Working as a seaman can be challenging and even physically demanding. However, it can be even more challenging to try to file for compensation when you are injured on the job. If you’re an injured seaman or maritime worker, it can be hard to know where to turn for help when you need it the most.
There are federal laws that provide rights to injured seamen and maritime workers. But these rights can be difficult to enforce if you don’t know exactly how to use them. A Cade seaman injury lawyer can help. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, our attorneys can help you navigate the complex maritime laws surrounding your injury claim, and do all the heavy lifting of your case so you can take time to heal.
Common Causes of Off-Shore Accidents
Seamen often face a grueling and hazardous line of work. Accidents can happen for a number of reasons, including storm systems, heavy machinery, and simple human error. Some more causes of off-shore accidents can include:
- Malfunctioning or poorly maintained equipment
- Lack of safety gear or protocols
- Lack of training for crewmembers
- Long hours of arduous work without proper rest or breaks
- Improper handling of toxic chemicals
- Defective electrical panels resulting in fire
- Intoxication or reckless behavior of coworkers
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
The Jones Act
The Jones Act, also called the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a federal law that gives injured seamen the right to sue their employers directly for compensation. Under the Jones Act, negligence must have played a part in the accident that caused your injuries, and you must provide proof of that.
Your Cade seaman injury lawyer can help with this. Seaman injury lawyers know what to look for and how to go about Jones Act lawsuits.
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
Do I Qualify As a Jones Act Seaman in Louisiana?
To qualify as a seaman, you must meet three requirements:
1. You Must Work Aboard a Navigable Vessel
The first requirement means you must work on a vessel with some form of navigation. This doesn’t just refer to large ocean liners. This means an oil rig or platform could count as a Jones Act vessel as long as it has some form of controllable navigation.
2. Your Work Must Contribute to the Vessel’s Mission
Your work needs to contribute in some way to the overall objective of the vessel. This means you could be a captain, onboard engineer, deckhand, oil rig worker, crewmember or more, as long as your job helps the vessel meet its objective.
3. You Must Meet Time Requirements
You must spend at least 30 percent of your time working onboard the vessel.
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
How a Lawyer Calculates Your Compensation
It can be challenging to determine on your own how much money to pursue after an injury. Your Cade seaman injury lawyer can not only put a price on each applicable damage but calculate your entire settlement amount and help you pursue it. Your lawyer could determine this figure using several factors, including:
- How severe was the injury?
- What caused the injury?
- Was the injury work-related?
- Did you have insurance?
- Were you appropriately treated by your doctors?
- Was it necessary to undergo surgery?
- How long did it take to heal?
- Are you still disabled?
- Will you need future treatment?
- How much will the injuries cost to treat over time?
With the right evidence, your lawyer may be able to collect damages from the party responsible for causing your injury. In a Jones Act case, you may be able to sue your employer, the owner of the vessel, or even a negligent coworker.
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
What Kinds of Damages Can I Pursue?
Maritime workers and seamen who suffer personal injuries while performing their duties onboard a vessel can pursue several different kinds of damages. Depending on your situation, you and your lawyer could pursue:
- Medical Care: This includes emergency room services, special medical devices, surgery, or prescription medicines.
- Lost Wages: This damage would give you back a portion of the income you would have earned if you’d been able to work.
- Disfigurement: If your injury was so severe that it disfigured you in some way, you could pursue this damage.
- Pain and Suffering: This damage is for those injuries that cause long-term pain and suffering.
- Emotional Trauma: Off-shore accidents can be traumatic. You and your lawyer could pursue this damage if you now have PTSD, depression, or anxiety due to the accident.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: This damage is for injuries so severe that you cannot return to the same job.
Wrongful Death and Survivor’s Benefits
This is a special damage you can pursue if a loved one was a seaman and was killed in an off-shore accident. You could pursue compensation for final medical bills, loss of companionship, and even funeral and burial expenses. A Cade seaman injury lawyer can tell you more about what you may qualify for, answer your questions, and gently guide you through the legal side of this difficult time.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
While the first settlement offer after an accident can be tempting, the trauma you’ve experienced is worth more and a Cade seaman injury lawyer from our firm can help you pursue it. While it can’t change what’s happened, we know that appropriate compensation has the power to help you move forward. Filing a maritime injury claim can be complicated. Let our attorneys do the work for you so you can focus on healing. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.