Working as a seaman has many attractions, from relatively high pay to the thrill of working on the open sea to the sense of rugged adventure. However, it is a highly dangerous job and occupational hazards abound. As a result, off-shore accidents are all too common and seamen can find themselves injured, out of work, and unsure where to turn when they really need help.
If you’re a seaman and have been hurt in an off-shore accident, our attorneys can help. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we proudly serve the Duson area. A seaman injury lawyer from our firm can help you pursue compensation through an injury claim.
Off-Shore Accidents and Seamen
Conditions on the water are often very hazardous. Even in good weather, off-shore work requires heavy machinery like cranes that must be operated properly. Bad weather magnifies these risks.
Common Reasons for Off-Shore Accidents
- Workers are often under pressure and can feel like they need to perform their jobs quickly, especially if not enough crewmembers were hired for the given tasks. This rushing can lead them to overlook basic safety rules or make costly errors.
- Working too many hours without proper rest or breaks, leading to fatigue
- Inadequate safety standards or safety equipment
- Insufficient training for crewmembers
- Unseaworthy vessels in need of repair
Common Types of Seaman Injuries
- Hypothermia: This happens when seamen have too much exposure to extreme cold
- Head trauma: This can easily take place on a deck when it is cluttered or in conditions with spills of oil or other substances.
- Repetitive stress injuries: Many seamen perform tasks that require hours of twisting, pulling, and lifting heavy objects. This can lead to severe muscle strain.
- Broken bones: Broken bones can be caused by being struck by a moving object, such as a boom or a winch.
- Burns: Burns onboard a vessel can be caused by oil catching alight, explosions, or electrical fires.
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Duson, call (337) 777-7777
The Jones Act
Historically, seamen were badly served by legislation that covered them in case of accidents. The federal government introduced legislation to correct this. The Jones Act, also called the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, allows seamen to bring a lawsuit against their employer if onboard negligence results in their injury.
Who Is a Seaman? Do I Qualify?
While this might seem like a silly question, the law has strict definitions for terms like these. Under the Jones Act, a seaman is someone who:
- works on a vessel in navigation
- Contributes to the overall purpose of the vessel
- Spend at least 30 percent of their working hours onboard
These stipulations do not mean that your ship must be moving on the waters. You might have been on a ship at dockside. This is covered because the ship is afloat, in operation, capable of sailing, and on navigable waters. Oil rigs and platforms count if they have some form of onboard navigation. A Duson seaman injury lawyer can tell you more and determine which federal law you qualify for.
Duson Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers maritime workers who wouldn’t fit the description of a Jones Act seaman. It provides benefits in the case of a work injury to those who work on or near the water, including harbor workers, dockworkers, and those who load and unload vessels.
Statutes of Limitations
In Louisiana, there is a statute of limitations on bringing claims for accident compensation. A statute of limitations is a time limit or deadline. These deadlines are taken very seriously and missing any of them could mean giving up your right to seek compensation.
Under the Jones Act, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit, but only seven days from the date of the accident to report it to your employer. Under the LHWCA, you have up to one year from the date of the accident to file your injury claim and up to 30 days to report the incident to your employer. A Duson seaman injury lawyer can make sure all paperwork is filed properly and on time.
How Can a Duson Seaman Injury Lawyer Help?
Each case is different and calls for a different approach, but some things are common in a seaman injury case. Your Duson seaman injury lawyer could:
- Decide on your case’s next steps
- Interview eyewitnesses
- Collect and review all evidence. This could include photos, police reports, statements, and more.
- Determine who was liable for your accident.
- Decide which damages apply to your case and how much they’re worth
- Handle all negotiations with the insurance and opposing counsel
- Present your case in court if necessary
- Keep you up to date with any changes or developments
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Will Hiring a Lawyer in Duson Cost a Lot of Money?
Many people think they couldn’t possibly afford a lawyer. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we know that every dollar is important. When you’re staring at a stack of unpaid medical bills and wondering how you’re going to make it, the financial stress can be overwhelming.
This is one of the reasons our seamen injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, This means you pay absolutely nothing until you receive compensation. Even then, your lawyer’s fees are simply taken from a percentage of your total settlement package. If we lose, you don’t owe us anything.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
If you’re a seaman or maritime worker who has been involved in an off-shore accident, we can help. Our seaman injury lawyers can handle your case while you heal and focus on recovery. Call today to schedule your free consultation. We can evaluate your case, answer your questions, and make a plan to move forward.