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Virginia Maritime and Longshore Injury Lawyers

Accidents and injuries in the maritime industry are common and often deadly. They can also be financially and emotionally crippling. Fortunately, workers at sea and on the nation’s waterways can pursue compensation for the losses caused by on-the-job injuries. But recovering this money is often a challenge.

How Virginia Maritime and Longshore Injury Lawyers Help Injured Workers

Maritime workers have the right to seek compensation for on-the-job injuries. But without an attorney, injured workers could get far less than they deserve. Insurance company adjusters work hard to pay as little as possible. They often outright deny perfectly valid claims. In many cases, they can only get away with this with unrepresented workers.

When an accident victim has an personal injury attorney on their side, the playing field becomes equal. Adjusters must now deal with someone who knows the true value of the injury claim. And their offers tend to reflect this; they are usually much higher than offers made to workers without attorneys.

Injury Compensation for Maritime Workers

Depending on the case, an injured maritime worker might have access to various forms of compensation. Some rules for compensation stem from the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) and the Jones Act.


The LHWCA covers employees who work on the many navigable waters in the U.S. It also covers employees who work on maritime activities in areas near navigable waters, such as docks, piers, and wharves.

Some of the workers covered by the LHWCA include:

  • Construction workers at harbors
  • Longshore workers
  • Shipbuilders and ship repairers
  • Shipbreakers

There are four types of benefits available under the LHWCA:

  • Permanent total disability (PTD)
  • Temporary total disability (TTD)
  • Permanent partial disability (PPD)
  • Temporary partial disability (TPD)

A disability is temporary when medical providers expect the injured person to recover fully. Sometimes, the injured party’s condition stabilizes and improves no further. When that happens, the disability is permanent.

Some disabilities prevent workers from doing any work at all. In that case, the disability is a total disability. But if the worker can engage in light or modified work after their injury, the disability is partial.

The benefits that workers receive under the LHWCA include:

  • Medical care
  • Wage replacement
  • Vocational rehab

The LHWCA also provides for death benefits in the event of a fatality.

Jones Act

The Jones Act covers a different type of worker than the LHWCA. Jones Act provisions cover employees known as seamen. A seaman is a person whose work requires them to perform a significant amount of duties on a vessel. Generally speaking, this means that they spend 30% or more of their working time on a vessel.

In contrast to the LHWCA, the Jones Act allows injured workers to pursue compensation against their employers. They can also make a claim against any other negligent party that caused their injuries. But they must prove negligence, which is not required under the LHWCA.

The types of compensation available under the Jones Act include:

  • Past, present, and future medical expenses
  • Lost income and loss of future earning capacity
  • Past, present, and future pain and suffering and mental anguish

The Jones Act also provides coverage for permanent disability and permanent disfigurement and scarring.

Statutes of Limitations for Maritime Cases

Both the Jones Act and the LHWCA have statutes of limitations. These laws require injured workers to file claims within a certain period of time. If too much time has passed, a valid claim becomes void. The injured worker will lose out on valuable compensation. For this reason, workers must take swift action on their injury claims.

When filing a claim under the Jones Act, claimants have a total of three years from the date of the injury or event to take action. After three years, the courts will likely dismiss the case. But there is an exception to the statute of limitations.

This exception is called the discovery rule. It holds that the statute of limitations does not begin to run until an injured worker becomes aware or should have become aware of their injuries.

The statute of limitations is a bit shorter for LHWCA claims. Injured workers have only one year from the date of the injury to pursue benefits.

This rule also has exceptions. For example, suppose that the injury is an occupational disease, such as lung disease. In that case, the worker has two years from the date they first learn of their illness. Also, if the employer fails to file a first report of the injury, the statute of limitations will not begin running until they file the report.

Why Choose The Joel Bieber Firm?

Attorney Joel Bieber and his team have recovered millions of dollars for clients over the years. The dedication and commitment to excellence of the Virginia maritime and longshore injury lawyers at the firm remain unmatched.

As many have in the past, you can turn to The Joel Bieber Firm to faithfully represent you in your time of need. While you are taking time to recover, Mr. Bieber and his team of Virginia maritime and longshore injury lawyers will handle every task crucial to your claim, including:

  • Investigating the accident
  • Filing and managing all relevant paperwork
  • Negotiating with insurance carriers for a proper settlement
  • Consulting with the appropriate experts
  • Keeping you abreast of the progress of your case

Injured maritime workers deserve to have their injury claims honored to the full extent of the law. The Joel Bieber Firm fights hard to make this happen.

Experienced Virginia Maritime and Longshore Injury Lawyers Who Care

If you are dealing with maritime issues, don’t go it alone! Let the Virginia maritime and longshore injury lawyers from The Joel Bieber Firm fight for you. Call today for a free consultation.


Contact an experienced Injury Claims Lawyer at The Joel Bieber Firm today for your free initial consultation.