It is the claimant’s burden to establish timely notice. Notice of an injury or death for which compensation is payable must be given within 30 days after injury or death, or within 30 days after the employee or beneficiary is aware of, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence or by reason of medical advice should have been aware of, a relationship between the injury or death and the employment. 33 U.S.C. § 912(a). The claimant is provided a presumption that timely notice has been provided. Shaller v. Cramp Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., 23 BRBS 140 (1989). Where one injury arises out of an accident has been reported, the claimant does not have to give separate notice of other injuries resulting from the same incident. Thompson v. Lockheed Shipbuilding & Constr. Co., 21 BRBS 94 (1988). Continue reading Notice as a Defense in Longshore Claims
What happens immediately after the alleged injury occurs?
- The employee must notify the employer immediately. If medical treatment is sought the employer must provide the claimant with Form LS-1, which authorizes treatment by a doctor of the employee’s choice. Unless otherwise noted, as of publication, all forms to be filed with the OWCP Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation can be found at http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/lsforms.htm.
- The claimant will then receive medical treatment.The claimant must provide written notice of the injury within 30 days to the employer on Form LS-201. 33 U.S.C. § 912(a). Notice of death must also be given within 30 days. Additional time is provided for certain hearing loss and occupational disease claims.
- (Elective – does not happen in all cases). To obtain permanency and some other benefits under the Act, the injured worker must file either Form LS-203 or a written statement identifying the alleged injury and stating that the identified claimant is seeking benefits. This must be filed within one year after injury, or, if the employer or its insurer has made voluntary payments, within a year after the last payment. If the alleged condition is an “occupational disease” rather than a specific accident, the filing period is two years from the date it was recognized as employment-related and disabling character.
Forms & Procedure – Controverting claims
An employer contesting the right to compensation must file a Notice of Controversion of Right To Compensation with the District Director on or before the fourteenth day, after knowledge of the alleged injury or death (from the date the claimant files Form LS-207). Following the filing of a Notice of Controversy, an informal conference will be scheduled at the District Office and a Longshore claims examiner will preside over an informal conference to discuss and potentially resolve the dispute. This conference will be held approximately one to three months following the filing of the request.
The informal conference can take place over the phone or in the district office where the case is venued.
If the issues cannot be resolved informally at the informal conference, the parties will be directed to file a Pre-Hearing Statement. The Pre-Hearing Statement is form LS-18, and can be submitted electronically (through SEAPortal). The case will then be referred to the Office of Administrative Law Judges for a formal hearing. An Administrative Law Judge will issue a formal decision and order regarding the benefits claimed.
Does Longshore Coverage Apply?
We defend employers and carriers in workers’ compensation claims arising under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act in litigation before the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Office of Administrative Law Judges.
We analyze whether Longshore jurisdiction applies, defend claims, and pursue lien recovery. Contact us.