Who Do You Sue if You are Injured as a Worker at the Port of Miami?
Our lead trial lawyer Brett Rivkind has an international reputation for dedication and excellence. His hard work and success have been recognized extensively through awards and special recognitions.
Anyone who works at the Port of Miami understands that the job can be challenging and physically demanding. Additionally, the job is often inherently dangerous. Unfortunately, accidents occur on the job – sometimes leaving workers with devastating injuries. In many cases, these accidents were preventable and caused by the negligence of other workers, an employer, a shipowner, or another party involved with the operation of the port. While workers are granted benefits under the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), they are still entitled to bring a personal injury lawsuit against a third-party. What parties can be held accountable depends on the nature and cause of the accident. Below, our Florida maritime attorney from Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A., discusses who you could sue if you suffered an injury while working at the Port of Miami.
The Longshore Workers’ Compensation Act and Injuries at the Port of Miami
The US Department of Labor instituted the LHWCA as a way to protect harbor workers because they are not typically provided benefits under ordinary state workers’ compensation insurance. Through the LHWCA, an injured dockworker can receive compensation for medical care, a portion of lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation if they were hurt while performing their job duties. The types of work covered under the act include loading and unloading, ship repairs, and shipbuilding. For an injured worker to receive compensation, the injury must have occurred in United States navigable waters or adjoining locations such as piers, docks, or terminals. The act prohibits an injured employee from suing their employer.
Third-Party Claims Under the LHWCA in Miami
The LHWCA will compensate an injured Port of Miami employee for their medical treatment and two-thirds of their lost income. However, in many situations, a severe injury will diminish a worker’s capacity to do their job, or the injury could be permanently debilitating. If this is the case, the benefits provided under the LHWCA will likely be insufficient to cover an injured employee’s full financial losses. If you are unable to work again, you deserve to be compensated for your full economic damages.
While an injured worker is prohibited from filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer – they are entitled to file a civil claim against a liable third-party. In fact, under the LHWCA, an injured worker is allowed to collect workers’ compensation and receive an award from a personal injury lawsuit.
There are two provisions for filing a claim against a third-party under the LHWCA. Section 905(b) permits an injured worker to file a lawsuit against a shipowner. Additionally, Section 933 allows someone who was hurt because of the negligence of another party’s conduct to bring a lawsuit against the responsible person or entity. As per the LHWCA, an employer is exempt under Section 933.
Determining What Third-Party to Sue After a Port of Miami Injury
Deciding what third-party could be held accountable for your injury depends on what occurred. If you were hurt while on a ship because the equipment aboard was poorly maintained, you might have a claim under Section 905(b) against the ship’s ownership. Additionally, if the negligence of the captain or another officer resulted in a poorly maintained or repaired ship, you could hold them responsible for your injuries if they were caused by the unreasonable safe conditions of the vessel.
Often injuries occur while on the dock or in the terminal. If another employee was careless in operating machinery or engaged in other reckless behavior, they could be held liable for any damages. Our harbor worker injury attorney will thoroughly evaluate the facts surrounding your injury to determine what parties could be held responsible. By investigating the accident site, reviewing photographs and videos of the incident, and talking with witnesses, our office will gather the necessary evidence to build a personal injury claim. If someone suffers a devastating injury, bringing a lawsuit against a third-party can compensate for the losses the LHWCA does not cover.
Available Third-Party Damages for an Injured Port of Miami Worker
As stated above, under the LHWCA, an injured worker is entitled to limited compensation. If the negligence of a third-party caused your injury, you could recover additional damages.
Through a personal injury lawsuit, an injured worker could financially recover for their medical expenses, including any future medical treatment they might require. Additionally, they could recover the wages they would have earned if they were not injured. This could be a significant amount if the injury suffered was catastrophic or permanently debilitating.
In addition to the financial losses, a Port of Miami accident victim is entitled to recover for their physical and emotional suffering. While noneconomic damages are challenging to calculate, our experienced Miami personal injury attorney will work with you and your healthcare providers to place a figure on your physical pain and mental anguish.
Because you allowed to collect both workers’ compensation benefits under the LHWCA and an award through a civil lawsuit, any civil award must be paid directly to your employer. This award will be used to reimburse your employer and the remaining funds will be paid directly to you.
Call Our Florida Maritime Injury Attorney if You Were Hurt Working at the Port of Miami Free
Who you can sue if you are an injured longshore or harbor worker depends on the circumstances surrounding your injury. No matter what happened, it is crucial to speak with our experienced Florida harbor worker attorney for workers injured at the Port of Miami. Our office provides professional and aggressive representation dedicated to fighting for the compensation you deserve. Call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. to review your case and determine who could be held liable for the damages you suffered. Call (305) 204-5369 to schedule a free consultation.