Off-shore accidents can range from minor to devastating, just like the injuries they cause. The injuries sustained in an off-shore accident can put you out of work for a long time. Some injuries are so severe they can prevent you from ever being able to provide the same economic support again. When the worst happens, it can be hard not knowing where to turn for help.
If you’ve been injured in an off-shore work-related accident, Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers are here to help. An Erath off-shore accident attorney can help determine which laws apply to your situation so you can pursue compensation, and guide you through the complex maritime laws surrounding an offshore accident.
The Jones Act
As a seaman, your ability to pursue damages will depend on whether or not you can prove negligence. The Jones Act requires that you prove your employer or a fellow worker played a part (even a small one) in causing your accident. Your lawyer can investigate your case and determine the at-fault party.
You must collect and record the evidence you need to support your claim. An Erath off-shore accident lawyer can help you prepare everything you need to file a formal lawsuit. This includes copies of all medical bills and documentation. This will help prove that you sustained injuries from the liable party’s actions. A lawyer could investigate the vessel’s condition and prove that your employer was negligent in properly maintaining it. A lawyer could ideally prove that:
- The vessel was not properly staffed
- The vessel had faulty equipment or machinery
- The working practices enforced by your employer caused fatigue or sleep deprivation
- The employer did not properly train the workers on the vessel
The ability to prove negligence can determine how much you can pursue in a Jones Act claim. An off-shore injury lawyer can help you collect enough proof to show that your employer or crew members were negligent.
Factors to Consider When Making a Jones Act Claim
The first factor you have to consider is the Jones Act only applies to seamen. To be considered a seaman under the Jones Act, you must work onboard a navigable vessel (yes, an oil rig counts as a vessel here as long as it has some form of controllable navigation). Your work onboard must contribute to the overall mission of the vessel and you must spend at least 30 percent of your time onboard.
The second factor is the statute of limitations. There are strict deadlines to follow when pursuing compensation and these are taken very seriously. If you miss any of the deadlines, you could be giving up your right to pursue any compensation at all. You have up to three years from the date of your injury to file your Jones Act lawsuit and your employer must be notified of the accident within just seven days.
For a free legal consultation with a off-shore accident lawyer serving Erath, call (337) 777-7777
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
If you are an injured maritime worker, but wouldn’t be considered a seaman under Jones Act standards, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) could cover you. The LHWCA provides compensation to maritime workers who have been hurt on the job and work on or near navigable waterways. This includes workplaces like wharves, harbors, docks, shipping terminals, and stationary oil rigs.
Under the LHWCA, you have up to one year from the date of the accident to file your claim. You have 30 days from the date of the accident to report your injury to your employer.
Recoverable Damages After an Offshore Accident
You can recover a wide range of damages after an offshore accident using the Jones Act or the LHWCA. The first type of damages you should receive (regardless of which law you use) is maintenance and cure. These benefits should be given to all seamen or maritime workers who are in recovery after an off-shore accident.
The maintenance and cure benefits get set by the employer. These benefits aren’t much, but an off-shore accident lawyer could ensure your maintenance and cure benefits are high enough to cover everything they’re supposed to (i.e., medical expenses and basic living expenses).
Under either the Jones Act or the LHWCA, an off-shore accident attorney serving the Erath area could help you pursue more than basic maintenance and cure, especially if your injuries are severe. Other recoverable damages you and your lawyer can seek after an offshore accident include:
- Costs of vocational rehabilitation
- Costs of physical therapy if the injuries impaired mobility
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of earnings
Medical care can be very expensive. Recovering damages after an offshore accident is key to ensuring that you and your family do not find yourselves in a financial crisis. An Erath off-shore accident lawyer can help you in the legal process of pursuing all the above damages.
If a loved one has died as a result of an off-shore accident, their family may recover damages on their behalf after their passing. The Jones Act and the LHWCA can both facilitate the recovery of damages in the event of a death.
You could be eligible for loss of companionship, loss of consortium, final medical expenses, and even funeral costs. An off-shore accident lawyer serving the Erath area can answer all your questions and gently guide you through the legal aspects of this difficult time.
Erath Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
If you have sustained injuries in an off-shore accident at work, an Erath off-shore accident lawyer can help. Our attorneys are ready to help you through every step of the legal process of pursuing compensation. Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.