Maritime Claims and the LHWCA

LongShoreSailorsThe Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act helps sailors, harbor workers, and maritime contractors receive workers’ compensation for injuries sustained on the job. It was enacted in 1927 to cover workers not specifically listed in the Jones Act, which requires that goods shipped over water from one U.S. port to another be carried only by entirely U.S.-based operations, from the manufacturers of the ships to the crews aboard to the owners of the ships themselves.

Over $747 million is provided by the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, to assist with vocational, medical, and straight monetary benefits for injured workers. The process is not a rigorous one, but certain steps are imperative, such as immediate notification of a supervisor in the event of an injury. Many maritime claims attorneys also recommend that claimants keep adequate records of their injury, including when it happened, when they notified their supervisor, and when the sought medical attention. The more hard evidence for each of these occurrences, the smoother the case will run.

In 1941, the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act was extended to cover American contractors on overseas bases. The Defense Base Act, as it is known, provided care for any worker on a U.S. base, even if that base was located inland. The parameters for filing claims are the same within the Defense Base Act, while only the scope of coverage changed.

If you need more information on the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, you can find it at the Department of Labor website ( Here you can find definitions, FAQs, and downloadable forms. You can also contact any one of several qualified Defense Base Act attorneys specializing in Maritime Law, if you would rather speak with someone face to face.