Maritime law is specialized to deal with ships, vessels, and their crew. It covers navigation, insurance, cargo, marine biology, environmental protection, and international trade, among other things. Maritime law is complex and ever-changing, and it can be daunting to try and handle a seaman or maritime injury claim alone, especially when you’re in pain and don’t know where to turn for help.
If you’re a seaman and have been hurt working on a ship in Louisiana, a Crowley seaman injury lawyer can help. You don’t have to face your injury claim alone. A lawyer from our firm can handle your entire injury claim while you rest and focus on recovering from your injuries.
Common Seaman Injuries
Some of the most common injuries we see when working with seamen include:
- Loss of hearing: When working around constant noise (like loud machinery) without proper ear protection, seamen can lose some or all of their hearing.
- Lung damage: Lung damage can occur when toxic ship chemicals are improperly handled and inhaled.
- Burns: Explosions, electrical fires, or contact with toxic chemicals can all result in serious burns.
- Fractured, broken, or crushed bones: Errors or malfunctions when using cranes, drilling equipment, or other heavy machinery, can result in broken or crushed bones, or even amputated limbs.
- Hypothermia or frostbite: These can be caused by exposure to extreme temperatures or weather.
- Falling overboard: Some rigs can be 100 feet off the surface of the water, making falling overboard very serious. It can result in broken bones, hypothermia, or even drowning.
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Crowley, call (337) 777-7777
Common Causes of Off-Shore Accidents
Injuries are bound to happen in the maritime industry, but specific causes can contribute to these off-shore accidents. Some common causes include:
- Negligence –This includes any action (or inaction) that leads to an accident and may be caused due to negligence on behalf of the employer or someone else. This could be a lack of safety signage, not providing proper training to crewmembers, or working the crew too hard without mandated breaks.
- Defective products – Products used in the maritime industry are not always safe. They may contain defects that lead to accidents. For example, defective machinery may cause accidents during operation. In this case, the manufacturer could be held liable for the injuries caused.
- Improper maintenance –Equipment used in the maritime industry needs regular maintenance. Failure to do this may result in accidents. For example, outdated tech panels can malfunction and cause electrical fires, which could lead to burns for the workers using them. If the employer isn’t requiring routine maintenance or the vessel owner isn’t ensuring the vessel is seaworthy and safe, this too can be considered negligence.
- Natural Disasters –Sometimes accidents occur when natural forces hit like storms, tsunamis, hurricanes, or landslides. Sadly, this is part of the inherent danger and risk of working on the water.
Crowley Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Jones Act
If you were injured while working offshore, you might be eligible to file a Jones Act claim. The Jones Act allows injured seamen to sue their employers if their negligent actions led to the accident. Under this act, employers must provide safe workplaces and adequate training for their employees.
To be considered a Jones Act seaman, you must work on a navigable vessel, ship, or off-shore platform and spend at least 30 percent of your working hours onboard. A Crowley seaman injury lawyer can determine if you qualify for the Jones Act and advise you on what your next steps should be.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
If you are a maritime worker but wouldn’t be considered a Jones Act seaman, you may be able to claim the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). It provides workers injured while performing their duties with benefits like medical expenses and disability.
The LHWCA covers maritime workers who work on or near navigable waterways, including dockworkers, harbor workers, some oil rig workers, shipping terminal employees, and those who load and unload cargo from ships.
Statutes of Limitations
There are time limits for both the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). For example, the Jones Act claims must be filed within three years of the accident date and your employer must be notified of your injury within just seven days.
Similarly, LHWCA claims must be filed within one year of the date of the injury and your employer must be notified of the accident within 30 days. A Crowley seaman injury lawyer can ensure that all paperwork related to your claim is filed properly and on time.
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What Kind of Damages Can I Pursue?
Depending on the extent and severity of your specific injuries and how they’ve affected your daily life, there are many damages your lawyer can help you pursue. Some of the damages that can be sought include:
- Medical bills from surgeries, x-rays, labs, MRIs
- Prescription medications
- Lost wages if you had to take time off work to recover
- Pain and suffering if the injury results in long term pain that diminishes your experience of life
- Vocational rehabilitation if the injury makes it impossible for you to continue in the same line of work
- Property damage if something valuable you owned was destroyed in the accident
Survivor’s Benefits in a Wrongful Death Suit
Under the Jones Act, if your loved one was a seaman who was killed in an off-shore accident, you could pursue survivor’s benefits. These could include loss of companionship, loss of consortium, their final medical bills, and even funeral expenses. A seaman injury lawyer serving the Crowley area can tell you more about what you might qualify for, answer your questions, and gently guide you through the legalities of this very difficult time.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one were injured in an off-shore accident, our seaman injury lawyers can help you pursue financial compensation. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we proudly serve the seamen and maritime workers of the Crowley area. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.