People who work in the maritime industry are often exposed to dangerous weather conditions and choppy seas. These workers can end up pushing themselves both physically and mentally while trying to make an honest living. As a result, accidents and injuries can be an unfortunately common component of the maritime industry. Even though some of these accidents can’t be prevented, others happen due to employer negligence.
If you’ve sustained an injury while working in a maritime setting, you might be entitled to compensation. Maritime law can be difficult to understand, and taking on your own legal case can be daunting. A Chataignier maritime injury lawyer can guide you through the entire process of filing your compensation claim.
The Main Causes of Maritime Injuries
Many factors can lead to maritime injuries, and some are more common than others. They can include:
- Slips and falls
- Moving and falling objects, especially when items aren’t properly stowed or secured
- Enclosed spaces
- Electrical and power generation problems
- Cargo handling failure
- Broken equipment
- Explosions and fires
- Hazardous chemicals
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Chataignier, call (337) 777-7777
What You Should Do After Sustaining a Maritime Injury
After sustaining a maritime injury, there are several steps that will help you when filing a claim against your employer. Omitting even one of the following steps could prove very costly to your case (or your health):
Seek Medical Care
One of the most critical steps to take after sustaining an injury in a maritime setting is to seek immediate medical care. Even if the injuries seem minor at first, you should still get medical treatment. Sometimes you might not immediately know the full extent of your injuries, which is why you must let your health provider (or onboard physician) make that determination.
A doctor will treat the injuries you’ve sustained and record important information you might need when filing your claim. A complete medical report from the doctor will provide vital evidence needed to prove your injuries or even your employer’s negligence. If you decide to sue later, this medical report could give your case a much-needed boost. If possible, get a copy of the doctor’s diagnostic reports and the receipts of your medical treatment.
Report the Accident
After sustaining an injury at work, you should report it to the supervisor, employer, or captain as soon as reasonably possible. You must ensure that you file an accident report through the superior in charge of the vessel, and it should include as much detail about the accident as possible. This will provide necessary information proving whether or not your employer was negligent.
Federal maritime laws state that injured seamen should file accident reports within seven days after the accident. However, it would help if you didn’t wait that long. You want to ensure that you get the report filed as soon as possible after your accident. This also sends a message to everyone involved that you were seriously hurt and that you are serious about seeking compensation.
If you are physically able, it could help your case drastically to obtain evidence as soon as possible after a maritime accident. Photos of the scene, details of the incident written down in a notebook, and statements from eyewitnesses could all be helpful to your case, especially if you must prove negligence. If you are unable, a maritime injury lawyer could do all of this for you.
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The Jones Act vs The LHWCA
Your Chataignier maritime injury lawyer could pursue your compensation claim through one of two maritime laws, depending on your specific job. Seamen are covered under the Jones Act. A seaman is anyone who works aboard a navigable vessel and spends at least 30% of their time on board the ship. Under the Jones Act, you can pursue compensation for medical costs, lost pay, and more, and you have up to three years after your accident to file your claim.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers any maritime work not considered a seaman, including dock workers, shipbuilders, or harbor workers, but requires that your injury claim be filed within just one year of the accident.
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Factors Determining the Compensation Amount
If you hire a Chataignier maritime injury lawyer, they can help you evaluate the various legal options for your case. At the end of the case, what you may receive as compensation could depend on the following factors:
- The extent of your injuries and cost of present and future treatment
- Negligence of the employer and unseaworthiness
- Causation and liability laws
- Your classification as a worker according to the various compensation programs, such as the Jones Act and LHWCA
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How a Chataignier Maritime Injury Lawyer Can Help
Maritime laws can be complex and certainly differ from land laws. Maritime injury lawyers understand both state and federal maritime laws and international agreements. This means that they can exercise sound judgment when representing your case and seeking your compensation. If you choose to hire a Chataignier maritime injury lawyer, you could receive help in all sorts of ways. A maritime lawyer could:
- Research the facts surrounding your case and gather important evidence
- Interview relevant witnesses who were present when the accident happened
- Thoroughly review the evidence regarding your case
- Present the evidence that proves unseaworthiness or other negligent conditions
- Handle all legal paperwork and present it on time
- Draft all the necessary documents to present to the opposing side
- Consult with other experts, such as maritime industry experts, medical experts, engineering experts, physicists, or forensic experts
- Negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement
- Represent you in a trial if necessary
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today for Legal Help
If you’ve been injured in a maritime setting and want to learn more about pursuing compensation, reach out to a Chataignier maritime injury lawyer. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we are ready to help you with your injury claim. Call today for a free case review.
Call or text (337) 777-7777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form