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Longshoremen Workplace Injury Attorney in Miami, FL Experts in Maritime Work Injuries in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, and Throughout Florida

Miami's maritime industry thrives with the hard work of longshoremen, who are vital to the logistics and transportation sectors. At Orlando R. Murillo, P.A., we understand the risks faced by these essential workers and are dedicated to representing longshoremen who have been injured on the job. As your Miami longshoremen accident lawyer, Orlando Murillo is committed to defending your rights and advocating for you to receive the compensation you deserve.

What Are Longshoremen Accidents?

Longshoremen accidents can encompass any incidents that occur during the loading, unloading, and maintenance of ships and lead to various injuries.

Common types of longshoremen accidents include the following.

Slips and Falls

Slip and fall injuries are among the most common accidents in the maritime industry. They often occur when longshoremen slip on wet or uneven surfaces on docks or ships.

Falls can also happen from heights, such as ladders or cargo stacks. Falls, especially those that occur when falling from heights, can lead to serious injuries like fractures, head trauma, and back injuries.

Equipment Malfunctions

Given the heavy machinery used in loading and unloading cargo, malfunctions can cause catastrophic accidents. Cranes, forklifts, and winches can fail, especially if they are defectively designed or improperly maintained. A malfunctioning crane or forklift could potentially lead to serious crushing injuries, amputations, and fatalities.

Exposure to Hazardous Substances

Longshoremen often handle chemicals and other dangerous goods in the course of their work. Accidental exposure to these substances while on the job can lead to chemical burns, respiratory problems, and long-term health issues like cancer or neurological damage. Proper handling procedures and safety gear are critical to minimize these risks.

Longshoremen Accidents in Miami Ports

These types of accidents underscore the importance of safety protocols, proper training procedures, and the use of appropriate safety equipment to prevent injuries in the maritime workplace. In Miami, where port activities are constant, these accidents can be frequent and severe, necessitating experienced legal intervention from a longshoremen workplace injury attorney in Miami, FL.

For most employers who are injured on the job in Florida, financial recovery occurs through claims for benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation program. However, longshoremen are protected under a separate federal law, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA).

LHWCA Benefits for Injured Longshoremen

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act offers compensation that is generally more comprehensive than state workers' compensation programs. LHWCA benefits can include the following:

  • Medical care: This benefit covers all medical treatment necessary for injuries sustained while working, including hospital visits, surgeries, medications, and any other medical expenses. It is intended to make sure that injured workers can receive their required care without out-of-pocket costs.
  • Rehabilitation services: If an injury results in the need for physical rehabilitation or vocational training to accommodate new physical limitations, the LHWCA covers these services. The goal is to help injured workers return to work or gain new skills if they cannot return to their previous jobs.
  • Disability payments: These payments compensate for lost wages due to work-related injuries. The LHWCA provides for temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent total disability, and permanent partial disability benefits, depending on the nature and severity of the injury. This ensures ongoing financial support for workers as they recover or adjust to the long-term impacts of their injuries.

Third-Party Claims for Injured Longshoremen

In cases where negligence is involved, longshoremen might have the grounds to file a third-party injury claim. Examples of the circumstances in which workers may be able to pursue compensation through a third-party injury claim include:

  • Defective equipment: If an injury is caused by defective machinery or equipment, the worker may sue the manufacturer of the equipment for negligence or product liability.
  • Negligence by other contractors: If other contractors or subcontractors on the same worksite act negligently, resulting in an injury, the injured worker can pursue claims against those third parties.
  • Property owner liability: If an injury occurs due to unsafe conditions on property owned by someone other than the employer, the property owner might be liable.

These and similar situations allow for legal action outside of either the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act or the Florida workers' compensation system. A third-party claim offers injured longshoremen the potential for additional compensation, because these legal actions allow you to seek monetary damages for pain and suffering and the entirety of your lost wages, rather than only a percentage of them.

Understanding these distinctions and navigating the process of recovering all of the compensation that you’re entitled to make the knowledge of a skilled longshoremen workplace injury attorney in Miami, FL, invaluable for moving forward with your claim.

What to Do If You Are Injured

If you have just suffered an injury, it is crucial to:

  1. Seek immediate medical attention.
  2. Report the incident to your employer.
  3. Document the accident and your injuries.
  4. Contact a Miami longshoremen accident lawyer to ensure your legal rights are upheld.

The Process of Claiming Benefits for a Longshoreman Accident

The process through which you can claim benefits for a longshoreman accident under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act typically involves several key steps:

  1. Report the injury: The injured worker must report the injury to their employer as soon as possible, typically within 30 days of the incident or of becoming aware of the injury.
  2. Document the injury through medical attention: Immediate medical care should be sought, and the medical provider should be informed that the injury is work-related. It’s important to continue documenting the injury and medical care received over the course of your recovery.
  3. Employer files a report: The employer is responsible for filing a formal report of the injury with the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP).
  4. File a claim: The injured worker must file a claim for compensation using Form LS-203, which needs to be submitted to the OWCP district office. This form should be filed within one year of the injury date or last payment of compensation.
  5. Go through the claims process: Once the claim is filed, it will be reviewed by a claims examiner at the OWCP, who may request additional information or arrange for a medical examination to verify the injury and its connection to the workplace.
  6. Claim is resolved: The claims examiner will issue a recommendation for or against the payment of benefits. If there are disputes over the claim, they can be resolved through informal conferences or formal hearings.
  7. Receive benefits: If the claim is approved, the injured worker will begin receiving benefits for medical care, rehabilitation services, and disability payments according to the severity of the injury.

This process is designed to ensure that all relevant facts are considered and that the injured worker receives the appropriate level of benefits in a timely manner. However, real-world outcomes don’t always line up with the intention of the program. Having a Miami longshoremen accident lawyer advocating for you can aid you in securing the benefits you’re entitled to.

How We Can Help an Injured Longshoreman

When you need a knowledgeable Miami longshoremen accident lawyer, Orlando R. Murillo, P.A. is here for you. Our services include comprehensive management of your claim, from initial filing to negotiations with insurance companies and, if necessary, litigation. We are committed to transparent communication and thorough preparation as two of the factors that allow us to achieve the best possible results for our clients.

Why Choose Orlando R. Murillo, P.A.?

With years of experience in maritime and workers' compensation law, Orlando R. Murillo, P.A. is uniquely equipped to handle your case. Our firm has a strong track record of securing favorable outcomes for maritime workers, demonstrating our capability and dedication to fighting for the injured.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a longshoreman accident, contact us today for a free initial consultation. Let an experienced longshoremen workplace injury attorney in Miami, FL, help you secure the compensation and justice you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions About Longshoremen Accident Claims in Miami and Throughout Florida