Being a seaman can be a dangerous occupation. Seamen deal with hazards daily that most land-based employees would never dream of. From stormy conditions to mechanical issues, many things can go wrong when working out on the water.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a work-related accident as a seaman or other maritime worker, a Breaux Bridge seaman injury lawyer from our firm can help you understand you pursue compensation.
Common Causes of Maritime Accidents
As mentioned above, being a seaman is a dangerous occupation. Anything can happen out on the water. Some of the following conditions may cause an accident or injury:
- Slips and falls
- Hours of repetitive physical motions
- Stormy weather
- Lack of adherence to safety protocols
- Falling overboard
- Missing safety signage
- Mechanical issues or malfunctioning equipment
- Lack of training for crewmembers
- Unsafe vessel or working conditions
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Breaux Bridge, call (337) 777-7777
Common Seaman Injuries
If you were injured in an off-shore or even land-based maritime accident, you might be eligible to recover compensation. Some of the injuries more commonly seen with seamen include:
- Broken, fractured, or crushed bones
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injury
- Loss of mobility
- Loss of hearing from exposure to noisy machinery without proper hearing protection
- Lung damage from toxic chemical inhalation
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
Every accident and case is different. The types of injuries seamen have sustained in maritime accidents are endless. A Breaux Bridge seaman injury lawyer from our firm can fight for every damage your situation qualifies for.
Breaux Bridge Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Jones Act
The Jones Act is an important federal law that protects injured seamen. Under the Jones Act, seamen have a right to sue their employer for injuries suffered on the job under specific conditions.
To be protected by the Jones Act, you must first be considered a seaman.
A seaman must spend at least 30 percent of his or her working hours onboard a navigating vessel, contributing to the success of its overall mission. This encompasses many jobs, including captains, pilots, drillers, oil rig workers, onboard engineers, deckhands, and more. Qualifying vessels can include:
- Fishing vessels
- Oil tankers
- Cruise ships
- Some drilling platforms
- Charter boats
The Jones Act also requires that the stated vessel be in navigable condition or able to travel. So, even if a boat is anchored, tied to a dock, floating, or able to move through the water, the Jones Act still applies. Your Breaux Bridge seaman injury lawyer can determine whether you qualify for the Jones Act and what your next steps should be.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Another piece of relevant legislation is the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). The LHWCA covers maritime workers who wouldn’t fit the description of a Jones Act seaman. This represents a wide variety of maritime occupations, including:
- Longshore workers
- Harbor construction workers
- Shipping terminal employees
- Ship repairers
This legislation is unique because it not only covers employees who are on vessels in navigable waterways, but also those who are working the adjoining areas, including docks, wharves, piers, and harbors.
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What are the Deadlines Involved?
Under the Jones Act, you have up to three years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit, and you must report the accident to your employer within the first seven days. Under the LHWCA, you have up to one year to file your injury claim and you must report the accident to your employer within 30 days of the date of the accident.
What are Maintenance and Cure Benefits?
Maintenance and cure refer to a basic stipend given to injured seamen that provides necessities while they’re unable to work. Your Breaux Bridge seaman injury lawyer can help make sure that your employer provides your maintenance and cure payments, and help you pursue further damages in your Jones Act lawsuit.
Maintenance benefits refer to maintaining your quality of life. Rent, grocery bills, utilities, taxes, and insurance may fall under this category. As you are recovering, these benefits ensure that you can maintain your standard of living.
Cure benefits are awarded for medical compensation. If you have incurred any medical costs, including tests, treatments, medicals, scans, and more, cure benefits reimburse those fees.
What Other Kinds of Damages Can My Lawyer and I Pursue?
Depending on your situation, you and your Breaux Bridge seaman injury lawyer can pursue many different kinds of damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Mental anguish
How Can a Breaux Bridge Seaman Injury Lawyer Help?
A maritime lawyer can help in several ways. First, a lawyer can handle all relevant communication for you. This includes negotiations with your employer’s attorneys and the insurance company. Furthermore, your lawyer can keep you updated as your case progresses. Your lawyer can help gather evidence to establish liable parties and prove your case.
Your lawyer could even work you’re your doctor to determine the extent of your injuries and the long-term cost of treating them. Your lawyer can file your paperwork, build the case on your behalf, and represent you in court if necessary.
Can I Afford a Seaman Injury Lawyer In Breaux Bridge?
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we understand that every dollar is important. You could be out of work with medical bills you don’t know how you’ll pay. Maybe you’re wondering how you’ll be able to support your family. At times like these, affording a lawyer can seem impossible.
This is just one of the reasons our Breaux Bridge seaman injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means if we win and you receive compensation, your lawyer will simply take his or her legal fees out of a percentage of your total settlement package. If we lose, you don’t owe us anything. No hidden fees. No surprise charges.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we proudly serve the seamen and maritime workers of the Breaux Bridge area and their families. Call today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.