Maritime workers who get hurt on the job don’t have the easy claim process that people in mainland Florida enjoy. Standard workers’ compensation does not cover maritime injuries, only injuries that occur on land.
If someone who works on a cruise ship or fishing vessel gets hurt on the job, they have to seek compensation through the Jones Act. They will have to bring a civil lawsuit against their employer and prove that there was some kind of lawbreaking or negligence that contributed to their injury. The process takes longer and is more adversarial, which can be stressful for a worker already coping with a serious injury.
If there is any benefit to a Jones Act claim instead of workers’ compensation, it is that workers can claim the full value of their wages instead of accepting only a portion of their lost income in benefits. How do you determine the full value of your lost wages for a Jones Act claim?
Calculate how long you will be out of work
One of the most important considerations when determining how much you will lose an income because of an offshore job injury is how long you will have to remain at home recovering. Someone with a permanent injury that forces them to change professions or stop working entirely will obviously be able to request far more than someone with a broken bone. They can ask for all the remaining years of employment, as well as the value of the benefits they would have received.
Workers who go several months without wages may not be able to blame as much as those struggling with permanent medical consequences, but they can still likely receive an appropriate amount considering how long they will go without income and certain job benefits. Calculating lost wages on your own could lead to oversights.
It is altogether too easy for individuals to underestimate the financial impact of their injuries. They may focus too much on the short-term future and fail to recognize the lingering consequences they will experience. Cooperating with a professional familiar with maritime injury claims brought by workers under the Jones Act will make it easier for you to ask for the right amount of money to replace your wages and job benefits.