A maritime lawyer focuses on boating accidents and maritime injuries during commercial and recreational activities. Therefore, maritime lawyers often represent seamen or other maritime workers who have been hurt while on the job. These injuries can often be severe, and the resulting medical bills can be costly. It can be overwhelming for anyone injured to navigate the legal process of a compensation claim alone.
If you’ve been injured and sustained damages while working a maritime job, a maritime injury lawyer could help you negotiate compensation agreements, draft documents, or present your case in court, if necessary. Your lawyer could offer legal advice, collect evidence to strengthen your claim, and strive to help you pursue monetary compensation.
Causes of Maritime Injuries
It can be dangerous to work at sea, so sea vessels and workers must be equally seaworthy to ensure a safe working environment. Maritime employers must ensure that crew members are adequately trained and that all equipment, tools, and parts are well maintained and replaced when necessary. Many dangerous situations could cause maritime injuries, including:
- Toxic chemicals
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Moving, falling, and swinging objects
- Collisions with permanent structures or other vessels
There are many causes of maritime accidents, and the majority are unavoidable, like bad weather conditions. However, some maritime accidents occur due to negligence or human error.
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Duson, call (337) 777-7777
Steps to Take After a Maritime Injury
You must take the appropriate steps and actions to pursue your claim after a maritime accident. The essential steps to take include:
- Seek Medical Care: The very first action after an injury is to seek medical treatment, even if the damage seems minor. Your doctor will be able to explain the extent of the injuries you sustained. If you’re planning to file a lawsuit, your lawyer could advise you to keep a history of all your medical records to serve as evidence showing the nature of your injuries and the expenses incurred.
- File an Official Report: Under maritime law, you have seven days to report the accident to your employer, but this should really be done as soon as possible.
- Take Pictures of the Vessel and Work Area:After the accident, if you are physically able, take pictures of the work area in the vessel where you were injured. Ensure the pictures capture the object that caused the accident, the surroundings, and your injuries. You can present the pictures as evidence against your employer when filing your injury claim. If you are unable, a Duson maritime injury lawyer could do this for you.
Duson Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
How a Duson Maritime Injury Lawyer Can Help
The usual workers’ compensation laws do not protect maritime employees. Fortunately, maritime workers have their own legal options to recover their losses. This requires suing your employer or the owner of the ship you may work on. Taking your employer to court can be challenging as well as intimidating. A Duson maritime injury lawyer can give you legal assistance with the claim process.
Your lawyer can help you prove negligence by collecting evidence showing unseaworthy vessels or workers’ improper training causing your injuries. Your lawyer could ensure the evidence collected is credible and identify the at-fault party. Your lawyer could determine the total value of your claim based on lost income, medical bills, pain and suffering, and disability. If your employer denies your injury claim, your lawyer could file a suit on your behalf. Your lawyer can handle all the legal paperwork and present evidence in court proving your claim.
Compensation Systems for Maritime Employees
Maritime employees can qualify for maintenance and cure benefits after suffering injuries at work. These benefits cover seamen working as crew members as well as dock workers, stevedores, and others working near the water. “Maintenance” refers to compensation covering everyday expenses after an injury, like meals, rent, water and power bills, property tax, and homeowner’s insurance. Maintenance is paid because a seaman often receives room and necessary daily upkeep when stationed on the vessel. “Cure” refers to necessary and reasonable medical care expenses connected with the injury.
Seamen and maritime workers are entitled to seek medical compensation from their employer for any work-related injuries until they fully recover. If a maritime worker suffers permanent impairment, he or she might be eligible for permanent disability payments. Here are the most common types of compensation systems for maritime workers:
- The Jones Act: Seamen covered under the Jones Act can pursue benefits for work-related injuries at sea. For an employee to qualify for compensation under the Jones Act, they must meet the definition of a seaman and sustain injuries while working. If the seaman’s injuries resulted from a faulty vessel, the Jones Act permits the employee to file an unseaworthiness compensation claim against their employer.
- The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA): The LHWCA is a system made specifically for workers in the maritime industry, such as harbor workers, dockworkers, and shipping terminal employees. The LHWCA covers employees injured at sea or in adjoining areas, including workers who repair vessels and load and unload cargo.
- General Maritime Law: If you’re ineligible for compensation under LHWCA or Jones Act, you might qualify for general maritime law compensation. General maritime law, also called admiralty law, can cover payment for offshore injuries, or maintenance and cure for employees who work on or near water. A Duson maritime injury lawyer can help you determine which route to take.
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Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers to Learn More
If you’re a maritime worker who has been hurt on the job, Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help. A lawyer from our firm can help you file an injury claim while you rest and recover from your injuries.
Call today for a free case review and to learn more.