Every workplace has its risks, but occupations in the maritime industry are more dangerous than most land-based jobs. For many workers hurt while working on vessels or docks, it can be easy to feel that there are no legal options available, or not know where to turn when you really need help.
If you or a loved one get hurt while at sea, you could be entitled to financial compensation. A Branch seaman injury lawyer from our firm can help you seek every damage your injuries qualify for and help you understand the federal laws that protect your rights.
Which Federal Laws Apply to Seaman Injury Cases?
Some laws protect maritime workers, including seamen, when they suffer injuries that might change their lives forever. These laws make it possible for them to pursue the assistance they need while recovering from their injuries.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act applies to maritime injury cases where seamen are involved. The law defines a seaman as anyone that works on a watercraft or vessel in a designated capacity, and who spends at least 30 percent of their working hours onboard. Crew members, captains, some oil rig workers and drillers, onboard engineers, and many more occupations fall under this categorization, which offers them protection when they are injured.
The Jones Act allows seamen to sue their employers for negligence when it directly causes injuries. In addition, under the Jones Act, if a coworker causes the accident, the victim can still file a lawsuit. A Branch seaman injury attorney from our firm can help you by identifying the liable party and gathering the evidence to prove it.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
If you’re a maritime worker who wouldn’t qualify as a Jones Act seaman, you can file under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA). This federal law covers employees working on docks, harbors, wharves, shipyards, or ships.
The LHWCA covers stevedores, shipbuilders, shipbreakers, harbor workers, dockers, shipping terminal employees, and more. Your Branch seaman injury lawyer can determine exactly which federal law covers your situation and advise you on your next steps.
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Branch, call (337) 777-7777
How Can a Branch Seaman Injury Lawyer Help?
The settlement process can be lengthy, and knowledge of maritime laws is vital for all parties involved. When you’re injured and in pain, it can be hard to focus on details and easy to make costly mistakes. A Branch seaman injury lawyer can take all of the stress of your case off your shoulders and handle everything so you can focus on rest and recovering from your injuries.
Your lawyer can investigate the accident, using photos and video of the scene, eyewitness statements, and other evidence to build your case. Your lawyer can handle all the paperwork and negotiations with the insurance adjuster and your employer’s attorneys so you don’t have to. In addition, your lawyer can calculate your settlement and represent you in court if your settlement can’t be agreed upon.
Branch Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
What Types of Damages Can My Lawyer and I Pursue?
Under maritime laws, various damages can be pursued for injuries. Since every case is different, the damages depend on the circumstances involved. Some of the questions that attorneys will ask to determine the damages awarded are:
1. Did the Injury Lead to a Loss of Earnings?
An accident at sea might affect your ability to work. If the accident leads to hospitalization or extended sick days, you could be entitled to a portion of the money you would have earned if you hadn’t had to take time off to heal.
2. Were There Any Medical Expenses From the Injuries?
Some injuries are treated simply with pain medication and ice, while others require surgery and physical therapy. If you had to seek medical attention after an accident, you get covered for the costs incurred. The compensation aims to lighten the burden of the victim’s medical costs after injury.
3. Did the Accident Lead to Any Type of Disfigurement?
Accidents can vary widely, and the extent of injuries depends on what caused the accident. Explosions and collisions with heavy machinery can lead to different levels of disfigurement. This compensation addresses temporary and permanent disability instances, mainly when you lose your ability to work.
4. Is the Victim Suffering From Physical and Emotional Pain?
Some accidents have long-term impacts, and as the victims heal, they might experience persistent pain and suffering. The damages seek to compensate the victim’s inconvenience, anguish, discomfort, pain, and emotional trauma.
What Happens if I Don’t Agree With the Settlement Amount?
During negotiations between two parties, the ‘at-fault’ party can offer a compensation amount for your consideration. Most seaman injury lawsuits end once the victim accepts a settlement, but this is not always the case. Many factors can make it impossible to reach an appropriate settlement, which could make it necessary to go to court.
If your seaman injury case moves to court, your Branch seaman injury lawyer can present your case before a jury. Here, both parties call upon witnesses and provide arguments to support or oppose your case.
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Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one is injured in a maritime work accident, take advantage of a free consultation with us at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers. At our firm, your rights matter to us. Each time we take on a case, we put client interests first. This is why our seaman injury lawyers in the Branch area work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we get you compensation. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.