Maritime Law Protects Injured Dockworkers

Last month, a storage container fell from a crane and killed a dockworker at the Port of Long Beach. In August, a Philadelphia longshoreman died from a fall. As these accidents suggest, working shore-side can be dangerous. Dockworkers, also known as longshoremen, risk serious injury and death in their line of work. They utilize heavy loading and unloading equipment, lift and stow cargo, and handle hazardous materials.

Shipyard, dock and pier accidents can result in:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Hand and wrist injuries
  • Knee, leg or foot injuries
  • Burns
  • Amputations
  • Death

Some injured dockworkers suffer permanent scarring, disfigurement, or physical and mental impairments, and sometimes their injuries prove so severe that they lose the ability to earn a living. If you become seriously injured while working on a dock, your medical expenses and lost wages may reach the millions.

Dockworkers generally qualify for compensation under the Longshore Act, which provides:

  • Two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wage while he or she is totally disabled, whether the disability is permanent or temporary
  • Medical treatment and equipment
  • Vocational rehabilitation for permanently disabled workers
  • Damages for lost body parts
  • Death benefits for survivors

Some longshoremen may also be covered by the Jones Act. A maritime attorney can review your case to determine which maritime laws apply and will help you obtain the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled. The Longshore Act only allows claims up to one year after the accident, making it important to consult a maritime attorney right away.

Were you injured while working as a longshoreman? A Boston maritime attorney can advise you of your legal rights.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers