Maritime Law and Longshoremen

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offshoreMaritime law consists of a series of statutes and regulations applicable to life at and near the sea. Although the phrase “maritime law” may conjure images of ships at sea, seamen are not the only people who are afforded protections by maritime law. Maritime law has broadened over time to encompass docks and harbors, as well.

Longshore workers are protected by maritime law

The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act of 1927 provided protections to longshore workers that previously were not eligible for either traditional workers compensation or Jones Act protections that were enacted for the benefit of mariners at sea. Under the LWHCA, people whose careers are spent in the harbor or on the docks could receive compensation in the event that they became ill or injured during the course of performing their job duties.

Longshore work can be hazardous

Working in the docks can be risky work. Injuries due to physical strain, slip-and-fall, and being struck by falling objects are not uncommon. Also, exposure to chemicals during the course of dock work is a potential vocational hazard of longshore work. Dock workers are vulnerable to personal injury in the line of duty, but when those injuries occur, there are maritime and admiralty laws in place to ensure that victims are able to receive appropriate compensation.

What to do if you get hurt at work

If you are a longshore worker and are injured at work, seek medical attention first. Keep a record of the incident and anything leading to or arising from it, and document everything. Keep all of this information in a secure place in the event that you should need it later in court. By documenting your injury with photos and by keeping medical or other bills associated with the injury, you can help build a case for an offshore injury lawyer to present in court.

When to call a maritime attorney

It is best to contact an attorney as soon as you are able to following an injury incident at work in order to file a claim in a timely fashion and receive any compensation that may be due to you as soon as possible. Most maritime lawyers offer free consultations, so don’t hesitate to contact an attorney due to financial concerns—your attorney can help you get the monetary compensation you need to pay for medical and other expenses that have arisen since your injury.