Florida is one of the largest employers of maritime workers, and the number of workers involved in water transportation occupations is growing. Like many industrial and commercial occupations, longshore and harbor work is often dangerous. If you work in these fields, you may receive some type of Worker compensation benefits for your on-the-job injuries.
Longshore and Harbor Worker Compensation Act (or, Longshore Act) provides compensation and medical care for workers disabled because of injuries or occupational diseases occurring on navigable waters or in areas used for loading, unloading, repairing or building certain vessels. Several injury benefits may be available:
- Disability compensation is paid every two weeks, when a worker is disabled and unable to earn his or her prior income because of a workplace injury. Payments are made for permanent total, temporary total, permanent partial and temporary partial disabilities.
- Permanent partial disability for retirees is paid when a worker retires and only then, discovers a latent occupational disease. Payment is made based on the National Average Weekly Wage (NAWW) and multiplied by the percentage the retiree is impaired.
- Rehabilitation benefits include evaluation, testing, counseling, job placement and retraining for employees who cannot return to their prior work. Benefits may also include tuition, books and supplies, as well as a maintenance allowance during retraining.
- Death benefits are paid to the spouse of the deceased maritime worker, or to other eligible survivors, when an on-the-job injury causes the worker’s death. Death benefits may include reasonable funeral expenses up to a maximum and a percentage of the average weekly wage of the deceased.
If you are a longshore or harbor worker, and you were injured on-the-job or suffered an occupational disease — or, if you lost a loved one in a maritime workplace accident — a skilled Florida longshoremen attorney can help you obtain the benefits you need and deserve. Our lawyers help injured workers and their families deal with difficult insurers and appeal denials or benefits that end too early.