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San Diego Longshoreman Workers Compensation Attorneys

San Diego Longshoreman Workers' Compensation Lawyers

We are your federal workers' compensation lawyers for representation concerning

  • Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act [LHWCA]—Jr In San Diego, we are representing injured workers involved in new ship construction and ship repair usually near or at NASSCO shipyards.
  • Defense Base Act—In southern California, this may involve Chaldean Iraqi interpreters injured in a combat zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan.
  • Non-Appropriated Funds Act—An example of an injured employee includes workers at Navy and USMC Exchanges.

Chula Vista Longshore and Harbor Worker Injury Lawyers

Longshore Benefits for NASSCO employees and other employees injured working on or near navigable waters — If you are injured building or repairing a Navy vessel, you need an attorney. You are eligible for both state of California and federal LHWCA workers' compensation benefits. Your attorney works to get you the best benefit possible under the state and federal laws. You have plenty of chances to make HUGE mistakes without an attorney to guide you.

  • Under LHWCA you are entitled to select a physician of your choice. This is the good news. The bad news is that you only get to choose one time. Exactly how many doctors does the average injured worker know? Not enough to make an educated choice. Under California workers' compensation law you need to treat with a doctor in the Medical Provider Network established by the insurance carrier. Once you have selected a treating physician for your injury, you may not change doctors without the permission of the employer or insurance carrier or the federal Department of Labor Office of Workers' Compensation adjuster assigned to your case. The doctor that you choose to treat you may be the second biggest decision you make, other than choosing your Longshore lawyer. Medical treatment includes all medical surgical and hospital treatment and other medical supplies and services required to treat your job injury, as well as the cost of travel and mileage to receive your treatment.
  • Amount and Duration of Compensation --— Under the Longshore Act you are entitled to receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage if you are unable to perform your usual and customary job and your employer will not offer you part time or modified work while you are healing.
  • When you are at maximum medical improvement and permanent and stationary status as determined by your treating doctor, the employer will hire an outside vendor to contact a Labor Market Survey to determine whether you can return to your past work and whether you can now perform lighter work. Lighter work is usually an Unskilled Sedentary or Light Work job, like a security guard or cashier. Your retained ability to work factors into the amount and duration of your Permanent Disability benefits, especially if your injury involved your neck or lower spine or either shoulder. An injury to these parts of the body entitles you to receive Unscheduled Permanent Disability benefits based upon wage loss expected in the future as projected by the Labor Market Survey. This phase of your case is the most controversial and contested. At NASSCO many workers are Hispanic with limited education and commute from Mexico to NASSCO each day to work. These workers may now be highly skilled welders, shipfitter or riggers. After an injury they are unable to return to their regular job. It is difficult for them to find new occupations. Many injured Hispanic workers never return to gainful employment after serious injury for a Longshore employer. They need a skilled attorney to advise them.
  • What happens if you only injure your knee or an elbow or hand? These are Scheduled injury parts of the body. Your permanent disability is first described in your treating doctor's final report. Your doctor uses rules set out by the American Medical Association to establish your percentage of disability. The Longshore Act tells your adjuster how many weeks of compensation you will receive.
  • You can receive Scheduled benefits and Unscheduled benefits. After the scheduled benefits are completely paid, you may be eligible for unscheduled benefits, possibly for life, if you have incurred serious injury to your neck, spine, shoulder or psyche. In California, these benefits are compared to what you are entitled under the state workers' compensation laws. Your lawyer will make sure you get paid the correct settlement amount under either the State or Federal Longshore rules. It is very complicated.
  • If your employer's insurance company schedules a medical appointment for you with a doctor you don't know, you have to go to the appointment. If you refuse to go your monetary compensation may be suspended. The suspension may last for months.

If you are injured on the job, immediately inform your supervisor. Write down the names of other workers who may have witnessed our injury. Obtain Longshore Form-1 from your medical clinic. This will authorize you to seek medical treatment from the physician of your choice. Now call our office. You should not pick a treating physician without the assistance of your lawyer. Do not let your employer or claims adjuster trick you into picking their doctor!

Your lawyer will the necessary claim forms for compensation. 'These are Longshore Form LS-203 and for the state of California laws, form DWC-1.

Se habla español. Ask to speak to Señor Kepler.


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Atcheson & Kepler | 1901 First Avenue, Suite 184 | San Diego, CA 92101 |

San Diego Law Office Map | Telephone: 619-894-8559 | Toll Free: 877-470-3408 | Fax: 619-231-7079 | Contact