Maritime work is physically demanding and dangerous. Even with safety measures in place, off-shore accidents can still happen and leave you with devastating injuries. This is a risk maritime workers face every day, many of them from right here in Cecelia. Whether you work on a pier, in a harbor, or on a vessel at sea, the risk for off-shore accidents is high and it’s important to know what to do if the worst happens to you.
If you’ve been hurt in an off-shore work accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. An off-shore accident lawyer serving the Cecelia area can explain what damages you may be able to pursue, determine which legal path you could take, and guide you throughout the process.
Common Causes of Off-shore Accidents
Some vessels and maritime environments tend to be riskier places to work in than others. Off-shore accidents can happen for a lot of different reasons, including:
- Human error
- Severe weather and on-board leaks
- Slippery decks
- Electrical hazards causing explosions or fire on board the vessel
- Lack of proper safety protocols and standards
- Equipment failures
- Falling objects
- Crane failures
- Lack of equipment maintenance
- Improperly handled chemicals
- Untrained crane operators
- Slips and falls
For a free legal consultation with a off-shore accident lawyer serving Cecilia, call (337) 777-7777
Common Injuries Suffered in Off-shore Accidents
These off-shore accidents can result in different injuries, ranging from minor to life-threatening. In some cases, minor injuries can transform into severe ones over time. The most common injuries associated with off-shore accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Head injuries, including concussions
- Broken or fractured bones
- Lung damage from exposure to toxic chemicals
- Hypothermia and frostbite due to exposure to extreme temperatures
- Hearing loss from working around loud machinery
- Eye injuries
- Loss of mobility
- Internal bleeding
Cecilia Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Maritime Laws That Apply To Off-shore Accidents
Typical workers’ compensation does not apply to maritime workers. Two federal laws were created to provide maritime workers with avenues to pursue compensation after an off-shore accident: The Jones Act and the LHWCA.
The Jones Act
Also referred to as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act is a federal law that protects seamen who work on navigating vessels, such as oil rigs and drillships. According to the Jones Act, seamen injured in off-shore accidents can sue for compensation. However, your off-shore accident lawyer has to prove that the accident occurred due to onboard negligence to recover this compensation.
Unlike other federal laws, the burden of proof for the Jones Act is very low. This is because the Jones Act requires all seamen employers to provide a safe working environment and keep their vessels in a safe condition at all times. All you need to do to pursue compensation is prove that negligence played a role in the off-shore accident. Your off-shore accident lawyer can help pinpoint the responsible party.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers maritime workers other than seamen, who would not qualify for the Jones Act. This could include harbor workers, dock workers, shipping terminal employees, shipbuilders, ship repairers, or those who load and offload ship cargo. The LHWCA provides compensation for maritime employees’ injuries, lost wages, disability, or even death.
Statute of Limitations
Different statutes of limitations (deadlines) apply to the various federal laws you and your lawyer could use to pursue compensation. For instance, if you’re filing a lawsuit under the Jones Act, you have three years from the date of the accident and you must report the accident to your employer within just seven days. For all off-shore accident claims under LHWCA, you have only one year to file your injury claim and you must report the incident to your employer within 30 days.
Remember, these deadlines are strictly observed. If you don’t file your claim within these time limits, you may end up forfeiting your right to compensation. A Cecilia off-shore accident lawyer can determine which law applies to your off-shore accident case, and ensure it is filed on time.
Damages You Can Recover
Following an off-shore accident, you might be entitled to recover both economic and non-economic damages depending on your specific situation, including:
- Past and future medical expenses, such as rehabilitation costs, medication, physical therapy, prosthetics, or medications
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses, such as transportation costs
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of companionship
- Funeral and burial expenses if the victim dies due to the off-shore accident
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How a Cecilia Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Can Help
Sustaining injuries in an off-shore accident can be emotionally and financially draining. It can also be challenging to determine who was at fault and which parties to hold responsible for recovering compensation. A Cecilia off-shore accident lawyer could do a lot to help your case, including:
- Provide legal advice specific to your situation
- Conduct a thorough investigation to determine the leading cause of the accident
- Gather enough evidence to prove the unseaworthiness of the vessel and the employer or operator’s negligence
- Interview witnesses present at the accident scene
- Determine the appropriate statute of limitations that applies to your case
- Determine all recoverable damages related to your injuries
- Handle communications and legal proceedings on your behalf
- Consult accident reconstruction experts regarding your case
- Negotiate a settlement on your behalf
- Take your case to trial if a settlement isn’t reached
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers for Your Free Case Review
If you’ve sustained injuries in an off-shore accident, our attorneys serving the Cecelia area can help. We work on a contingency basis so you don’t pay any fees or costs upfront. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we can handle your case while you heal from your injuries. Call us today for a free case review and more information.