905(b) Claims and New Orleans Shore-Based Maritime Injuries

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905(b) Claims and New Orleans Shore-Based Maritime Injuries

Industrial equipment, slick surfaces, and a harried environment can make for dangerous working conditions for New Orleans shore-based workers. When longshoremen, harbor workers, and other dock and shipyard workers sustain injuries on the job, they should look into all of…

Industrial equipment, slick surfaces, and a harried environment can make for dangerous working conditions for New Orleans shore-based workers. When longshoremen, harbor workers, and other dock and shipyard workers sustain injuries on the job, they should look into all of the available avenues for securing benefits before they file any paperwork. There may be more than one way of obtaining benefits and compensation, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

If you recently sustained a shore-based maritime injury, call a Gulf Shore injury attorney at Cueria Law Firm and discuss your options: 800-899-7102. (The consult is free, and there is no obligation to use our services.)

What protections do workers have after shore-based maritime injuries?

Shore-based workers are oftentimes confused about their rights and legal options regarding work injuries. Employees who work on land are generally under the protection of their state’s workers’ compensation laws. They can file for and receive benefits from their employer’s insurance company if ever they are hurt on the job. Similarly, seamen are protected under the Jones Act, under which they can claim benefits for work injuries they sustain at sea.

But what about dock workers are other maritime industry workers that are hurt on shore? Ordinary workers’ compensation does not cover them, nor do they qualify as seamen under the Jones Act. Fortunately, they are not without options. These types of employees are protected under a specific piece of federal legislation: The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).

This act provides workers’ compensation-like benefits for injured shore-based maritime employees, including New Orleans shipbuilders, repairers, loaders, stevedores, shipyard terminal workers, and others that work primarily on shore.

What benefits can workers obtain under the LHWCA?

When you are hurt on the job, you will need to notify your employer and seek medical attention straightaway. The LHWCA provides that your employer will need to pay for all of your medical bills, as well as a portion of your wages if you need to miss work time due to your injury. Specifically, you are entitled to:

  • Medical benefits (all reasonable and necessary expenses for the treatment of your work injury)
  • Income replacement in the amount of two-thirds of your average pre-injury wages
  • Once your injury has reached maximum healing, you may qualify for a scheduled award for injury to certain body parts [as per 33 U.S.C. § 908(c)], or two-thirds of your lost earning capacity
  • Vocational rehabilitation services

Note, in order to receive benefits, you will need to file a claim for compensation (Form LS-203) with the United States Department of Labor’s Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation within one year after your accident. For help with paperwork and securing your benefits, call 800-899-7102.

What other kinds of claims can I file after a shore-based accident?

In certain situations, you may qualify to file a lawsuit against a third party or even your employer. There are very specific qualifying factors that you must be able to establish in order to have a successful case, though.

Third-party lawsuits

If your injury was the result of another party’s negligence (not your employer), then your attorney can help you file a negligence lawsuit and seek recovery for damages. For instance, if you were hurt by a defective piece of machinery while on the dock, you might be able to file a third party lawsuit against the equipment manufacturer.

905(b) claims

In the majority of cases, both land-based and maritime employers are immune from liability to lawsuits when their employees are injured. However, there is an exception to the rule. Under § 905(b) of the LHWCA, you have the right to sue your employer for recovery of damages if the following two conditions exist: 1) your employer owned the vessel on which you were injured, and 2) your injury was the result of your employer’s negligence “in his capacity” as the vessel’s owner.

For instance, if your employer knew the gantry crane was on the fritz, but had you operate the crane anyway, causing your injury, you might qualify to file a 905(b) claim against your employer.

Filing these claims can be complicated; speak with an attorney for help.

What kinds of damages can I recover with third party and 905(b) claims?

You can recover much fuller and more varied damages with 905(b) claims than you can with LHWCA claims, which are notably limited in scope. Claims filed under 905(b) are essentially tort cases, or claims filed based on a “tortious act,” or civil wrongdoing. As such, the compensable damages for 905(b) claims are akin to those you can recover in a common personal injury lawsuit. They include:

  • Full wage replacement (not just two-thirds)
  • Future lost wages
  • Lost benefits
  • Emotional harms
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Loss of contribution/personal services to your family

In some cases, you might also be able to recover punitive damages, awarded to victims in select cases as a punishment for the wrongdoer if the negligence was particularly gross or wanton. The possibility of receiving punitive damages largely depends on the state in which you file. Louisiana courts, for example, have allowed injured shore-based workers to pursue punitive damages under 905(b) in prior cases, whereas other state courts have decided the opposite.

Your attorney can advise you of which types of damages you may qualify for and what the estimated value of your case is.

What do I have to prove in order to win a 905(b) claim?

Just like with any tort case, you must be able to prove four basic elements in order to win your 905(b) claim:

  • Duty of care: The vessel owner had a duty to keep the ship reasonably safe so that harm could not befall you.
  • Breach of duty: The employer somehow breached its duty of care, i.e., acted negligently.
  • Proximate cause: The employer’s negligence proximately caused your injury.
  • Damages: You sustained actual, provable, compensable injuries in the accident.

The key to prevailing in these types of cases is compiling a good amount of evidence that strongly supports your case. Photos and videos of the scene and hazard, eyewitness reports, and testimony from experts can all be useful. Your maritime injury attorney can assist you with collecting the evidence you need, filing the necessary paperwork, and fighting for the full amount of benefits to which you are entitled.

What is the time limit for filing a New Orleans maritime injury claim?

The time limits for filing claims after a New Orleans shore-based maritime accident varies according to the type of claim and state in which you file. For instance, you must file LHWCA and third-party injury claims within a year, and 905(b) claims within three years.

However, you do not want to procrastinate in taking action, because you may lose evidence or face unexpected delays — and accidentally overstepping the time limit will nullify your rights to compensation. It is far better to get the ball rolling as soon as practicable to protect your claim.

For help understanding your rights and options, or for legal representation for a maritime injury, contact our New Orleans maritime attorneys at Cueria Law Firm and request a free consultation: 800-899-7102.



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Awards & Honors

Attorney Brent Cueria founded the Cueria Law Firm, L.L.C. located in New Orleans, in order to focus on the representation of injured individuals, where his true passion is. Mr. Cueria uses his past experience to diligently advocate for the injured and disabled clients he now represents against the insurance companies.




  • $2,000,000

    Hotel Premises Liability Settlement

  • $1,500,000

    Automobile Accident Settlement

  • $1,250,000

    Tractor Trailer Injury

  • $475,000

    Jones Act Seaman Injured in Oil Spill

  • $475,000

    Jones Act Seaman Orthopedic Injury

  • $400,000

    Passenger in Truck Crash Trial

Positive Client Reviews

Wonderful law firm! Friendly staff, friendly attorney! I love this place and will definitely recommend Mr. Cueria to anyone!
Jataun Cooper
Jataun Cooper
16:50 11 Dec 19
Mr. Brent and his team his paralegals were very helpful in every step of the processes involving my legal dispute.They were completely understanding in every part of this.I am very thankful for them.
brandon newton
brandon newton
21:43 26 Sep 19
Had a Great experience. These guys are great and fast. They are on it. Y’all need to check out this law firm. Check them out u won’t be sorry but you will get a fair settlement because they are fair people. Been hurt??? Don’t wait. Call them today and let them litigate...
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carolyn clay
20:56 18 Jul 19
Brent is very professional and easy to work with. He made sure I was taken care of better than I expected. Very nice man and great team!
Kristin Marks
Kristin Marks
19:45 29 May 19
Mr. Brent Cueria does an amazing job! He was always available for any questions or concerns that I had. There was never a moment that he wouldn't take the time to help me out and keep me updated on the process of my case! A great attorney and an amazing guy!
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Kevin Byrd
15:59 08 May 19
Awesome caring firm that puts the clients needs first always. Brent was an exceptional lawyer and good person. I highly recommend Cueria Law Firm.
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Cat D
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I had a good experience with this firm. The staff was professional and protected my personal interest. I would definitely recommend them.
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Tameka Lewis
22:35 07 Feb 19
Mr. Cueria was amazing, helped me beyond my expectations, they answer the phone and respond promptly to their clients. Very easy going, respectful, and professional.
April Washington
April Washington
21:59 10 Jan 19
Very nice reliable law firm... we really had good experience with him. And we are really thankful. I recommend him to everyone.
Salwan Ibrahimi
Salwan Ibrahimi
22:43 08 Nov 18
Mr. Brent is a great personal injury attorney as well as a caring attorney. He is always available to talk and answer all our questions. Mr. Brent does not take you on as just a client. He treats you like family.
Rashonda Matthews
Rashonda Matthews
17:11 01 Nov 18
The BEST in New Orleans!! I came into this office not knowing what would be the outcome of my case, and Brent assured me he got this! A big thanks to him and his staff for all your hard work!! I’m telling you if you need someone to represent he’s definitely the guy to call!! Love you guys! Until next time !😁
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Great experience. Very professional and personal at the same time. Highly recommended.
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Mr. Cueria is very professional and works hard to assure that you received the best of outcome possible. Mr. Cueria and his staffed worked diligintly to give me the best settlement possible. I was very satisfied. -
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16:06 07 Dec 17

Talk to an Injury Attorney in

There are many factors that can affect the outcome of your case, but time is often the most important. Call Cueria Law Firm today to speak to an attorney about your claim, and get started on the path to physical, emotional and financial recovery.

The team at Cueria Law Firm is here to assist you in all steps of your case - setting up doctor's appointments, starting an insurance claim, requesting a rental car, and more. We understand life after an accident can be overwhelming, but you aren't going through it alone.