The off-shore maritime industry can be very dangerous to work in. Off-shore accidents can be absolutely devastating to workers who sustain injuries during these accidents. The aftermath of these frightening, painful experiences can be overwhelming, and injured off-shore workers may not know where to turn for help.
If you’ve been injured in an off-shore accident, a Eunice off-shore accident lawyer can help. Our attorneys can handle every step of your injury claim or lawsuit, fighting for your compensation while you rest and recover properly at home.
Causes of Off-shore Accidents
An off-shore accident can occur due to many reasons but one of the main causes is usually negligence. Your employer and fellow crew members owe you a duty of care when you are at work. This means you should be able to expect a safe work environment, and people can be held liable when their actions (or inaction) contribute to an accident.
Fires and explosions are another leading cause of off-shore accidents. The risk of a fire or an explosion is higher in an oil rig due to the presence of flammable materials. Employers have to take precautions to mitigate the risk of a fire or explosion.
The mechanical failure of equipment and machinery onboard the vessel is another major cause of off-shore accidents. The presence of faulty parts or machines increases the risk of injury to off-shore workers who have to work with them on a daily basis. The vessel’s owner is responsible for making sure the vessel is seaworthy. Other causes of offshore accidents include:
- Inadequate or poor training of crewmembers
- Exposure to hazardous materials without adequate protective gear
- Extreme weather conditions and natural disasters
- Sleep deprivation, overwork, and fatigue
For a free legal consultation with a off-shore accident lawyer serving Eunice, call (337) 777-7777
Common Injuries Sustained in an Off-Shore Accident
The injuries sustained in an off-shore accident can be exacerbated by the fact that medical assistance is often not readily available. The risk that off-shore maritime workers might succumb to their injuries is quite high, simply because they might have to wait for emergency assistance. Off-shore injuries can range in severity from minor to fatal. The common injuries that you may suffer in an off-shore accident are:
- Burns from chemicals or electrical fires
- Back injuries that could lead to paralysis
- Loss of limbs
- Fractured, crushed, or broken bones
- Lung damage from exposure to toxic airborne chemicals
- Head injuries, including concussions, and traumatic brain injuries
- Frostbite and hypothermia from exposure to extreme cold
- Internal injuries
- Loss of hearing from working around loud machinery
As you recover from your injuries, you should receive maintenance and cure benefits. These are basic benefits maritime workers should receive regardless of whether or not they pursue a lawsuit. Maintenance and cure is a small amount to cover basic medical care and living expenses. Your Eunice off-shore accident lawyer can help you pursue even more compensation for your injuries and suffering through injury claims either through the Jones Act or the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
Eunice Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Jones Act
If you’re a seaman, your right to pursue damages is mainly protected by the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, more commonly known now as the Jones Act. The Jones Act gives you the power to sue your employer directly for damages if you sustain injuries during the course of your work. The Jones Act allows you to pursue damages if:
- The accident is due to your employer’s negligence
- The accident directly caused your injuries
- The accident is due to a crew member’s negligence
- The accident occurred on the country’s navigable waters
To file under the Jones Act, there are some requirements you have to meet. To be considered a Jones Act seaman, you must work on a navigable vessel and spend at least 30 percent of your working time onboard.
Offshore oil rigs and drilling platforms can also be considered Jones Act vessels as long as they have some form of controllable navigation. To recover damages for your injuries, you must establish your employer’s negligence. A Eunice off-shore accident lawyer can gather evidence by investigating the incident and can help pinpoint the at-fault parties.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Off-shore and maritime workers who are not considered seamen and wouldn’t be eligible to pursue compensation under the Jones Act are covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). This is for maritime workers who work on or adjacent to navigable waterways. Some of the areas covered by the LHWCA are:
- Wharves and terminals
- Dry docks and graving docks
- Building areas and repairing areas for maritime vessels
- Railways in the marine area
Under the LHWCA, you do not have to prove that the employer is at fault. However, you do need to demonstrate that you sustained the injuries while working.
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Statutes of Limitations
There are deadlines for the filing of injury claims that are taken very seriously. If you miss any of these deadlines, you could forfeit your right to pursue compensation. Under the Jones Act, you have up to three years from the date of the off-shore accident to file your lawsuit. However, you must report the accident to your employer within just seven days.
Under the LHWCA, you have up to one year from the date of the accident to file your injury claim and your employer must be notified within 30 days.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
It can be confusing to know which maritime laws can help you after an off-shore accident. Maritime law is complex and ever-changing. A Eunice off-shore accident lawyer can navigate you through every twist and turn of your case, offering solid legal advice and counsel throughout the process. Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today to schedule your free consultation and case review.