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Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers


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Dock Workers

Dock workers are a vital part of the process of shipping and receiving goods. They ensure the efficient function of our ports, often working under strenuous and sometimes dangerous conditions. Many dockside hazards present a risk of work injury to the workers loading and unloading goods. These hazards include:

  • Working with hazardous cargo such as toxic chemicals that can release fumes
  • Working in all types of weather that can make the dock slick
  • Working near water where a fall can result in drowning
  • Working with and around heavy machinery and moving vehicles
  • Falling cargo
  • Fires and explosions

Common injuries suffered by dock workers may include:

The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act

Injured dock workers have access to the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA). The LHWCA covers maritime employees including longshoremen, harbor workers, and most of the other workers on docks, and in the shipyards and terminals. To qualify for benefits under the LHWCA, maritime workers must meet certain eligibility criteria as defined by “status” and “situs” tests.

Status Test

The status test says that to be eligible for LHWCA benefits, an employee must perform maritime work. This means a significant part of an employee’s duties must involve the water or marine transport. Eligible workers include:

  • Longshoremen (dockworkers) and those who load/unload dock vessels
  • Ship repairmen
  • Ship builders and ship breakers
  • Truck drivers transporting shipping containers from the ships
  • Mechanics for the trucks

Ineligible employees working on or near the docks include:

  • Office and secretarial workers
  • Repairmen and mechanics for recreational vessels
  • Shipbuilders of recreational vessels smaller than 65 feet in length
  • Fish farming workers
  • Marina workers who are not involved in the construction, replacement, or expansion of the marina (except for routine maintenance)
  • Captains of any type of vessel and their crews (these workers are covered under the Jones Act)

Situs Test

Situs means location and this test determines if the employee works on, near, or adjacent to navigable water. To be eligible for benefits the employee must work on a ship or vessel, or on the adjoining docks, piers, terminals, or other areas used for loading, unloading, repairs, shipbuilding, or shipbreaking.

Filing for Benefits

The LHWCA allows injured workers to file claims under both a state Workers’ Compensation act, and the LHWCA. However, the employee may not receive double benefits. Not all states allow the filing of both claims so it is important to consult with an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your situation.

The LHWCA provides workers with temporary total or partial disability benefits. Workers may also receive compensation for their medical treatment, and mileage and transportation expenses. Those who are unable to return to their previous line of work are eligible for vocational rehabilitation benefits. Death benefits are available to families of dock workers who do not recover from their injuries.

Generally, LHWCA benefits are slightly more than most state Workers’ Compensation benefits, but filing a claim under the LHWCA can be a very slow process. Therefore, injured workers may want to file a claim in both systems to start receiving assistance from whichever claim is heard first. After the Longshore benefits claim is processed, if that amount is more, workers can collect the greater amount, minus the state benefits that have already been paid to them.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP Advocate for Injured Dock Workers

If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, contact a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer of Gross & Kenny, LLP. Call 267-589-0090 or complete our online form to schedule an initial consultation. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, allowing us to serve Pennsylvania and New Jers

A Message to Our Clients About Coronavirus COVID-19:

A Message to Our Clients About Coronavirus COVID-19:

At Gross & Kenny, LLP we view the safety and well-being of our clients, staff and business partners as our highest priority.

The situation regarding the COVID-19 virus is continually changing, and we are following all recommended guidelines to stay healthy.

Currently, our law firm is remaining open to serve your legal needs. If you were working light duty or modified duty as a result of a work injury in Pennsylvania and were recently laid off or terminated from your job due to the Coronavirus you may be entitled to weekly workers' compensation checks for lost wages moving forward. Contact us to find out . We are open and ready to assist.

We are happy to arrange for phone or video consultations should you have any concerns about keeping your scheduled appointments with us. We are also able to exchange documents via secure drives or email.

Should you have any concerns regarding an upcoming meeting with us, please contact us online or call (215) 512-1500.

We are continuing to fight on behalf of our clients and that we are all able to handle things even if mandated by the government that we work remotely.

Thank you and take care.