are at a substantial risk of harm due to the nature of the work that they perform. Conlogue Law LLP understands these risks.
Harbor Worker Accidents
Longshoremen and harbor workers who spend their working hours loading and unloading cargo from docked ships are vulnerable to serious injuries. Representation by an experienced Los Angeles maritime law attorney may be vital to protect the legal rights of longshoremen hurt on the job. Conlogue Law LLP can guide you through the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
When an accident happens during cargo operations from a vessel, a longshoreman or harbor worker who is employed by the stevedore company can recover benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, 33 U.S.C. §§ 901–950 (also known as the Longshore Act or the LHWCA). The exclusive remedy of an injured longshore worker against their employer usually is the Longshore Act. Under the Longshore Act, an employee is any person who is engaged in maritime employment, including not only longshoremen but also harbor workers. This includes ship repairmen, ship-breakers, and shipbuilders.
Suing for Longshore Injuries
The Longshore Act provides for the payment of benefits for the disability or death of an employee caused by injuries that occurs in navigable waters, or on a pier or another area used in loading, unloading, repairing, dismantling, or building a vessel. Depending upon the injury or illness suffered by the employee, the longshore worker may be entitled to various benefits and compensation. Sadly, if a longshoreman is killed, their family is entitled to death benefits.
Although the Longshore Act limits the employee’s relief against an employer, there are some instances in which an employee may be able to pursue a third party claim. This may happen when a third party contributed to the accident, such as the owner or operator of a vessel where a longshoreman or harbor worker was injured. Here, the Longshore Act provides for a third party action for negligence. This means more damages are available.
A third party negligence action requires us to prove that the defendant against which compensation is sought owed a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused harm. For example, if a worker goes on board a vessel when it is at port for repairs or other functions, the worker is able to assert a negligence action against the vessel’s owner if the owner was negligent.
Also, if the limited connection to the particular vessel involves work typical of that performed by seamen, the Longshore worker may be classified as a seaman (even though they are not a Jones Act seaman) and obtain rights similar to a seaman. Call Conlogue Law LLP for a free consultation of your rights.
California and Hawaii Harbor Workers
Conlogue Law LLP is an experienced longshoreman injury attorney. We represent harbor workers in Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, NASSCO, throughout California, Honolulu, Oahu, Maui, Lanai, Kauai, and throughout Hawaii. Call us at (213) 255-8837 to speak to a maritime attorney.