Working aboard ships, on oil rigs, at a dock, or on a drilling platform, all have many occupational hazards. The maritime industry may drive the economy here in Louisiana, but off-shore accidents can be deadly. When accidents happen and maritime workers are injured, it can be hard to know where to turn.
If you’re a seaman or maritime worker and have been hurt in a maritime accident, you may be entitled to compensation. A Church Point seaman injury lawyer from our firm can help navigate you through your injury lawsuit, providing guidance and counsel with every step.
Common Causes of Off-Shore Accidents
Off-shore accidents can be horrific. Sadly, they often have preventable causes. The most common causes of maritime accidents include:
- Inexperience and improper training
- Personal relationships aboard the vessel
- Reckless behavior, like abusing drugs and alcohol
- Negligence and poor decision making
- Lack of adherence to safety standards
- Long hours of working without proper rest or mandated breaks
- Lack of posted safety signage
- Mechanical or equipment failure
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Church Point, call (337) 777-7777
Common Maritime Injuries
With each accident, there is the possibility of suffering a seaman injury. Some are mild and require little aid, others are severe, life-threatening, or even deadly. Common maritime injuries include:
- Falling overboard
- Loss of hearing
- Burns (Chemical or fire)
- Broken, fractured, or crushed bones
- Lung damage
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injury
- Loss of limbs
- Hypothermia or frostbite
Church Point Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
How a Church Point Seaman Injury Lawyer Can Help
Seeking compensation for injuries after an accident can be challenging, especially if you aren’t familiar with maritime law. Our injury lawyers can handle all the legal procedures and paperwork while you rest at home and focus on recovery. Your Church Point seaman injury lawyer could do the following for you:
Determine Liability and Assess the Situation
Your attorney can assist you in determining who is to blame for your injury and how they should be held liable. While you may not be aware of your rights or the amount of compensation you can pursue, our seaman injury lawyers can help you understand those, as well as issues concerning your case’s deadlines and what else to expect.
We’ll help you gather all the evidence, handle the paperwork, and interview witnesses to make a strong case on your behalf.
Represent You in Negotiations
Once your case has been filed, your employer’s insurance company may reach out with a settlement offer. You do not have to take the first offer you are presented with. Your lawyer could help to negotiate a better or more accurate compensation amount. If negotiations fail, your lawyer can file to move your claim to a courtroom.
What Kinds of Damages Can My Lawyer and I Pursue?
Every case is different. Depending on your specific situation, your lawyer could help you pursue the following damages:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Loss of earnings (past and future)
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Vocational rehabilitation
The amount of compensation you receive depends on several factors, including how severe your injuries are and the effect they’ve had on your life. Your Church Point seaman injury lawyer can determine which damages apply to your situation and calculate an appropriate settlement amount.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If your loved one died in a maritime accident, you could be entitled to compensation. Survivors’ benefits can be paid to a spouse, children, or even the seaman’s parents. You and your lawyer could seek damages for:
- Final medical treatment costs
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost support
- Loss of companionship
A Church Point seaman injury lawyer can tell you more and gently guide you through the legalities of this very difficult time.
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Federal Laws That Protect Seamen and Maritime Workers
When filing a lawsuit against a liable party, you have two primary options. They include The Jones Act and The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, provides injury protection for maritime workers, by allowing those who qualify as a Jones Act seaman the right to sue negligent employers directly for compensation. Under the Jones Act, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit.
How Do I Know If I Qualify as a Jones Act Seaman?
- Seamen who spend at least 30% of their working time aboard a U.S. ship in navigable waters
- Seamen who contribute to the work of the vessel
- Seamen who have a connection with the vessel in operation
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that provides medical care and compensatory services when maritime workers are injured on the water or in water-adjacent areas like piers, harbors, docks, and shipping terminals. The LHWCA covers maritime workers who don’t qualify as seamen and wouldn’t be eligible for the Jones Act.
The LHWCA provides a much shorter statute of limitations to file a claim. Injured workers only have one year from the accident to file a legal claim seeking compensation. Your Church Point seaman injury lawyer can help make sure all the relevant paperwork is filed on time.
Who does the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act protect?
- Ship repairers
- Harbor construction workers
- Longshore workers
- Shipping terminal employees
- Some oil rig and drilling platform workers
If you’re unsure about which federal law applies to your situation, a Church Point seaman injury lawyer can help determine what’s right for you.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we understand that your accident and injuries have impacted your life. Let our Church Point seaman injury lawyers take on the stress and work of your case, so you can rest and focus on healing. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.