Port & Pier Accident Lawyers
Seaports and piers are an essential part of American commerce. They are transportation hubs, bustling with shippers, loaders, receivers, and shipbuilders. They are points from which many of the goods that fuel America are brought in or shipped out. They are full of people, vehicles, and heavy-duty equipment. And sometimes, they are also full of danger. If you or someone in your family have suffered an injury from being involved in a port and or pier accident, contact a port & pier accident lawyer for a free legal consultation and or case evaluation. Our attorneys take on port and pier accident cases in New Orleans, Biloxi, Lafayette, Houston, and across the country.
Longshoreman and harbor workers spend long hours around moving machinery, vehicles, and heavy freight. Many days, they are working outside in inclement weather. Accidents can occur anywhere and at any time in a ship port. Port accidents can occur due to almost any reason you can imagine, from electrocution to accidental drowning. Luckily there are acts and laws put in place like the Death on the High Seas Act and Longshoreman and Harbor Workers Compensation Act that help protect maritime workers and longshoreman rights and ability to work in a proper working environment.
You Have the Right to Compensation
Harbor workers are protected under a federal law known as the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). Under this act, a maritime worker who is injured in a seaport or on a dry-docked vessel can obtain compensation to pay for his or her medical expenses. If you have been injured in a dock or pier accident, this Act will help you recover more costs than a traditional workers’ comp claim. Some of the more common dock and pier accidents are as follows:
- Crane accidents
- Drill rig accidents
- Structural collapse due to poor maintenance
- Forklift accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Hazardous material exposure or spills
- Oil platform accidents
While many of these accidents are just that, accidents, some are caused by negligence on an employer’s or co-worker’s part. Whether or not your injury was caused by negligence, you have the right to receive compensation for expenses associated with your injuries.
How Does the LHWCA Work?
The LHCWA is similar to a workers’ compensation claim in that you will receive benefits based off of your average weekly wage. However, the LHWCA awards a higher percentage (66 2/3%) than traditional workers’ comp (60%). Additionally, the LHWCA allows injured maritime workers to receive permanent partial disability, where regular workers’ comp claims do not. In order to be eligible for an LHWCA claim, you must pass two tests to determine how and where you perform your job. Basically, these tests are intended to make sure your job description defines you as a longshoreman or harbor worker. The following workers are excluded from the LHWCA:
- Shipbuilders who build recreational vehicles less than 65 feet in length
- People who work at a marina and are not engaged in construction on the marina
- Mechanics of recreational vehicles
- Fish-farming workers and other aquaculture employees
- Captains and crew members of sea vessels (these employees are instead protected by the Jones Act)
If you are eligible under the LHWCA, you will either receive compensation outright or will have to file a claim. For example, if the insurer refuses to pay you, or will not pay you an adequate amount, you can file a claim for a hearing. Additionally, if your injuries are the result of someone’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim and recover additional damages. You will, however, be expected to prove negligence. No matter what you decide to do, you should contact a port and pier injury attorney to help build your case and represent you in court. Maritime port & pier injury lawyers fight to get the maximum compensation for their clients.
Port & Pier Accident Lawyers in Houston, Texas
The national Daspit Law Firm port and pier injury lawyers have experience across a wide spectrum of personal injury practices. Specifically, we work with maritime employees who have been injured on the job, whether at sea or in a port. We get to know your story so we can build a strong case on your behalf. With so many years of experience, we understand the evidence insurers try to use against you in an attempt to pay you less. We fight aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to see how we can help.