Private vs. Public Charleston Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Cases

With workers’ compensation in Charleston Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation cases, a federal law is applied to the cases. The actual insurance is provided by public and, to some extent, privately owned insurance companies. Some employers are self-insured. Although there is federal law and the cases are adjudicated through the federal system, the actual insurance industry is mostly a private sector that adjusts the claims.

To best understand whether your compensation case is regulated publicly or privately, it is important to contact a Charleston longshore and harbor lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can gather the elements of your case to help produce a successful outcome on your behalf.

Public vs. Private Compensation

The system provides that if a person is injured as a worker, that person is entitled to benefits; so the law is the same no matter whether the compensation is funded privately or publicly. If the person deals with a private entity or public company in the private sector when they adjust their claims, they may go about it somewhat differently than if the person is going against a government entity.

When a person deals with a private sector company, the insurance companies can have unreasonable denials to claims or issues. It is hard to get them to agree to basic things. The lawyer, therefore, must always try these cases because of the unwillingness of the insurance company to come to an agreement in the case. However, when someone deals with any type of government entity or insurance, it is usually resolved without a trial.

Federal and Private Sector Employees

There are workers’ compensation systems for other federal employees through the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA). It applies to people who are true federal employees such as postal workers or federal prison guards.

With the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, the workers are employed by private companies. The employees are typically longshoreman or other workers employed by a stevedoring company or by a private company that is building a bridge, dock, or something of that nature. While the name can be misleading, the injured workers, the employees that are part of that system typically are not federal employees.

Role of the Insurance Company

As with any other business, the insurance company tries to minimize the payout so they can maximize their profit. Inherent in any of these cases is the insurance company’s goal to pay out the least amount for medical expenses, weekly compensation checks, and any permanent impairment or disability. They have an adversarial relationship to anyone who is injured on the docks.

Because of the insurance company’s adverse interest against the injured worker, an injured worker should proceed with caution when the insurance company tries to advise them and tell them what to do. It makes sense for the injured worker to get an experienced Longshore and Harbor Workers’ attorney to look out for their interest and make sure they are told the whole story.

If someone is not being told the whole story or is being pushed back or denied any benefits, the lawyer can ensure that the proper evidence, testimony, and so forth is developed and presented in the case.


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