How Can I Recover Lost Wages Under Florida Maritime Laws?

Miami is a major cruise port, and one of the busiest cargo ports in the world, and businesses that support these industries employ thousands of dedicated maritime workers. Unfortunately, this sector is also one where injuries and accidents are common. Employees working on vessels, docks, and wharves are at risk, and the threat of injuries also affects many workers who support the maritime industry. If you were injured or lost a loved one because of an accident, it is a relief to know that you have legal remedies. 

However, with maritime accidents, there are multiple laws that provide remedies for injured workers to recover lost wages. The details vary according to your position, as well as the circumstances surrounding your employment. It is wise to retain a Miami maritime injuries attorney for assistance with your case, but some general background is also informative.

Jones Act

There are no laws at the state level that cover employees who are injured in maritime accidents, but there is a federal statute that creates a type of workers’ compensation program. Under the Jones Act, an injured employee must prove that the incident was caused by their employer’s negligence. The worker also has to show status as a seaman, meaning that the person works on water-based vessels at least 30% of the time in employment.

With a Jones Act claim, you may be able to recover for lost earnings in the form of maintenance and cure as follows:

  • Lost wages the worker did not earn because of injuries;
  • Lost income for amounts the seaman cannot earn until returning to work; and,
  • Lost future earning capacity.

A seaman is also entitled to amounts for medical costs, which is the cure portion of your recovery amount. Plus, it is also possible to obtain pain and suffering.

Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)

If you do not qualify as a seaman but you are injured in a maritime accident, you may have grounds to file a claim under LHWCA. Longshore workers are those who engage in job-related tasks on or adjacent to water-based vessels, such as on docks, wharves, piers, and barges. You do not need to prove negligence for an LHWCA claim.

Maintenance and cure amounts are also available under LHWCA, so you can obtain medical costs and lost wages. In general, you can receive two-thirds of your average weekly pay while you are under medical care. Plus, survivors can recover benefits if a longshore worker is killed on the job.

Seek Compensation With Help from a Miami Maritime Accidents Lawyer 

This information is useful for pointing out how to recover compensation for maritime injuries, but you will need experienced legal help with the process. To learn more about your rights, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA, to speak to a member of our team. You can reach our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL, by calling (305) 371-6000 or checking us out online. We are happy to set up a free consultation with a maritime accident attorney.

Florida Justice Association
The National Center for Victims of Crime
outh Florida Legal Guide
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