For employees who earn a living as maritime workers, workplace injuries can be life-changing (and sometimes even fatal) as maritime jobs tend to be among the most dangerous occupations in the country.
If you work a maritime job in Avoyelles and have suffered an injury while on the job, you can file a claim with your employer for compensation. Discover your legal options and how a maritime attorney can help.
How an Avoyelles Maritime Injury Lawyer Can Help
The hours and days after a maritime injury can be extremely hectic and stressful. If you are away at sea, your employer may have to call a Coast Guard helicopter depending on your injuries. Since maritime injuries tend to be severe, you may deal with moderate to severe wounds that could take a while to heal.
If you were not responsible for the incident that hurt you, you can sue your employer for compensation. An Avoyelles maritime injury lawyer can help. Your lawyer can handle all the complex aspects of the case while you focus on resting and recovering from your injuries.
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Avoyelles Parish, call (337) 777-7777
Causes of Maritime Injuries
Maritime workers can be far more likely than other workers to be injured while on the job. Furthermore, these injuries can tend to be more severe due to the often heavy equipment used in water vessels, the huge part bad storms play, and the fact that injured maritime workers cannot always get the immediate medical attention severe injuries require.
The following are some of the most common reasons behind many maritime injuries:
- Lack of training and experience
- Lack of sleep while working long hours, which can lead to fatigue
- Reckless behavior among the crew, like abusing alcohol and drugs
- Stress and pressure from work duties
- Negligence and poor decision making
- Inadequate or unsafe equipment
- Slippery decks
These factors often lead to slips and falls, fires, explosions, navigational or steering failures, falling cargo, poorly stowed equipment, and collisions with permanent structures or other vessels. Any number of personal injuries could arise from these types of unsafe work situations.
If you have been injured on a water vessel due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you might be entitled to compensation. An Avoyelles Parish maritime lawyer could advise you to pursue one of the two main legal options.
Avoyelles Parish Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Jones Act
The Jones Act is a federal law that allows seamen who are hurt on the job to sue their employers for damages. You must spend a lot of time (at least 30%) as a crew member of a navigable water vessel to be considered a seaman under federal law. Once you’re injured, you should report the accident to your employer immediately.
Aside from reporting your injuries, seeking medical treatment should be your top priority. You won’t have to worry about getting emergency treatment as maritime employers must provide their injured employees with treatment. Once you see a doctor, ensure you follow their instructions, stick to your treatment plan, and keep every appointment. Not seeking adequate treatment could worsen your injuries.
Pursuing Compensation Under the Jones Act
You must make an official statement about the incident, probably while still onboard the vessel. Depending on your injuries, you may have to wait until you recover to make the statement. This statement contains a section on whose negligence caused the accident. You cannot pursue a Jones Act case if your employer or a fellow crew member wasn’t at fault. Photos of the scene, detailed notes on the incident, and eyewitness reports can all help.
You officially have up to three years to file a maritime injury claim under the Jones Act. This may give you some needed time and may help you to include the total cost of all necessary medical treatment in your suit.
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The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) allows maritime employees who have been injured at work to sue their employers for damages to cover vocational rehabilitation, medical care, and more.
The LHWCA was designed to cover any maritime worker who isn’t considered a seaman and isn’t covered under the Jones Act. This can include employees who assist in loading, unloading, repairing, or building water vessels, as well as ship-breakers, longshore workers, and those who work in water-adjacent areas such as piers, shipping terminals, wharves, and docks.
Under the LHWCA, you have just one year from the date of your accident to file your injury claim, and you must report the injury to your employer within 30 days. Additionally, If a loved one has died from injuries sustained in a maritime work accident, their family may be entitled to survivor benefits under the LHWCA. An Avoyelles Parish maritime injury attorney can help you pursue your injury claim.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Has a maritime injury that you sustained on the job left you injured and dealing with mounting medical bills? You don’t have to bear that burden on your own. A maritime injury lawyer can take the pressure of a complex legal case off your shoulders so you can focus on healing and recovery.
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we have a wealth of knowledge regarding maritime injury law and can guide you through the entire legal process. You can breathe easy knowing our lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you don’t pay legal fees unless we successfully obtain your settlement. Call us today for a free case review and more information.