Working as a seaman is not only physically demanding but also incredibly dangerous. The potential for accidents and injury abound. This is a risk that seamen and other maritime workers face every day simply doing their jobs. Many of these brave workers live right here in Chataignier.
We know how difficult it is to deal with financial stress on top of healing from your injuries. If you’re a seaman or other maritime worker and have been hurt in a maritime accident, a Chataignier seaman injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation while you focus on rest and recovery.
Common Causes of Seaman Accidents
Negligence and recklessness are some of the most common causes of maritime injuries. Improper use of heavy machinery, severe weather, and simple human error can all cause major accidents that can result in injury to the seamen involved. Some other causes of maritime accidents can include:
- Equipment malfunction
- Unsafe work conditions
- Slips and falls
- Unsecured or improperly stowed cargo
- Lack of safety signage
- Working long hours without breaks or rest
- Improper handling of toxic materials
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
Common Injuries Sustained by Seamen
Maritime accidents often result in injuries to working seamen. Some of the injuries we see most often include:
- Repetitive Motion Injuries: Hard labor, heavy loads, and operating heavy equipment often require hours of pulling, twisting, lifting, and standing, which can cause severe muscle strain.
- Loss of Hearing: Off-shore workers are often exposed to loud machines that can weaken their hearing over time. Without the right hearing protection, workers can develop tinnitus or even total hearing loss.
- Head Injuries: Some off-shore workers must do their jobs in an industrial and construction-like environment. They handle drilling machines and equipment, cranes, and other types of moving equipment. A seaman could sustain a serious impact on the head.
- Slip and Falls: Falling on a slippery deck can cause broken bones or concussions.
- Falling Overboard: Falling overboard can result in broken bones, hypothermia, or even drowning.
- Lung Damage: When workers fail to use proper safety procedures when working with toxic chemicals, they can inhale these chemicals, causing severe long-term lung damage.
- Broken Bones: The heavy machinery required for off-shore oil drilling can break down and cause injuries to the workers using them, such as crushed or broken bones. Broken bones left untreated can cause further internal injuries.
- Hypothermia and Frostbite: Seamen often have to work in extreme weather, constantly exposed to the elements. This can expose them to extremely cold conditions that cause frostbite or hypothermia.
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
The Jones Act
The Jones Act allows injured seamen to sue negligent employers for compensation. However, under the Jones Act, there are some very specific requirements you must meet before you can file your lawsuit.
To be considered a Jones Act seaman, you must work onboard a navigable vessel, contribute to the overall mission of the vessel, and spend at least 30 percent of your working hours onboard. A Chataignier seaman injury lawyer can determine whether you qualify for the Jones Act and guide your next steps.
A Jones Act vessel must be in navigation in one of the United States’ navigable waterways. The vessel can be secured to a pier or dock, but cannot be on dry land at the time of the accident to qualify. An oil rig or drilling platform can qualify as a Jones Act vessel as long as it has some form of onboard navigation and isn’t stationary.
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) was created to protect maritime workers in the event of an accident. The LHWCA covers maritime workers who wouldn’t be considered a seaman and wouldn’t qualify for the Jones Act. It applies to those who work on or near navigable waterways, in areas like piers, docks, harbors, and shipping terminals.
The LHWCA covers harbor workers, stevedores, dock workers, longshoremen, shipbreakers, shipbuilders, ship repairers, and those who load and offload vessels.
Under the Jones Act, you must file your lawsuit within three years of the date of your accident, or the date your injuries first appeared (some injuries, like concussion and traumatic brain injury, can take longer to surface and you may not notice them immediately). You must also notify your employer of the accident within just seven days. This is a small window of time and an important deadline.
Under the LHWCA, you have up to one year from the date of the accident to file, and you must notify your employer of the accident within 30 days. A Chataignier seaman injury lawyer can make sure all of your relevant paperwork is filled out properly and filed on time.
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
How Can a Chataignier Seaman Injury Lawyer Help?
A lawyer could do a lot to help you, including:
- Investigating your accident to determine who was responsible
- Studying photos, video surveillance footage, police reports, and any other available evidence to build a solid case
- Working with your doctors to find out the severity and extent of your injuries and how much they might cost to treat, both now and in the future
- Explaining any terms or concepts you find confusing
- Deciding which damages you qualify for and calculating your potential settlement
- Handling negotiations with your employer’s attorneys and the insurance adjuster
- Keeping you apprised of any developments or changes in your case
- Representing you in court if an appropriate settlement can’t be reached
Can I Afford a Seaman Injury Lawyer in Chataignier?
The aftermath of a maritime accident can be brutal. Unexpected injuries often come with unexpected medical bills. If you had to take time off work to heal, the financial stress can be increased. You may be wondering how you’ll pay these bills or even how you’ll continue to support your family. Being able to afford a lawyer could seem impossible.
Talking to a Chataignier seaman injury attorney from our firm comes with no upfront costs or fees. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we’ll go over your case in a free, no-obligation consultation. In addition, our seaman injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means if we win and you receive compensation, your lawyer will simply take his or her legal fees out of a percentage of your total settlement package. If we lose, you don’t owe us anything. No surprise fees. No hidden costs.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we proudly serve the seamen and maritime workers of the Chataignier area and their families. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.