Virginia Maritime Workers Must Claim from the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act

Posted by on Aug 25, 2013 in Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, Workers' Compensation, Workplace Injury | 0 comments

As of July 2012, persons engaged in maritime work, including longshoremen, dock workers, port or harbor clerks and checkers, forklift operators—in short, anyone working within navigable waters or employed in work connected with ships, shipbuilding, water transport or delivery may no longer put in a claim under Virginia’s workers’ compensation program but only under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA). In the article, the advantages of claiming under LHWCA rather than workers’ compensation in Virginia were enumerated, and it is undoubtedly an improvement.

However, it must be remembered that the statute of limitations for making an LHWCA claim is one year instead of the two under workers’ comp, and that the LHWCA is a federal, not a state, program. As such, it would be imperative to have the right kind of legal assistance and aid to ensure that a claim is carried out successfully. Making any kind of claim with the federal government can be a tedious and complex task that few lay people can accomplish on their own, especially if the injury sustained resulted in a long hospital stay, disability, or death. Gathering together the documents needed not only for making an LHWCA claim and a possible tort claim against the employer, if applicable. As pointed out in the abovementioned article, employers and general contractors have no immunity against a civil action for people who make an LHWCA claim.

If you are unfortunate enough to need to make an LHWCA claim and perhaps file a personal injury suit, choose a lawyer with a thorough knowledge and extensive experience in handling cases involving maritime law as well as personal injury cases in your state.

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