The ocean is one of the most dangerous places to work. Off-shore workers can often sustain serious and even fatal injuries because of the risks associated with their jobs on or around the water. These risks can affect workers in the oil and gas industry who have to extract gas and oil from the seafloor, those who navigate large ships, those who work on fishing boats, and more.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an off-shore accident, you have a right to pursue compensation for your injuries. An off-shore accident lawyer from our firm can take care of every aspect of your case so you can focus on getting rest and recuperating.
Understanding Off-Shore Accidents
Maritime workers are exposed to many risks, including extreme weather conditions, hazardous chemicals, and dangerous equipment or machines. The off-shore locations themselves sometimes expose the workers to hazards resulting in severe injuries and fatalities.
Common injuries involved in these accidents can include neck and back injuries, burns, drowning, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), or head trauma. These injuries can result from different sources, including:
- Off-shore Supply Vessel Accidents: These are cargo ships designed to transport equipment and supplies to off-shore rigs. Supply boats can be hundreds of feet in length and are operated by several crew members. These vessels can expose crew members to hazards and risks, such as defective supplies, severe weather conditions, mechanical failure, long working hours, slippery surfaces, and equipment malfunctions.
- Off-shore Drilling Accidents: These accidents happen in off-shore drilling vessels and affect construction, production, and drilling operations workers.
- Off-shore Rig Accidents:Off-shore rig workers face unique risks and dangers, such as fires and explosions. These accidents occur due to blowouts, poor equipment failure, insufficient employee training, or mechanical failures. Many off-shore rig accidents result from employer or employee negligence.
- Off-shore Helicopter Accidents:Helicopters transport supplies and crews to and from off-shore work sites, including ships, jack-up rigs, and off-shore platforms. These helicopters are prone to crashes due to pilot error, poor weather conditions, improper loading, defective manufacturing, poor maintenance, and inadequate training. These accidents can result in severe injuries or even fatalities.
For a free legal consultation with a off-shore accident lawyer serving Forked Island, call (337) 777-7777
How a Forked Island Off-shore Accident Lawyer Can Help You
An attorney serving the Forked Island area can help you in a lot of ways immediately following your off-shore accident, including:
- Gathering evidence and taking statements from eyewitnesses
- Negotiating with the insurance company and your employer’s lawyers
- Investigating photos, video footage, and other evidence to determine the responsible party
- Explaining legal jargon or concepts you may find confusing
- Representing you in court if a settlement can’t be reached
Forked Island Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Claiming Compensation after an Off-Shore Accident
Off-shore workers have a right to seek compensation or file a lawsuit against the negligent party responsible. These claims involve complex maritime laws and regulations. A Forked Island off-shore accident lawyer can explain anything you find confusing, offer legal advice, and guide you throughout the process.
Two of the main federal laws your lawyer may use are the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). Note that some of these laws only offer limited compensation, and in some cases, you must file a lawsuit to recover compensation.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, was enacted to provide injured seamen a chance to sue their employer (or other negligent parties) for compensation. To be considered an official seaman under the Jones Act, you must work aboard a navigating vessel (this includes oil rigs, as long as they have some navigation), contribute to the mission of the vessel, and spend at least 30 percent of your time onboard.
You must notify your employer of the accident within seven days and your lawsuit must be filed within three years of the date of the accident. An off-shore accident lawyer serving the Forked Island area can help you pinpoint the at-fault party and determine which evidence proves their negligence.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers maritime workers who aren’t considered seamen and wouldn’t be covered under the Jones Act. This includes shipping terminal workers, harbor workers, dockworkers, tugboat operators, and more. Negligence does not need to be proven under the LHWCA.
To qualify for benefits under the LHWCA, you must file your injury claim within one year of the date of the accident, and the injury must be reported to your employer within thirty days.
Determining the Value of Off-shore Accident Cases
Your lawyer can consider several factors to determine your claim’s worth. Every accident claim is different, but generally, the value of your claim is determined by the severity of your injuries and the effect the accident has had on your life. Some of the most common variables that could determine the value of your case are:
- Medical bills and injury-related expenses, such as ambulance costs, medical devices, or prescription medications
- Lost income and loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Lost or damaged property
- Disability, disfigurement, or scarring
- Loss of consortium
- Mental and emotional trauma
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Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we know that unexpected injuries often come with unexpected medical bills. That financial strain can be heightened if you had to take time off work to recover. Let us lighten your load and take the stress of your injury claim off your shoulders. Our off-shore accident lawyers in Forked Island can take on the work of your legal injury claim while you focus on healing.
Call us today to schedule a free case review.