Who can file a Longshore claim?

Any Longshoreman involved in the loading and unloading of container ships and or porters involved in loading and unloading baggage from cruise ships are covered by the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA) and are entitled to file Longshore claims if they are injured on the job. 

Ship builders involved in the construction of commercial vessels are covered by the LHWCA and are entitled to file Longshore claims if they are injured on the job. In 1984, an exception was made to this category. The LHWCA now excludes ship builders who are involved in the construction of a recreational vessel under 65 feet. 

Harbor workers involved in the construction and/or repair of piers and seawalls are covered by the LHWCA and are entitled to file claims if they are injured on the job. 

Those are the three basic types of employees that are covered by the LHWCA. However, many other employees can be covered by this Act if they can establish three primary elements: 1. Situs which means injury on a maritime site, including the navigable waters of the United States and adjoining piers, wharfs, dry docks, terminals, building ways, marine railways or other adjoining areas customarily used by an employer in loading, unloading, repairing, dismantling, or building a vessel; 2. Status which means an occupation defined as maritime by nature; and 3. Employment by a maritime employer. 

Crew members of vessels are not covered by the LHWCA. They are covered by the Jones Act. 

If you are not a traditional Longshoreman, ship builder or harbor worker, the question of whether you are covered by the LHWCA can get very confusing. Please contact our office and we will go over your specific facts and give you an opinion as to whether or not we feel you are covered by the LHWCA. 

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