Ohio Maritime Law & The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA)
The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal maritime law that provides compensation, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation services to employees disabled from workplace injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States.
Ohio Maritime law also covers workers in adjoining areas like docks and jetties used in the loading, unloading, repairing, or building of boats, barges or other vessels. The law may provide compensation for survivors and employee dependents if a workplace injury causes an employee’s death.
These benefits are typically paid by the responsible employer, though in court will require legal expertise and an experienced attorney to recover the rightful compensation for injuries, occupational diseases, or illnesses.
Joe Lyon is an experienced workplace injury attorney well-versed in Ohio maritime law and the economic impact injuries and illnesses have on a victim and their family.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act Protects Several Occupations & Work Areas
The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act covers employees in traditional maritime jobs such as longshoremen, ship maintenance crew, shipbuilders, and many harbor workers. However, injuries sustained by workers must occur on the navigable waters of the United States or occur in adjoining areas, which may include piers, docks, terminals, wharves, and other areas used to loading and unload vessels. Non-maritime workers may also be covered while they perform work on navigable water and are injured on the job.
The LHWCA excludes from its coverage crew members of any vessel. Rather, crew members are covered under a different law called the Jones Act. The Jones Act provides compensation for work-related injuries suffered under different categories of maritime employees.
It is not necessary that an employee aid in navigation or contribute to the transportation of the vessel in order to be covered under the Jones Act, but the employee must be performing work that contributes to the function of the vessel or the accomplishment of its task at hand. Contact an experienced attorney to distinguish between complex Ohio maritime law.
How to Proceed when Occupational Injuries Occur
If you are injured at an Ohio workplace, notify your supervisor or employer immediately as soon as possible and seek medical attention. You have the right to select a physician of your choice to treat your injury. While you are able, ask your employer for a Request for Examination and/or Treatment form, which authorizes medical treatment. Of course in a medical emergency, you may request authorization from your employer after obtaining emergency attention.
After treatment of an injury, you are required to give a written notice of the injury to the employer within 30 days of the incident, or in the case of an occupational disease, within 30 days of when you become aware that you have an illness or disability related to the job.
Compensation benefits may be in jeopardy if you fail to report the injury within the required timeframe.
The Difference between Disability Claims
A disability is considered “temporary” if an injured employee is unable to return to work for medical reasons while recovering from a work injury.
A medical doctor must write a report that says the employee is unable to work. A “permanent” disability describes an employee’s medical condition as stable and not expected to improve.
A disability is labeled “total” when an injured employee cannot perform any work due to a work-related injury. A disability is called “partial” if an injured employee cannot perform the same work he was doing at the time of the injury, though is able to work in a modified role with the same or a different employer.
Compensation for Victims & Ohio Maritime Law Resources
Employers are often responsible for injuries sustained at the workplace. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment, which also encompasses the long-term health of an employee.
You may receive compensation and medical benefits if an injury or illness is related to workplace exposure to harmful conditions or substances. You may also be entitled to benefits for an occupational disease where your symptoms do not occur until after you have retired from work.
If an employer refuses to compensate you for injuries or illnesses related to the workplace, it is prudent to contact a legal professional to review your case and file a claim against your former company. Even if both the responsible employer and its insurance carrier are insolvent or bankrupt, there may be other channels to compensate injured workers. In the event of an employee’s death, the eligible survivors and family members may file a claim on their behalf and seek compensation for wrongful death, lost wages, and incurred medical expenses.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at an Ohio workplace, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding Ohio maritime law.