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Overview of the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act

Because San Diego is a coastal town, there are many workers in this area who spend their days on the docks unloading and loading ships. These Californians do an important service for the shipping industry, and industry which affects both the California and the national economy.

Simply by the physical nature of the job they do, these workers are prone to significant injuries. In addition to the possibility of serious accidents, they can also get injured over the course of time, simply through the repetitive strain on their muscles and other body parts. When these injuries happen, the workers will likely need help with paying for their medical expenses and rehabilitation, as well as covering their lost income.

For these types of workers, the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act provides benefits similar to those offered under California's workers' compensation system. Specifically, the Act affords injured workers benefits like reimbursement for medical expenses, coverage for lost income and rehabilitation expenses. Because state laws often exclude dock workers and others who can take advantage of these federal laws from workers' compensation, relying on this Act may be the only chance a worker has of getting prompt financial assistance for his or her injuries.

Although the concept is basically the same, the process of claiming benefits under this Act can be quite different than the workers' compensation process. These differences can be very important, particularly when it comes to things like deadlines. This one reason why a dock worker may want legal assistance from a qualified attorney with experience filing claims under this Act.

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