Working in the maritime industry includes its share of risks. Maritime accidents on the job are common and the resulting injuries to its workers can range from minor to fatal. While the Workers’ Compensation Act protects many employees in America, employees in the maritime industry don’t enjoy the same protection. Fortunately, maritime workers can pursue other legal options and pursue compensation if they are hurt at work. If you’ve recently been involved in a maritime workplace accident, a Breaux Bridge maritime injury lawyer can help you understand your options.
Causes of Maritime Injuries
Maritime employees face various risks and hazards depending on their nature of work or position in the company. Some of the common causes of maritime injuries can include:
- Moving objects
- Fatigue due to long working hours
- Lack of training
- Equipment failure
- Poor decision making
- Slips and Falls
- Improper cargo handling
Employers, equipment manufacturers, or employees could be liable for the accident. If you or your lawyer can prove that your injury resulted from negligence while you were on the clock, you may be able to claim damages from the at-fault party.
Laborde Earles injury was great for me they took care of me very fast and professional. If for any reason I need legal help they will be who I use.Client
How a Breaux Bridge Maritime Injury Lawyer Can Help
Maritime work injuries can be challenging to claim, but a Breaux Bridge maritime injury lawyer can help navigate the complex laws and steer you safely through your legal claim. A maritime lawyer can also help you establish negligence. Note that the burden of proof is mainly on you when you file a claim. If possible, it could be a good idea to take photos of the scene of your accident, write down key information and details in a notebook, and talk to people who may have witnessed your accident.
Depending on the nature of the accident, maritime workers can often claim injuries under the Jones Act claims or the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). Your lawyer can help you determine which legal path would be the best for you to take, in addition to offering legal counsel and advice throughout the entire process.
I thank God for Digger & David. I don’t know what we would have done if it hadn’t have been for them.Rick Smith | Client
The Jones Act
Maritime workers cannot claim worker’s compensation. Instead, they can file a lawsuit directly against their employer for compensation. However, The Jones Act gives seamen the right to sue their employer only if that employer or a fellow crew member are responsible for their injuries. In addition, the Jones Act only includes workers whose jobs require them to work on vessels that travel over maneuverable waters. The seaman must contribute to the overall mission of the vessel and spend at least 30% of his or her time onboard the ship.
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. This law applies to maritime workers who aren’t considered seamen and wouldn’t be able to file under the Jones Act. Longshoremen, harbor workers, shipping terminal workers, shipbuilders, and any other maritime employee can rely on this law to seek compensation after a workplace-related injury.
With the help of a maritime injury lawyer, they can claim various economic and non-economic damages. Your Breaux Bridge injury lawyer can act as a mediator and can help resolve claim disputes between accident victims and their employers.
They treated us like no other people would. Whenever we needed something they were there for us. I put my trust in them and I don’t regret it.Client
Recoverable Damages in Maritime Accidents
Maritime injuries are different than land-based injuries and can often be more severe, requiring expensive medical care and sometimes prolonged treatment. Some of the damages a maritime worker could pursue include:
- Disability, disfigurement, and scarring
- Income replacement
- Maintenance and cure
- Current and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Remember that to qualify as a “seaman” and claim damages under the Jones Act, you have to be on board a navigating vessel for at least 30% of your working hours. A Breaux Bridge maritime injury lawyer familiar with maritime law can guide you on how to seek damages from maritime employers and any other negligent party.
Apart from pursuing a Jones Act or LHWCA claim, you may also be able to file a claim against a third party. This could include an equipment or machine manufacturer. Depending on the case, the court may also award punitive damages.
Statute of Limitations in Maritime Claims
While the Jones Act and the LHWCA protect maritime accident victims and help to ensure they can pursue damages, your claim’s success can also depend on the timing of how you go about it. Maritime injury claims under the LHWCA must be filed within one year of the date of the injury or accident, and although it’s best to report the injury as soon as possible, it absolutely must be reported to your employer within 30 days.
When filing an injury claim under the Jones Act, you have up to three years from the date of the accident. Remember, you cannot claim damages from any liable party after the lapse of the deadline.
A Breaux Bridge maritime injury attorney can help you make sure you’ve filed all paperwork on time.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers to Learn More
If you’ve recently been in a maritime accident while at work, you may have a right to hold your employer directly responsible for your injuries and other damages. However, naval laws and claims can be challenging to understand and navigate, especially if you aren’t familiar with them.
Working with a maritime injury lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can take that pressure off your shoulders. Let us do the work while you recuperate. Contact our law firm today for a free case review and more information.