If you have begun a new career in fields that involve offshore oil platforms, boats, cargo ships, along docks, at sea terminals, or river ways, you should probably do a little research on the longshore and harbor workers compensation act. Maritime claims generally refer to claims made by employees in this job arena.
Longshore and harbor workers compensation act and DBA work similarly to a state workers compensation law. However, there is not financial compensation for pain and suffering. It only gives its injured workers lifetime medical care for that specific work related injury or illness, and wage compensation. Just like with any workers compensation case, you will probably have plenty of questions. Especially with longshore workers compensation, you will want to seek out a specialized DBA attorney.
Hiring a defense base act attorney will help you navigate common problems, such as calculation of your average weekly wage, which depends on the length of time employed overseas, and possibly the employment before going overseas. OWCP calculated the national average weekly wage to be $647.60 from 2011 to 2012. Other issues that may arise could include conflicting medical opinions, documentation, and compliance, difficulty getting overseas medical records, a hard time maintaining open communications with workers due to logistics or personal issues, and the length of time it takes to see a claim fully through to the end.
Hiring a defense base act lawyer can help you avoid some of these complication by providing on time notification of an accident or injury to your employer, and timely filing of the claim with the Department of Labor. There is no need to feel alone, because these claims need to be filed often all over the world. With around 155,000 contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan alone, and thousands more supporting operations around the globe, you are not the only employee involved in the longshore and harbor workers compensation act.
In addition to having some protection for yourself while overseas, the longshore and harbor workers compensation act will provide small benefits to your family in the case of an injury leading to death. You will want to advise your family to also hire an attorney because injuries resulting in death are another special case under the DBA law. Death benefits will likely include funeral expenses up to $3,000. Surviving beneficiaries will also receive benefits based on the AWW of the deceased worker.
Before shipping off to your new job, it is especially important that you have a basic idea of what your benefits are. Research a few Dba lawyers ahead of time, just incase you need one quickly down the road. This will ensure all of your claims are filed on time, and that you easily navigate the system to attain your maximum benefits.