Avoyelles Parish residents who work offshore enjoy the benefits and good pay that the industry offers. However, offshore work is often hazardous. Off-shore accidents can be devastating, and maritime workers can suffer serious injuries. The risk simply comes with the nature of the work.
However, there are ways for maritime off-shore workers to seek compensation if the worst does happen. If you have suffered an injury in an accident while working off-shore, an Avoyelles Parish off-shore accident lawyer can help you with all of the legal aspects of your case and navigate you through the process of your injury claim.
Maritime Injuries and the Off-Shore Accidents That Cause Them
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics collects statistics about days missed from work because of illnesses and accidents on the job, and its findings make for chilling reading. The average time off work to heal from injury across all industries is seven days (in every job from supermarket cashiers to office workers).
However, in the off-shore maritime industry, we find that workers lose a full thirty days of work after an accident. This is due to the fact that off-shore accidents tend to be more severe than those occurring onshore. This isn’t surprising given the often hazardous conditions on vessels, oil rigs, and gas platforms.
Common Injuries and Causes
We can identify some of the most common types of maritime injury associated with off-shore accidents:
- Falls.This includes trips and slips. A platform can be cluttered with unsecured equipment and decks are wet and slippery. Falls account for nearly a third of all reported off-shore accidents. These slips and falls can result in head injuries, traumatic brain injury, concussions, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries.
- Lifting injuries. Struggling to lift awkward and heavy items when loading and offloading vessels can put stress on joints and cause serious muscle sprains. Perhaps the most common result is a painful back sprain. In addition, when lifting is done over and over again, it can lead to repetitive motion injuries.
- Caught in or struck by equipment. Oil or gas platforms can be crammed with equipment. If proper safety protocols aren’t followed, any number of injuries could occur. Workers who have to handle machinery in unsafe environments can often suffer serious injuries.
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Avoyelles Parish, call (337) 777-7777
The Jones Act vs. the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Maritime workers of all kinds are covered by two pieces of federal legislation: The Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).
The Jones Act is a law that gives seamen the right to sue their employer for compensation if they’ve been injured in an off-shore accident. To qualify as a seaman, you must work onboard a navigating vessel and spend at least 30% of your time aboard the ship.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act covers any marine worker not covered under the Jones Act. You do not have to work as a seaman, only on or near navigable waters. This can include dock workers, longshoremen, shipping terminal employees, or even tugboat operators.
Important State Deadlines for Filing
These deadlines are called the statute of limitations. The LHWCA follows the Louisiana state deadline of filing within one year of the date of your off-shore accident. Note that under the LHWCA, you also have up to 30 days to report the accident to your employer.
Under the Jones Act, you have up to three years from the date of your off-shore accident to file your suit, but just seven days to report the injury to your employer. If you miss any of these deadlines, you may lose the chance to file at all. An Avoyelles Parish off-shore accident lawyer could file for you, ensuring you file everything properly and on time.
Avoyelles Parish Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
How an Avoyelles Parish Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Can Help
An off-shore accident attorney can do a lot to help. Some of the things a lawyer could do include:
- Building a thorough and careful presentation of your case
- Assessing important evidence, talking to witnesses, and studying all documentation
- Calculating the full value of your claim, based on all of the evidence
- Explaining any legal jargon you may find confusing and keeping you updated on case developments
- Handling all communications with insurance adjusters, opposing counsel, and all other parties
- Investigating the facts of the case to determine cause and liability
- Working with your doctor to determine the severity of your injuries and how much medical care you may need
- Representing you in court, if necessary
Can I Afford an Avoyelles Parish Off-Shore Accident Lawyer?
During your free consultation, we can talk about the cost. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we can represent you on a contingency basis. This means that you won’t have to pay us any legal fees unless we win your case. If you do obtain a settlement, we simply take our fees out of a percentage of the total settlement package.
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Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we like to start the process with a free consultation and an evaluation of your case. This could give us an opportunity to assess your case and suggest how to proceed. This would be the perfect opportunity to ask any questions that you might have about the process.
An off-shore accident can cause considerable pain and stress. With so many details to keep track of, tackling your own legal injury claim can be overwhelming. Let an off-shore accident lawyer from our firm handle the work of your case so you can rest and concentrate on recovering from your injuries. Call our Avoyelles Parish office today to schedule your free consultation.