Longshoreman / Defense Based Contractors
If you are a longshoreman or work for a US defense contractor abroad and become injured you have rights under Federal Law. You are entitled to benefits under a compensation scheme administered by the Department of Labor and if your employer disputes your injury your claim will be heard by a Federal Administrative Law Judge.
It is critical that you know:
· Usually, with some limited exceptions, you have ONE (1)YEAR from the date of your injury to bring your claim;
· You have the right to CHOOSE your own doctor – don’t trust your employer’s doctor. A Company doctor’s job is to rush you back to work and it is hard to
change doctors once you have chosen one;
· If someone other than your employer injures you, a third party, you can sue that third party in negligence;
· You are eligible to have medical care for your specific injury FOR LIFE; (Often your employer will offer you a lump sum settlement for your medical benefits
to lessen their exposure over your lifetime); and
· There are two types of injuries, Scheduled and Unscheduled.
What is a Scheduled injury?
Scheduled injuries are injuries that are “scheduled” by statute – meaning that an injury to a specific body part has a specific set value. You will receive 2/3 of your average weekly wage (2/3 of your average weekly wage for the 52 weeks PRECEDING your injury) for a certain period of time depending on the percentage of your disability as rated by your doctor. (Remember this is why it is important to get YOUR own doctor, not a Company doctor).
What is an Unscheduled injury?
Unscheduled injuries are injuries in which you receive 2/3 of your average weekly wage (If you can no longer work at all) or a portion of 2/3 of your average weekly wage, depending on the percentage of your disability if you can do some other work besides long shore work, FOR LIFE !! Unscheduled injuries are usually, but not always, injuries to your back, shoulder, certain amputations, psychiatric injuries, certain other conditions, a combination of “Scheduled injuries” which make you unfit for any work, and certain “Scheduled” injuries which are so bad that you can no longer do any work as a result.
You will receive TTD, Temporary Total Disability, while you are recovering from your injury. Once you have recovered and you have a Scheduled injury you will get a lump sum payment of PPD, Permanent Partial Disability, or 2/3 of your average weekly wage (or a percentage of it) for as long as your injury is scheduled.
If you have an Unscheduled injury you will get PTD, Permanent Total Disability, or your full 2/3 average weekly wage (or a percentage of it depending on if you can return to some work but not long shore work) FOR LIFE !! If you have an Unscheduled injury depending on your age, medical condition, and education this will determine if you will receive your full 2/3 of your average weekly wage for life or a percentage of it.
How do we get paid? Our office, by statute, works on an hourly basis in these matters and once your case either settles OR goes to a hearing and you prevail we will get paid out of the money you receive depending on how many hours we work for you. All fees will be approved by either the Department of Labor or if your case went to a hearing – the Federal Law Judge in charge of your case. Our office is also entitled to any costs that we spend in pursuing your case for you !
Our office works on a contingency basis.** That means we only get paid if we get a recovery for you; we earn our fees out of our recovery FOR YOU ! If we don’t get you a recovery we don’t get paid !!
The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
Our firm handles cases all over Florida.
Your first consultation is always free. Remember you are not charged unless we win for you.
**Except in criminal matters.