Maritime law can be challenging to navigate if you are trying to seek compensation alone. Pursuing a maritime injury claim on your own can be daunting at the best of times. When you’re in pain and feeling vulnerable, it can be tough not to know where to turn.
The attorneys at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers are here to help. A Church Point off-shore accident lawyer can help you safely navigate the sea of complex details involved in your compensation claim and offer solid legal counsel at every turn.
What Should I do After an Offshore Accident?
The first thing you should do after an offshore accident is to get examined by a qualified physician. Even if the vessel has a doctor on board, do not fear getting a second opinion. Receiving medical care can prevent your injuries from worsening. The records of the injury act as proof that the liable party indeed caused you physical harm.
The second thing you should do is to report the accident. You have to inform your employer or supervisor. Provide a detailed statement but do not sign any agreement or say anything you are unsure about. Your Church Point off-shore accident lawyer can be present with you as you make this report to further protect your claim. You should report the injury as soon as possible.
Having a lawyer by your side can help you navigate the complex maritime laws required to make a successful claim. A lawyer can be in a better position to negotiate with the employer and their insurer. A maritime injury lawyer understands the full range of damages you could receive. For instance, under the Jones Act, you should receive maintenance and cure benefits. These types of damages should help you during the recovery process and as you pursue your lawsuit.
The injuries sustained in an offshore accident may make it physically impossible for you to appear in court. A Church Point off-shore accident lawyer can represent you and can ensure that they have helped you build a strong case for recovering damages within the time provided.
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
Maritime workers face one of the most hazardous working conditions in the country. After an offshore accident, the Jones Act facilitates injury claims of workers who meet the definition of seamen.
According to the Jones Act, seamen are crew members who work aboard maritime vessels (including oil rigs, as long as they have some form of navigation) and who have spent at least 30 percent of their time working onboard the vessel. Examples of seamen who can claim the Jones Act are:
- Stewards and pilots
- Engineers and deckhands
- Oil rig workers
- Mates and fishermen
- Captain of the vessel’s crew
Seamen may also include individuals working on barges, tugboats, and fishing boats, as long as they meet the qualifications. The claims covered by the Jones Act can help seamen recover damages from their employers.
Liable Parties in an Off-Shore Accident
A Jones Act lawsuit requires proof of negligence. The liable parties in an offshore accident are usually the employer, crew members, or the vessel owner. In rare cases, a third party may be liable such as a machine manufacturer. These parties have to follow federal and state laws that protect the safety of maritime workers. One of Louisiana’s state laws gives ports the power to develop their own security and safety plans.
Your ability to hold any liable party accountable depends on evidence. You have the burden of proof if you choose to sue someone in a lawsuit. A Church Point off-shore accident lawyer could work to ensure that you have everything you need to prove negligence. Your employer is negligent if he or she fails to maintain a safe working space. For instance, you can hold them liable if they:
- Did not perform adequate and routine safety inspections
- Did not properly maintain the vessel’s equipment and machinery
- Did not install any or enough fire extinguishers on board the vessel
- Forced you and other crew members to work extra hours
- Allowed untrained or poorly trained employees to work on the vessel
An offshore accident lawyer knows what evidence to look for and how to investigate an incident resulting in injuries. This can work to your advantage as you can determine who is ultimately responsible for the economic and non-economic damages you have suffered.
A maritime injury lawyer could bring a claim against the vessel’s owner if it was unseaworthy. Your claim’s viability would then depend on proving that the vessel’s unseaworthiness contributed to your injuries.
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 Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Injured maritime workers who don’t meet the qualifications of being a seaman won’t be able to make a claim through the Jones Act. This is why the federal government developed the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). This act covers maritime workers who do their jobs on navigable waters or adjoining locations.
The LHWCA can provide you with a means to recover damages for injuries or illnesses you may suffer while at work. Unlike the Jones Act, you do not have to prove any negligence when making a claim under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act also provides benefits that go to family members or certain survivors if they have lost a loved one in an off-shore accident. A Church Point off-shore accident lawyer can gently guide you through the legal side of this difficult time.
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one have been involved in an off-shore accident, our attorneys serving the Church Point area can help. Here at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, our off-shore accident lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means we don’t charge you any legal fees upfront. You don’t pay unless we win and you obtain a compensation package. Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.