Dock workers play a crucial part of Charleston’s local economy, ensuring that products, goods, and supplies are properly loaded and unloaded so they can be shipped to local stores and businesses. While this work is crucial to importing and exporting materials, this type of work is also physically demanding and strenuous. Unfortunately, this results in a significant amount of dock workers suffering accidents and injuries on Charleston docks.
Not only do these injuries affect workers, who are often subsequently burdened with large medical bills, but local families also suffer as a result of a dock accidents.
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact a Charleston dock worker accident lawyer who is committed to helping injured dock workers and their families recover not only physically from dock accidents in Charleston, but also financially. The professional accident lawyers are dedicated to helping injured workers in and around the Charleston area, and can help you apply for workers’ compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act.
Common Injuries for Dock Workers
Working on the docks in Charleston can be a rewarding and lucrative position. However, working on a dock is often filled with hazards, and during the course of a career of working on the docks, it is likely that a majority of workers will suffer an injury.
Because of the type of work, the stress, and the physical demand of working on Charleston docks, some of the most common injuries include:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Ruptured eardrums
- Repetitive use injuries
- Eye injuries
- Electrical shocks
- Severe burns
While these injuries may be severe, many can be prevented by dock workers and companies properly implementing and following safety procedures. Unfortunately, many large shipping companies and maritime companies are more concerned with profits than ensuring dock worker safety.
A Charleston dock worker accident lawyer understands the impact an injury can have on an injured worker and their family, and is prepared to work hard to protect a worker’s rights to financial compensation.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federally enacted law that covers dock workers, longshoremen, and harbor workers in harbors and ports throughout the country.
This law was established after the federal government recognized the great importance dock workers had and the increased rates of injuries these workers face.
This special law was designed to provide maritime workers in Charleston with protections and benefits in the event of a workplace accident and injury on a dock, and often provides greater benefits than those offered under South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. However, because of federal procedures, it can be more difficult for a dock worker to apply for these benefits.
Advantages of a Lawyer
A Charleston dock worker accident lawyer is prepared to help workers who suffer an injury while working on docks, with experience helping injured workers in Charleston and the surrounding areas. It is important to understand that a dock worker may choose to utilize South Carolina’s workers’ compensation system, or they may choose to file a claim under the federally enacted Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
There may be advantages or disadvantages to an injured worker’s particular case regarding which system they file under, which is why it is always wise to work with an experienced dock worker accident lawyer. Lost wages – Workers who qualify under the LHWCA are generally entitled to up to two-thirds of their weekly pay, which is roughly equivalent to the pay scale under South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act.
Medical coverage – Injured dockworkers are also entitled to medical coverage for their injuries and treatment-related to their accident. Permanent disability payments – Unlike South Carolina’s workers’ compensation system, workers who qualify under the LHWCA may be entitled to permanent disability payments following an accident and debilitating injury. Working closely with an experienced and knowledgeable team of Charleston dock worker accident lawyers is the best way of going after the proper benefits and choose the laws and system that is most advantageous.
Talk to a Charleston Dock Worker Accident Attorney Today
If you have suffered an injury while working on a dock, harbor, or port, you may be entitled to significant workers’ compensation payments for your injury.
However, because of the complexities and procedural hurdles of both the state and federal system, you should consider working with an experienced Charleston dock worker accident lawyer, who is familiar with the detailed injury claims processes and can help you pursue compensation.