Longshore and harbor work is dangerous by nature, so injured workers need to get the compensation they deserve as soon as possible. The key to obtaining Worker compensation for your injuries is knowing what steps to take and when.
The first step to take when you are injured while working at a harbor, on a dock, on a boat, or during a longshore job, is to notify your employer of your injuries. Your employer must then fulfill certain responsibilities, including providing the forms you need to obtain medical treatment and notifying the insurance company so payment can begin. Once you obtain this form, do not hesitate in seeking medical treatment from the doctor of your choice. Prompt medical treatment is better for your claim and can prevent additional harm.
Even though you already notified your employer, you must also give written notice of your injury using the appropriate form and within 30 days. For latent injuries, such as hearing loss and other occupational diseases, you may have additional time. Regardless, you must act as soon as possible. If a longshoreman or harbor worker is killed in a fatal work accident, family members must also provide a written notice of death within 30 days to obtain benefits.
The final step in the application process is to file a written claim for compensation. You must do so within one year of the date you were injured or one year from the date you were last paid compensation, whichever is later. The same timeline applies for family members filing for survivor benefits after the death of a longshore, harbor or dock worker. There may be an extended period in certain cases.
Obtaining benefits for longshore and harbor injuries is complicated and often made more difficult by the fact that you are dealing with injuries or death. A skilled Florida maritime lawyer can guide workers and their families through the system and deal with difficult insurance companies.