If you are a longshore and harbor worker who has been injured or taken ill on the job, you may qualify for workers compensation under the Longshore Compensation Act, first enacted in 1927. The Longshore Compensation Act protects 500,000 injured or occupationally ill workers who were hurt or became sick either on United States navigable waters or in adjoining areas. Should you find yourself in a similar situation, you should immediately report the injury or illness to your immediate supervisor, as doing so fulfills the initial technical requirement of the Defense Base Act. After you have made this report, it is highly advisable that you get in touch with a DBA attorney for help with your maritime claims. Defense base act attorneys are qualified to aid you as you navigate the bureaucracy. A DBA attorney will do his or her best to make sure you receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled.
A DBA attorney is knowledgeable about section 27 of the Longshore Compensation Act, commonly referred to as the Jones Act. This act has to do with cabotage. A Defense Base Act attorney will understand that the Jones Act demands that all goods transported vis a vis waters between United States ports must be carried by US flag ships. So too, a DBA attorney knows that these ships must be built within the United States, be owned by American citizens, and be crewed by both American citizens and US permanent residents. This kind of minutia may have relevance to your particular case when you file for longshore workers compensation, which is something that your DBA attorney can help to figure out.
Another issue pertaining to longshore workers compensation that a defense base ACT attorney can provide you assistance is exactly how and by whom your benefits will be paid. Normally, Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act benefits are paid out by an authorized employer who is self insured. There are many variables in play when it comes to the disbursement of benefits. Your DBA attorney can keep you abreast of these and help you formulate the best plan of action.
Of course, you do not have to be the injured party collecting longshore harbor workers compensation benefits to obtain help from a DBA attorney. If you are the spouse or family member of a longshoreman who was killed due to an employment related injury or illness, a DBA attorney can assist you as well. Mortal injuries are considered to be special cases under the DBA. One benefit for loved ones of deceased longshore workers is the payment of reasonable funeral expenses up to $3,000. Survivors receive benefits calculated according to the average weekly wages of the deceased. A DBA attorney can represent the legal interests of your family as you deal with this tragic situation.