Every worker wants a safe working environment. Ideally, we should all be able to wake up, do our jobs, and go home safely. However, for maritime workers, there are a lot of inherent risks that can result in different types of injury.
Off-shore accidents happen, and the injuries maritime workers suffer can be severe. When disaster strikes, an Alexandria off-shore accident lawyer can do a lot for an injured deckhand or off-shore oil rig worker in need of help and advice.
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we can help injured off-shore maritime workers file for the compensation they need, navigating them through the complex seas of maritime law. If you’re a maritime worker who has been injured in an off-shore accident, we could help you too.
Common Causes of Off-Shore Accidents
Disasters give no warning before they strike, and on off-shore vessels and rigs, there are many things that can go wrong. For example, while there are many safety protocols designed to keep maritime workers safe on the job, they won’t help at all if they aren’t followed, or if crew members aren’t properly trained to use them. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of off-shore accidents reported in recent years:
Explosions & Fires
Off-shore oil rigs can be dangerous since daily operations often release lethal pollution into the air and water. In the wrong circumstances, these flammable substances can create explosions and fires that could cause serious physical harm to workers. Common injuries after off-shore explosions and fires include serious burn injuries and even amputations that leave workers with life-long damage.
Slips & Falls
Workers on vessels contend with seawater as a simple fact of their job. Employers are advised to keep surfaces dry and put anti-slip skid features in place to reduce risk and protect workers from dangerous slip and fall incidents.
When employers neglect this duty or hire workers who ignore their responsibilities, workers can slip and fall with dangerous consequences. A slip and fall at sea could lead to bruising, broken bones, concussions, or even drowning.
Transport Mishaps and Malfunctions
The waterways form an integral part of the world’s transport system. As ships ferry cargo from one port to another, they battle against the forces of nature. Sailors using a gangplank or personnel transport basket must trust they will work properly as they use them. At sea, off-shore workers always face mortal risks and dangers. A tornado or massive storm system can be the last thing a seaman faces before losing his or her life.
Seamen who survive accidents at sea are brave, but this doesn’t mean they have to fend for themselves. Employers bear a level of responsibility for the dangers their employees face while working for them. Consulting with an off-shore accident attorney from our firm after a maritime incident can be a great way to discover your options for recovery and compensation.
For a free legal consultation with a off-shore accident lawyer serving Alexandria, call (318) 777-7777
Federal Laws That Protect Workers in the Maritime Industries
Laws are there to protect us. They ensure that our rights are respected and honored, ideally creating fairness for all. Workers in the maritime industry are protected by various federal and naval laws that cater to their unique needs when they get injured.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act covers everyone that considered a seaman. To qualify, you must work on a navigating vessel, and spend at least 30% of your time onboard. The Jones Act provides a way for seamen to sue their employer for damages. If you’re a seaman who’s been injured on a vessel, you could be entitled to compensation for damages to cover medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
When off-shore workers don’t work on vessels, they could be employed by construction companies, harbors, or oil rigs. These workers are protected under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). The U.S. Department of Labor introduced the LHWCA to protect maritime workers who have been injured and need compensation for medical bills and lost pay.
Alexandria Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Near Me (318) 777-7777
Statutes of Limitations for Formalizing an Off-Shore Injury Claim
Off-shore workers who seek out the services of an Alexandria off-shore accident lawyer soon discover that there are limits on when they can file an injury claim.
- Filing under the LHWCA: When maritime workers suffer from a workplace injury, they have 30 days to report the incident to their employer and up to one year from the date of the off-shore accident to file an injury claim. Failure to meet this limit can mean giving up their chances of recovering any benefits.
- Filing under the Jones Act: Seamen have up to three years after the accident to file a maritime injury suit against their employers, but must report the injury to their employer within seven days. Since they can stay on the sea for lengthy periods, the allowance ensures that they have time to seek legal help when they get back to shore. This requirement also ensures that claims can be verified and corroborated while the facts are still fresh.
How Can an Alexandria Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Help Me?
We all have different levels of legal knowledge. If you choose to represent yourself in an off-shore injury claim, you could discover that you are out of your depth against your employer’s attorneys and insurance evaluators. By hiring an Alexandria Off-Shore Accident Lawyer to represent your interests, you are taking the responsibility and stress off of your own shoulders.
Some of the meaningful tasks your attorney could fulfill include:
- Evidence collection: Your attorney can work with investigators, witnesses, and even the police to create an extensive report.
- Negotiations: After the facts of a case are established, the attorney representing you can meet with your employer’s (or insurance company’s) legal team. The two sides can then start negotiations to determine a settlement for you.
- Litigation: In scenarios where opposing sides cannot come to an agreement, the case proceeds to court. Your attorney can represent you before the court, presenting arguments and evidence.
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Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we recognize that maritime workers work hard to earn their living. To extend premium services to all seamen and maritime workers, we offer free consultations. When you’re in pain and upset, the last thing you want is the pressure of handling a full legal claim yourself. Let us take that pressure off your shoulders.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an off-shore accident, our Alexandria lawyers can fight for you. Call today to schedule your free consultation.