The maritime industry is truly unlike any other. Maritime workers face harsh dangers and have their own laws regarding injury compensation. Unlike employees in other industries who are protected by worker’s compensation, maritime employees must seek alternative legal options to help them recover compensation after a workplace accident.
If you’re a maritime worker who was hurt on the job, an Erath maritime injury lawyer who is familiar with both maritime injuries and all of the complexities of maritime law can help you pursue compensation, allowing you to rest and recover while handling the work of your case.
The Jones Act
Maritime workers can only claim compensation by filing a civil lawsuit against their employers, which can make pursuing such a claim pretty complicated. The Jones Act gives seamen the right to sue their employer for negligence if they are injured while working on a maritime vessel as a result of negligence.
To be considered a seaman, you must contribute to the work on a vessel that travels over navigable waters such as oceans, lakes, seas, or rivers, and you must spend at least 30% of your time onboard the ship.
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Erath, call (337) 777-7777
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Maritime workers who construct ships, repair ships, or load and unload a vessel can claim compensation for an injury under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). This is a federal law administered by the U.S. Department of Labor.
If you are a longshoreman, harbor worker, or any other maritime employee working on or adjacent to U.S. waters, you can file under the LHWCA. It’s vital that you know your classification and which law protects you in case of an injury. Your Erath maritime injury lawyer can help you determine the right path for you.
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The Death on the High Seas Act
If you lost a loved one to a maritime work-related accident, you could pursue compensation under the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). This federal law can cover the medical bills, lost income, and funeral and burial expenses of seamen or maritime workers who lost their lives in a maritime accident.
However, negligence must be proven to pursue death benefits under DOHSA. A maritime lawyer could help gather evidence for this type of case as well.
Reporting a Maritime Accident
If you want to pursue compensation for your injuries, you must know what to do after the accident to protect your claim. According to federal maritime law, you should report any work-related injury within seven days. Don’t wait until the deadline. Report the accident as soon as possible.
After reporting the accident, your employer or insurance company may want you to record a statement about the accident. You may wish to speak to an Erath maritime lawyer before making official or non-official statements. Remember, what you say can affect your claim.
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Statute of Limitations
If you are claiming compensation under the Jones Act, you have exactly three years from the date of the accident to file a claim or lawsuit against your employer. The exception to this rule applies to injuries that weren’t evident immediately after the accident. In this case, you have three years from the date the damage was apparent to file a claim or lawsuit.
The statute of limitation on LHWCA is one year from the accident date or when the injury was discovered. Suppose your employer pays for your medical bills and any other costs related to the accident. In that case, your deadline for claiming begins as soon as your employer stops paying for your bills.
If you have lost a loved one in a maritime accident and want to file a claim or lawsuit under DOHSA, you have three years to file a claim from the date of death. Your lawyer can calculate compensation and help negotiate a settlement.
How an Erath Maritime Injury Lawyer Can Help
Maritime claims can be complex. A lawyer familiar with the Jones Act and LHWCA can help immediately after your accident. Maritime injury lawyers know the different classes of maritime workers and how to handle your case. Your lawyer could also explain your legal options and how to claim based on:
- Your classification as a worker. You can claim compensation for your injuries under the Jones Act or the LHWCA. Your lawyer can help choose which would be best for you.
- The severity of your injuries. Maritime injuries can be severe and life-threatening. In some cases, the accident can be fatal. Your lawyer can calculate the full extent of your losses, including both the economic and non-economic damages.
- Liability laws and causation. Maritime injury claims are filed at the federal level, involving specific rules affecting your claim’s value. These laws have different standards for proving fault or liability.
- Negligence. Apart from claiming damages for lost income and medical bills, federal laws also allow you to sue your employer for negligence. In some instances, proving negligence could be vital to your case. Your lawyer can gather evidence of negligence, file the lawsuit, and represent you in court (if necessary) while you recover from your injuries.
Your lawyer can consider all of these factors while filing your compensation claim. Your lawyer may work with experts to gather enough evidence to defend your case and negotiate a settlement or file a lawsuit against your employer.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers to Learn More
If you sustain an injury as a seaman or maritime worker, you may be entitled to compensation. A maritime injury claim can be complex and even daunting. An Erath maritime injury lawyer can handle the stress of your claim while you recover and heal from your injuries.
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we are ready to handle your claim. Our lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you don’t pay legal fees unless we win for you. Call us today for a free consultation.