Seemingly every day, harbor workers across our nation's shores suffer severe injuries that put them in the hospital and sometimes even cost them their lives. We know the line of work is dangerous, so individuals unfamiliar with the job may believe that it's a risk the employee knowingly takes on and, therefore, they are not entitled to any kind of compensation when tragedy strikes.
On the contrary, and as our maritime accident attorneys discuss in the following article, victims of harbor accidents are covered by specific legislation put in place to ensure harbor workers are taken care of if they're injured.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (DLHWCA), which the specific piece of legislation that covers remuneration for victims of harbor accidents, qualifies a harbor worker as "...any harbor-worker including a ship repairman, shipbuilder, and ship-breaker." There are some exceptions to this definition, but the spirit of the law refers mostly to those individuals who physically put "hammer to the metal" on shipbuilding and repair projects.
Most harbor workers can be found laboring on dry docks which are specialized facilities where boats can be removed from the water so that they may be worked on efficiently.
The effort and sweat of harbor workers are made worthwhile by the help of heavy equipment. Without it, projects that in the modern-day take months to complete may take years to finish. However, it is these same powerful mechanical tools that also impart a substantial element of risk to the work. As a result, these diligent workers suffer injuries due to harbor accidents at an alarming rate.
Additionally, the large mass of the ships on which harbor workers labor also makes for particularly appalling and traumatic injuries when accidents occur. Next, we cover what some of these are.
The powerful equipment and heavy ship parts that harbor workers handle on a day-to-day basis make them especially susceptible to serious injury. Some of the most common injuries resulting from harbor worker accidents include:
Of course, most of these injuries pale in comparison to what can be considered the most tragic outcome of a harbor accident - death.
Victims of harbor accidents have the right to seek compensation for their injuries just as non-maritime workers do, except their right to pursue damages is established by a different law - the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (DLHWCA).
If a worker falls under the category of harbor worker as outlined by the DLHWCA (and as quoted above) and they are involved in an injury-causing harbor accident, they are entitled to file a claim that can award them substantial compensation. This compensation can consider:
These are only some of the types of compensation for which an injured harbor worker may qualify. Regrettably, the letter of the law can be very convoluted. Therefore, the basic legal knowledge in common culture is simply inadequate when it comes to filing a harbor worker accident claim. Correspondingly, victims who find themselves in this situation and who are considering taking legal action should seek the help of a harbor worker accident lawyer.
The team of experienced harbor worker accident attorneys at the Haggard Law Firm are experienced in all manner of maritime injury and accident claim. They're familiar with case law relevant to harbor worker accidents, and they understand what goes into a successful claim.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or lost their lives in a harbor accident, contact our team today for a free consultation. We'll analyze your case and explain the legal options at your disposal. Once informed, you'll be primed to make the best decision for yourself and your loved ones, and you'll be under no obligation to work with our team.
Lastly, if we're not able to secure compensation through a claim on your behalf, we'll take care of all of the costs. We've built our law firm on this principle as we believe it helps establish critical trust between client and attorney, trust which is a necessary starting point for just about every legal case.