The maritime industry can be very dangerous to those working in it. This is simply the nature of working on or near the water. These sea jobs include deckhands on a tug, commercial fishermen, onboard engineers, seamen, longshoremen, and many more. No matter what your job entails, if you spend a significant amount of your work hours on or around the sea, you likely have rights that protect you in case of an accident at work.
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we’re proud to serve the brave seamen and maritime workers in the Broussard area. If you’re a seaman and have been involved in an off-shore accident, a Broussard seaman injury lawyer can explain your legal options.
What Should I do After an Off-Shore Accident?
The main difference between regular personal injury claims and a seaman injury claim is that off-shore accidents don’t fall under any specific state laws. Instead, they’re regulated by other federal laws specifically for maritime injuries.
Here are some of the ways you can protect both your health and your right to pursue compensation after sustaining an injury as a seaman:
Seek Medical Attention
The first step is to ensure you seek treatment for any injuries. Remember not to dismiss any injuries as minor without a doctor’s opinion. Some life-threatening wounds like brain trauma and internal injuries can take longer to surface and give signs only a doctor would notice. Make sure you get a medical assessment after an accident.
Report the Accident
The Jones Act requires that you report any accidents within just seven days. Filling out the necessary documents and informing your employer on time reduces the chances of the insurance company or your employer disputing your claim. Do this as soon as possible. The report will be detailed and include sections for what happened and who was at fault, making it important for your claim. Your lawyer can be present if you wish and help you fill it out properly.
To successfully seek compensation for your injuries, you need to prove your employer’s negligence resulted in the accident and thus, your injuries. For this reason, it’s important to have all the necessary evidence to support your claim. Keep copies of your accident report, and all medical documents and bills.
Other evidence includes photographs of the accident scene and witness statements from colleagues. Your Broussard seaman injury lawyer can gather this evidence if you are unable. Also, take photos of your injuries before and after treatment.
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Broussard, call (337) 777-7777
Common Causes of Off-Shore Accidents
Working as a seaman comes with many risks. Unlike road accidents, maritime accidents have slower emergency response times because of their remote nature, turning a simple accident into a dangerous disaster. Some of the leading causes of sea accidents include:
Sea vessel manufacturers use advanced technology and durable materials to ensure that vessels can navigate extreme weather while at sea. Unfortunately, mechanical parts are subject to failure even when well-maintained, and sometimes natural phenomena can overwhelm the vessel and lead to accidents. Accidents can also happen due to engine breakdown or failure of the electronic system.
Lack of Proper Training for Operators and Crew Members
Sea vessels use complex mechanical and technological systems to function, so employers must train crew members and operators to properly handle the vessel. Many maritime accidents result from avoidable human errors and a lack of basic training in responding to emergencies.
Many employers have seamen work for long, arduous hours which can lead to mental and physical exhaustion. It’s difficult to stay alert and quickly respond to emergencies when dealing with fatigue. A seaman with chronic fatigue can have impaired vision and judgment, which can often lead to accidents.
Lack of Proper Vessel Maintenance
Sea vessels require frequent repair and maintenance to replace worn parts after prolonged water corrosion. Many seamen sustain injuries from slips and falls or malfunctioning vessel parts that cause accidents due to poor maintenance.
Broussard Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Jones Act
The Jones Act is a federal law that allows injured seamen to sue their employers for compensation. To qualify for the Jones Act, you must work aboard a navigable vessel, contribute to its overall mission, and spend at least 30 percent of your time on the vessel.
One important thing to note is that under the Jones Act, while you have up to three years to file your lawsuit, you only have seven days to report the accident to your employer. If you miss this short window of time, you could be giving up your right to pursue compensation. Your Broussard seaman injury lawyer can make sure you have all paperwork filed properly and on time.
What Kinds of Compensation Can I Pursue?
After sustaining work-related injuries in an off-shore accident, your lawyer could seek compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses after the accident
- Loss of wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
How Can a Broussard Seaman Injury Lawyer Help?
After a work-related off-shore accident, you’ll need to know what type of claim to make under specific maritime laws and how your case qualifies for compensation. For seamen with minimal legal experience, pursuing compensation alone can be overwhelming. A seaman injury attorney can help in a lot of ways, including lifting the stress of the injury claim off of your shoulders so you can rest and heal from your injuries. Your lawyer can:
- Investigate your accident to determine the responsible party
- Gather evidence that proves negligence
- Work with your doctors to find out the extent of your injuries and how much they could cost to treat over time
- Calculate an appropriate settlement amount
- Negotiate with the insurance company and your employer’s lawyers
- Represent you in court if a settlement can’t be reached
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, you don’t pay any fees unless we settle your case (even then, our fees are taken from a portion of your total settlement package, so nothing is out of pocket).
Our seaman injury lawyers can pursue your injury claim from start to finish so you can focus on healing and recovery. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.