Working in the maritime industry can be both a lucrative and exciting venture for many of its workers. However, it’s also one of the most dangerous. Like any other industry and workplace, accidents happen. However, injuries sustained in a maritime workplace can often be much more severe, with risks no other workers have to face.
Fortunately, maritime laws are in place to ensure that maritime workers who sustain injuries in a maritime setting can seek compensation. If you’re a maritime worker who has recently suffered injuries while on duty, a Catahoula attorney can help.
What Should I do After a Maritime Injury Accident?
First, seek medical care immediately. The faster you are seen by a medical professional, the better. Waiting any amount of time to take care of your injuries could worsen them. Next, report the injury to your employer. Depending on which maritime laws govern your specific position, you may have a week or even 30 days to report, but this should also be done as soon as reasonably possible. If you choose to hire a Catahoula maritime injury lawyer to handle your compensation claim, you can call right after the accident if you have a phone. If ship management doesn’t allow phone calls onboard, you can wait until the vessel docks to call a lawyer.
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Catahoula, call (337) 777-7777
How a Catahoula Maritime Injury Lawyer Can Help
Maritime law is complex and the rules and complexities surrounding maritime injury claims can be confusing at the best of times. If you’re injured and vulnerable, taking on the whole process of a legal injury claim by yourself can feel completely overwhelming. A maritime lawyer from our firm can help you understand all the details regarding your case, shouldering all the hard work so you can rest and focus on recovering from your injuries. A Catahoula maritime injury lawyer could help your case by doing the following:
- Gather evidence related to the accident
- Present evidence that proves negligence or the vessel’s unseaworthiness
- Determine your classification as a maritime worker or seaman to decide which legal path to choose
- Investigate all the crew members in charge of the vessel
- Handle all the legal paperwork and communications as you focus on making a full recovery
- Analyze your right to file a maritime injury claim
- Determine how much your legal claim might be worth
- Draft the legal paperwork to send to the defendant
- Negotiate a settlement on your behalf
- Take your case to trial if necessary
Catahoula Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Compensation You Could Recover in a Maritime Injury Case
If you’ve been injured in a maritime setting, you can file a lawsuit under maritime laws to pursue compensation for damages incurred. The following are the different forms of compensation you can seek to recover in such a claim:
Economic and Non-Economic Damage
Once you file a maritime injury claim, you could recover both economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
Maintenance benefits are sometimes awarded to crew members, dock workers, stevedores, and other maritime employees who work on or near bodies of water. Maintenance is a form of compensation that can be awarded to injured maritime workers to cover their regular living expenses.
Since seamen are often provided with housing while onboard a vessel, maintenance compensation covers housing expenses the maritime worker has to pay while receiving treatment on land.
This compensation can be used to offset property taxes, rent, meals, water and power bills, mortgage, and homeowner’s insurance. However, it’s worth noting that things like telephone bills and internet service are not covered by maintenance compensation.
Cure refers to the financial compensation an injured maritime worker can receive to cover all medical expenses related to the injury. Once the maritime worker has fully recovered, these payments stop. However, if the maritime employee suffers permanent disability due to the accident, they might be entitled to permanent disability benefits.
The Jones Act
Seamen covered by the Jones Act could pursue compensation if they sustained injuries at sea while on the job. To qualify as a “seaman,” you must be a crew member of a navigating vessel and spend at least 30% of your time onboard the ship. However, it’s important to note some details about how the Jones Act works. The seaman has up to three years to file an injury claim, and negligence must be proven. That means that either the employer, shipowner, or a fellow employee must have caused your accident in some way to pursue your claim.
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The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Maritime employees who aren’t considered seamen can pursue compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). This applies to maritime workers who work on or adjacent to navigable waters, such as longshore workers, shipbuilders, ship-breakers, harbor construction workers, and dock workers. The LHWCA is different than the Jones Act in several important ways. Under the LHWCA, you must file within just one year of your accident, and the accident must be reported to your employer within 30 days.
Let Our Maritime Injury Lawyers Handle Your Claim
Maritime law can be complex, and it can be difficult to determine the specific laws that apply to your case. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we are well-versed in maritime law and can help determine the exact legal path your case should take. If you’ve been injured in a maritime accident, we can help. Let us handle the hard work of your case so you can focus on recovering. Call us today for a free consultation.