Many people living in Branch, Louisiana work off-shore in the maritime industry. The industry offers well-paid jobs that can be worth the physical demands. But when you are injured in an off-shore accident at work, it can be stressful not knowing what to do next or who to turn to for help.
If you’re a maritime worker who has been injured in an off-shore accident, our attorneys in Branch can help. Whether you work on a vessel, oil rig, harbor, or tugboat, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered.
Common Off-Shore Accidents and Injuries
There are many benefits to a career working off-shore in the maritime industry. The average annual salary for off-shore workers in Louisiana is over $82,000, while the average salary for most other jobs is just over $55,000. Off-shore workers also often feel that they’re part of a team. The unique risks they face help forge a common bond. They know they’re different from onshore workers since the job is hazardous and labor-intensive. Accidents can happen frequently and can have severe consequences.
Common Off-shore Accidents
Off-shore accidents happen all too often. Among the most common ones are:
- Being struck by a moving object: A ship or rig can have winches, booms, and cranes that are in movement all the time. Maritime workers and seamen must be vigilant to avoid impact collisions and broken bones.
- Slips and Falls: Decks and platforms can be slick with water, leaked oil, or even chemicals. These can cause a slip or a fall, sometimes resulting in broken bones, head injuries, concussions, or even traumatic brain injury.
- Lifting and carrying heavy objects: If you’re loading or offloading cargo, lifting heavy objects improperly can cause severe muscle strain, and doing repetitive tasks can cause repetitive motion injuries.
- Equipment malfunction: Defective equipment can cause electrical fires which could result in serious burns.
- Improper handling of toxic materials: The cleaning compounds needed for a ship can be terrible if not used properly with the right safety gear. Exposure to the skin can cause chemical burns.
If you or a loved one has been in an off-shore accident and suffered injuries as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. A Branch off-shore accident lawyer from our firm can answer any of your questions and help you through the injury claim process.
For a free legal consultation with a off-shore accident lawyer serving Branch, call (337) 777-7777
The Jones Act vs the LHWCA
When you’re filing for compensation, you need to understand a few fundamental things about maritime law. The average U.S. employee can simply use workers’ compensation when they’re injured on the job. Maritime workers have their own routes to take for compensation when injured. Two federal acts may apply to your particular claim:
The Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) allows employees working on loading, offloading, repairing, or building a vessel to claim compensation, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation if they’ve been involved in an accident at work. This can apply to dock workers, harbor workers, shipping terminal employees, or even tugboat operators. Your accident must have happened in U.S. navigable waters or water-adjoining areas.
It’s important to note the statute of limitations here. Under the LHWCA, you must file within one year of the date of your accident, or the date your injuries surfaced (sometimes injury or illness can take some time to be noticed). You must also report the injury to your employer within 30 days.
The Jones Act
This act allows a seaman who has suffered an accident at sea to sue an employer directly for a personal injury. A seaman is anyone who performs duties onboard a navigating vessel and spends at least 30% of their time on the ship. In Jones Act cases, negligence must have played at least a small part in the off-shore accident to pursue compensation.
Under the Jones Act, you have up to three years to file a suit against your employer. Again, this could be three years from the date of the accident or the date the injuries from that accident first surfaced. You must also report the injury to your employer within seven days.
Branch Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Will Hiring a Lawyer Be Expensive?
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we work on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t pay a dime until your case is settled or you win at trial. If you have unexpected medical bills, money is probably a pressing concern, especially if you have had to take time off work to recover from injuries. If we lose, you don’t pay us anything. If we win, our Branch off-shore accident lawyers simply take our legal fees out of a percentage of your complete settlement package.
How Can a Branch Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Help?
- We can gather and investigate evidence, including photos of the scene, eyewitness statements, or any available video surveillance footage.
- We can represent you during difficult negotiations with insurance adjusters and your employer’s legal team.
- We can discuss your case with you, devise the best strategy, and offer advice and guidance throughout the process.
- We can represent you in court, if necessary.
- We can ensure all paperwork is filled out properly and submitted on time.
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What Kinds of Compensation Can I Pursue?
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we can make sure that your lawsuit includes claims for everything you or your loved ones have suffered. Your claim might include some of the following:
- Present and future medical bills: This can include physical therapy, prescription drugs, or emergency treatment.
- Lost earnings during recovery: This can include money you would have made if you had been physically able to work.
- Loss of potential income: This is when your accident has resulted in permanent damage that reduces your ability to work in the long term.
- Pain and suffering:Your accident might cause you long-term pain and suffering as a result of something that was not your fault.
- Emotional trauma: Many accident victims suffer from psychological aftereffects. This could include PTSD or depression.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
If you’re a maritime worker who has been injured in an off-shore accident, we can help. Let us take the stress and pressure of your injury claim so you can focus on recovery. We can answer any questions you may have, and everything you tell us will be confidential. To find out more about what Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can offer, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our off-shore accident lawyers, call today.