People working in the maritime industry are at a higher risk of sustaining severe work-related injuries than those in other industries. Abbeville maritime workers can sustain various injuries while on the clock, but they’re not under the protection of worker’s compensation policies like other Louisiana employees.
Fortunately, special maritime laws protect these workers and allow them to pursue ensure compensation for their injuries. If you’ve been injured while working in a maritime setting, a maritime lawyer can help you file a claim, negotiate a settlement, or argue your case in court.
The Common Causes of Maritime Injuries
Even though maritime workers understand the various risks they’re exposed to and are usually trained to cope with them, accidents do happen. The following are the significant causes of maritime injuries in Abbeville:
- Slips and falls
- Lifting and carrying mishaps
- Impact collisions
- Dangerous deck conditions
- Mechanical failures
- Explosions and fires
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Abbeville, call (337) 777-7777
How an Abbeville Maritime Injury Lawyer Can Help
Maritime law is a very complex field to navigate. It requires extensive knowledge and experience, which is why if you’re injured in a maritime setting, you might consider hiring an Abbeville maritime injury lawyer who is well-versed in maritime law. If you’d like your claim handled professionally a lawyers could provide the following services:
- Help you complete an accident report that they could present to your employer
- Determine the unseaworthiness of the vessel at the time of the injury and other negligent conditions
- Determine whether you’re classified as a seaman under The Jones Act
- Conduct a thorough investigation of all the crew members and their qualifications
- Assess the leading cause of the accident and the injuries
- Handle all the legal paperwork and present it on time
- Determine whether you have the right to file a claim
- File a lawsuit on your behalf against your employer
- Prepare all the necessary documents to present to the court
- Negotiate a settlement on your behalf
- Prepare for trial, if necessary
Abbeville Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Circumstances Under Which You May Pursue Compensation
If you work in the maritime industry and you were recently injured in a maritime setting, you might be entitled to seek compensation from your employer under the following circumstances:
The Jones Act
The Jones Act is meant to provide a legal way for seamen to sue their employers for damages. Traditional workers’ compensation laws do not protect maritime workers. Therefore, if you’re injured in a maritime setting, you cannot request compensation through a workers’ insurance policy. Instead, you’ll have to file a civil lawsuit against your employer to pursue compensation.
The basics of the Jones Act state that seamen can sue their employers for injuries sustained while working in a maritime setting. Seamen are individuals employed to work on or around vessels that navigate rivers, lakes, and oceans. According to the Jones Act, you must have spent 30% of your time onboard a vessel on navigable waters to qualify as a seaman.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
This federal law was created to compensate non-seamen in the maritime industry who sustain injuries or develop work-related illnesses on navigable waters or adjoining areas. LHWCA workers are not covered by the Jones Act, even though they also have a right to seek compensation for all the injuries sustained and losses incurred after a work-related accident. Maritime workers covered under LHWCA could include:
- Longshore workers
- Ship painters
- Ship repairers
- Waterfront crane operators
- Harbor construction workers
General Maritime Law
If you’re not covered under LHWCA or the Jones Act, you might still be entitled to compensation and benefits under general maritime law. Also referred to as the Admiralty law, General maritime law can offer compensation for injuries that occur offshore. This law can cover maintenance and cure for workers who work on or near navigable waters.
Recoverable Damages in a Maritime Injury Claim
According to the Jones Act, seamen are automatically entitled to maintenance and cure if they suffer from work-related injuries. Maintenance refers to the compensation seamen receive from the employer to cover their daily expenses after the injury. Cure refers to the compensation meant to cover the medical expenses related to the injury. Here are some of the most common damages you may be able to receive in an Abbeville maritime injury claim:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Other out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the maritime injury
- Rehabilitation expenses
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Deadlines When Filing Maritime Injury Claims
Under the LHWCA, maritime workers must file within a year of the date of the accident and must report their injury to their employer within 30 days. If you wait until after a year has passed to file, you’ll lose your right to seek compensation. Under the Jones Act, maritime workers have up to three years to file.
Let Our Maritime Injury Lawyers Today Handle Your Claim
If you’ve recently been injured while on duty in a maritime setting in Abbeville, you can seek compensation from your employer. Since filing maritime injury claims can be daunting and time-consuming, especially when you’re injured, a lawyer can put your mind at rest by handling all of the legal work for you.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers could help you put together a case for your maritime injury claim. We work on a contingency basis, which means that we won’t charge you any legal fees or costs unless we win the case and obtain compensation for you. Call (337) 777-7777 for a free consultation.