How Does it Help Longshoremen and Dockworkers?
Longshoremen and dock workers who are injured while on-the-job are generally covered under the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. This act provides harbor workers with worker’s compensation-like medical and disability benefits for their injuries regardless of who is at fault. It also allows a harbor worker to sue any business or person other than an employer or co-worker that is responsible in some way for his injuries.
The Admiralty Extension Act or AEA is a federal act that extends the rights of injured longshoremen. Sometimes a harbor worker is injured by a vessel, but the accident occurs while the worker is on land. The AEA is a federal act that extends admiralty jurisdiction inland and provides coverage under maritime law for those injuries that occur on land, but are caused by a vessel on navigable waters. For example, a worker on deck may be hit by the bowsprit of a vessel that comes too close to shore. The victim could sustain serious head injuries that require lifelong care. The AEA allows the worker and his family to file a maritime injury claim against the vessel and its owner. This addition to maritime law also allows longshoremen to bring claims against vessel owners for injuries caused while loading and unloading or storing vessel cargo.
The AEA also protects the rights of maritime employees injured on land while performing job duties related to or near their vessel. Until the Admiralty Extension Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1948, people injured on land by a boat on navigable water could not bring a claim under maritime law.
The Admiralty Extension Act does not apply to every longshoreman injury. In order to determine whether or not you may be eligible to recover under the AEA, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced maritime attorney. The Louisiana maritime attorneys at The Young Firm have represented longshoremen and offshore workers in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas for over 40 years. If you have been injured while at work on or near the water, contact our maritime law office at 866-666-5129.