How long does an injured longshoreman or civilian contractor have to file a claim under the Longshore or Defense Base Act? The answer, in most instances, is one (1) year from the date of the injury.
What happens if you are paid compensation and your employer terminates the payments? You should likely retain a qualified attorney immediately. But with respect to the statute of limitations, if your employer voluntarily pays compensation benefits and then terminates those payments, you will then have one (1) year from the time that your employer terminates compensation benefits for you to file a claim for additional compensation benefits.
If your claim is due to what is referred to in the act as an “occupational disease”, like hearing loss or exposure to harmful chemicals, you have two (2) years to file your claim. The time does not start until you first become aware of the relationship between the occupational disease, your disability, and your employment. An occupational disease is an illness or medical condition which develops as a result of exposure to harmful conditions or substances in the workplace. With occupational injuries, the insurance companies love to litigate against injured workers over when the disease manifested itself, and when the employee became aware of the link between the disease and his or her employment. Often, the diseases or conditions as a result of exposure does not manifest itself for years or decades, and not until you have retired or left a particular employer. It is therefore important to retain a qualified attorney to represent you as you navigate the intricacies of the Longshore and Defense Base Act.