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Maritime workers' common law rights after work related injury

There are many types of different jobs in Florida and each has some aspects of the job that are unique to it. The physical demands of each type of job also vary. Some types of jobs have more inherent dangers than others. These types of jobs often times require more physical demands or there are more uncertainties that a worker cannot always prepare for in advance. One of these types of jobs is maritime time jobs which require workers to be at sea for lengthy periods of time.

When some workers are injured in a maritime accident, it can especially difficult because not only do some of these workers work on the boats, they also live on them as well during a trip. They have free room and board as a part of their job and without it they not only lose income, but a place to live. Therefore, maritime workers have special compensation if they are injured at work called maintenance. This pays the worker usually between $20 and $30 a day after leaving the boat until the worker reaches maximum medical cure.

In addition to maintenance, the worker may also be entitled to cure, which is medical expenses. The worker does have the duty to mitigate the medical expenses though and the payments stop when additional medical treatment will not make the medical condition any better. They are also entitled to all the wages they would have earned if they remained working for the entire trip, including overtime and bonuses they would have received.

These rights for maritime workers in Florida are protected at common law, but the workers may also have other claims through the Jones Act or other lawsuits, if the injury was caused by the employer's negligence. Overall, maritime workers have protections that are ensured at a federal level given the fact that whether they are protected by state laws can vary. Experienced attorneys understand this area of law and may be a useful resource.

Source:, "The Seaman's Entitlement to Maintenance, Cure and Unearned Wages" accessed Dec. 19, 2017

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