Maritime workers face dangers many people never even have to think about. The off-shore maritime industry has one of the highest rates of occupational hazards in the country, from safety, chemical, and physical hazards to work organization hazards. In addition, with Baton Rouge being a hub for international shipping and oil drilling, it is no surprise that many off-shore accidents occur in the local waters just off the coast of Louisiana.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an off-shore accident while working in the maritime industry, a Baton Rouge off-shore accident lawyer from our firm can help. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or even a loved one’s death.
Common Off-Shore Injuries
Off-shore injuries can be severe and sometimes even life-threatening. Some of the most common can include:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Impact to the head, including concussion
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back and neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries, including sprains
- Repetitive motion injuries
If you’ve been injured in a maritime accident, whether on or off-shore, the first thing you must do is seek medical attention immediately. Waiting any length of time can make injuries worse.
For a free legal consultation with a off-shore accident lawyer serving Baton Rouge, call (337) 777-7777
Common Causes of Off-Shore Accidents in Baton Rouge
A significant number of offshore maritime accidents happen on ships or large vessels, such as barges. However, they can also happen on smaller boats and even shore-based equipment like docks. These accidents may be due to factors like these:
- Defective equipment
- Slips and falls
- Lack of protective gear
- Bad storms causing high winds and massive waves
- Reckless behavior by vessel employees
- Improper training
- Unseaworthiness of the ship
- Lack of proper maintenance and repairs
- Collisions with improperly stowed gear
The vessel owner is responsible for providing a safe environment for all onboard. This can include providing their crew members with proper safety gear, keeping a fully stocked first aid kit, and training their crew members on how to properly handle situations involving emergency medical procedures. They must also inspect the vessel’s equipment to ensure it is not broken down or improperly maintained.
A Baton Rouge off-shore accident lawyer can evaluate your case, investigate the accident, and help pinpoint the at-fault party.
Baton Rouge Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Jones Act
The Jones Act, also called the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, was created to give seamen the right to sue their employers for compensation if they become injured at work. To qualify, some negligence must have played a part in your accident.
To pursue compensation under the Jones Act, you must also be considered a seaman. This means you must work on a navigating ship, the scope of your work must contribute to the overall mission of the vessel, and you must spend at least 30% of your time onboard.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a law that was created to give maritime workers who aren’t considered seamen (and thus, do not qualify for the Jones Act) a chance at pursuing compensation in the case of off-shore accidents resulting in injury.
This can apply to any maritime worker who works on the water or in a water-adjacent area, including harbor workers, dock workers, shipping terminal employees, tugboat operators, or workers who load and offload cargo.
Statute of Limitations for the Jones Act and LHWCA
It’s important to note the specific statute of limitations for each of these laws. The Jones Act and the LHWCA each have their own deadlines you will need to follow when filing. Under the Jones Act, you have up to three years to file a lawsuit against your employer. However, the Jones Act follows general maritime law when it comes to reporting the incident, which means you have just seven days to do so.
Under the LHWCA, you have just one year to file for compensation, but you also have up to 30 days to report the accident to your employer.
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What Kinds of Compensation Can I Pursue?
Depending on the extent and severity of your injuries, you could be entitled to recover damages. A Baton Rouge Off-shore accident lawyer could help you seek compensation for:
- Hospital stays
- Prosthetics or other necessary medical devices
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medication
- Lost pay
- Partial temporary to total permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
Additionally, If a loved one has been killed in an off-shore accident, you may be entitled to death benefits under the LHWCA. This resource is meant to help you through a difficult time. You may be entitled to loss of consortium (companionship), a portion of your loved one’s earnings, or even funeral expenses. A Baton Rouge off-shore accident attorney from our firm can tell you more and gently guide you through this legal claim.
How a Baton Rouge Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been injured in a maritime work accident, an off-shore accident lawyer from our Baton Rouge offices can help in a lot of ways, including:
- Handling all of the necessary paperwork
- Collecting evidence, including photos of the scene, video surveillance, or police reports
- Speaking with any eyewitnesses and taking their statements
- Keeping you apprised on developments in your case
- Negotiating with your employer’s attorneys or the insurance adjuster
- Explaining legal terms or anything you find confusing
- Meeting with your doctor to determine the severity of your injuries and the need for future medical care
- Providing legal support and advice throughout the process
How Much Will an Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Cost?
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t have to worry about paying any legal fees upfront. Our lawyers take a percentage of your settlement to cover our expenses if we win your case. We only get paid if you do.
Call a Laborde Earles Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Today
When you’re hurt and can’t work, it’s natural to feel vulnerable. Maritime law is complex and can be difficult to understand. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we can handle the stress of your injury claim so you can rest and recover from your injuries. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.