The maritime industry can be very dangerous to its workers. Maritime injuries can range from minor to devastating, much like the accidents that cause them. Maritime accidents can involve boats, ships, and other vessels, but a worker can just as easily slip on a dock moving cargo. Any workplace on or near water has a risk for injury.
If you’re a maritime worker or seaman and have been injured in a maritime accident, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more. A Forked Island maritime injury lawyer from our firm can help determine how much compensation you could pursue and guide you through the entire legal process.
Common Causes of Maritime Accidents
A maritime injury occurs when someone gets hurt or killed while working on a boat, in a harbor, on an oil rig, or at a shipping terminal. The most common causes of maritime accidents include:
- Defective equipment
- Faulty navigational systems
- Improperly loaded or unsecured cargo
- Improper maintenance of the vessel or any of its parts
- Unsafe conditions aboard, such as slippery and wet surfaces
- Lack of proper training for crewmembers
- Long work hours, physical and mental fatigue
- Lack of adherence to safety protocols
- Reckless behavior, including alcohol and drug use
Laborde Earles injury was great for me they took care of me very fast and professional. If for any reason I need legal help they will be who I use.Client
Common Maritime Injuries
Maritime accidents can cause all types of injuries. These injuries can vary in severity from minor to life-threatening. Some of the most commonly seen injuries in the maritime industry include:
- Burns (chemical and fire)
- Lacerations and contusions
- Dislocations and broken bones
- Head and neck injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injury
- Spine and back injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Crushing injuries
I thank God for Digger & David. I don’t know what we would have done if it hadn’t have been for them.Rick Smith | Client
What Should I do After a Maritime Accident?
While the days surrounding a maritime accident can seem to go by in a blur, there are some important things you can do right after an injury for your health and your injury claim. Immediately following your maritime injury, you should:
- Seek medical help as soon as possible. Delaying for any length of time can worsen injuries. Keep copies of all medical bills and documents. These will be important to your case.
- Report the accident to your employer. Once your injuries are treated and stable, report the incident to your employer. See more about deadlines for reporting below.
- Gather evidence. If you are able, take photos of the accident scene, write down details about the accident in a notebook, and get the contact info of any eyewitnesses. If you are unable to do this, your lawyer can do it for you. If you wish to hire a Forked Island Maritime Injury Lawyer to handle your claim, you can call Laborde Earles right after the accident takes place.
- Do not talk about the accident or your claim. Do not post about it on social media. Don’t speak to insurance companies, sign anything, or accept any money without your lawyer present.
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
The Jones Act
The Jones Act was created to give injured seamen a chance to sue their employers for compensation. To be considered a seaman, you must work on a navigable vessel, and spend at least 30 percent of your time there. Under the Jones Act, you must prove that negligence took place and resulted in your accident. Your lawyer can help determine the responsible party.
Under the Jones Act, you must file your lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident, and you must report the incident to your employer within the first seven days.
They treated us like no other people would. Whenever we needed something they were there for us. I put my trust in them and I don’t regret it.Client
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides an avenue for compensation for maritime workers who aren’t seaman and would not qualify for the Jones Act. This extends to dock workers, shipping terminal employees, oil rig workers, tugboat operators, and more. There’s no need to prove negligence to file an LHWCA injury claim.
Under the LHWCA, you have just one year from the date of the accident to file, and you must report the incident to your employer within 30 days.
What Kinds of Compensation Can I Pursue?
If you have suffered a maritime accident, you and your lawyer could pursue compensation for:
- Medical bills, including hospitalization, physical therapy, prosthetics, or prescription medication
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Partial to complete disability
- Pain and suffering (mental and emotional trauma)
If your loved one died due to involvement in a maritime accident, you might be entitled to a portion of their lost wages as well as funeral and burial costs. A Forked Island maritime attorney can tell you more and guide you through your case during this difficult time.
How Can a Forked Island Maritime Lawyer Help Me?
If you hire a Forked Island maritime injury lawyer from our firm, there’s a lot we can do to help your case, including:
- Conduct a thorough investigation into your claim to determine fault and liability
- Speak with eyewitnesses
- Examine the evidence, including photos, video surveillance, and police reports
- Negotiate with insurance companies and your employer’s attorneys
- Work with your doctors to find out how severe your injuries might be and how much treatment might cost
- File all paperwork properly and on time
- Explain anything you find confusing, answer your questions, and keep you up to date on case developments
- Represent you in court if necessary
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Getting injured as a maritime worker can be extremely difficult on your wallet, family, and of course, your body. Let our Forked Island maritime lawyers handle the hard work of your case so you can rest and focus on recovering from your injuries. Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today for your free consultation.