Injury Help

Injured on the waterfront? Here’s what you need to know.

  • What qualifies as an injury?
    • Almost anything from a death to hearing loss. If an event at work causes you to seek medical treatment or miss time it is likely a covered injury.
    • Aggravations of pre-existing conditions are covered injuries.
  • What benefits am I owed?
    • The Longshore Act requires waterfront employers to provide disability (time loss) and medical benefits to injured workers. There are several forms of disability benefits depending on the nature and extent of your injury.
  • What do I do if I am injured at work?
    • Notify your employer!
      • Advise your foreman, superintendent, or manager as soon as possible. Be sure a written injury report is made and obtain a copy of it before you leave work.
      • If you discover the injury after leaving work, return to the job immediately and report it.
      • Insist that an injury report is created and request a copy of it. ***A major cause of denial of benefits under the Longshore Act is the failure to notify your employer in a timely fashion. If you experience an injury or an aggravation of a pre-existing condition, be sure to notify your supervisor and request an injury report before you leave work.***
    • Seek medical attention. Notifying your employer of an injury should result in an Authorization for Medical Treatment form. Take this document to a doctor of your choice. Be explicit and forthcoming to your doctor about the nature and cause of your injury. You likely will not be able to amend your statements in the future. You also may be unable to change doctors, so be careful who you choose as a treating doctor.
    • File a claim for benefits with the Department of Labor. This is a separate process from giving your employer notice of an injury. 
  • When do I need an attorney?
    • A Longshore Act attorney can help in all steps of your claim, but becomes essential when the following issues arise:
      • Your employer or employer’s insurance carrier refuses to issue or stops issuing benefits (controversion of benefits).
      • You disagree with the calculation of payments made to you.
      • You are asked to appear for a medical examination requested by your employer. This is often called an “independent” medical exam, but is in fact a defense medical exam.
      • You are permanently disabled, partially or totally.
  • What about hearing loss?
    • Industrial hearing loss is common for waterfront workers. Ports and vessel facilities are exceedingly loud environments. Hearing loss is a scheduled injury under the Longshore Act, meaning employees with sufficient hearing loss are generally owed Permanent Partial Disability benefits and medical benefits (hearing aids). The amount of benefits owed is dependent on the amount of your hearing loss, so your employer or employer’s insurance carrier has a significant interest in downplaying your loss. Don’t let them do so. Contact us so we can fight back. 
  • How much does an attorney cost?
    • In almost all cases, you will pay nothing for our representation. If we are successful in obtaining you benefits under the Longshore Act, the law provides that our fees are paid by your employer or employer’s insurance carrier.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.  Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. Readers of this website should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.