The maritime industry in Louisiana is one of the biggest fields in the state, and also one of the most dangerous. If you work in the maritime industry, you may have seen others get injured, but what are you supposed to do if you are injured? The negligent actions of others on board (or even an unseaworthy vessel) can create an unsafe work environment where accidents abound.
A Fort Polk maritime injury lawyer can help. If you are involved in a maritime workplace accident, a Fort Polk attorney can guide you safely through the injury claim process.
Common Causes of Maritime Injury
Many things can go wrong when working on the open waters, in harbors, or any maritime environment. Some of the most common factors that can cause maritime accidents can include:
- Lack of proper maintenance
- Failure in the ship’s monitoring systems
- Lack of proper protective gear
- Exposure to cables and wires
- Inadequate training and human error
- Collisions with other vessels
Regardless of the cause of an accident, the consequences to the injured person can be significant. A seemingly innocent slip and fall accident on a slippery deck can cause fractures and broken ribs in ways that similar accidents might not on land.
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Fort Polk, call (337) 777-7777
How Can a Fort Polk Maritime Injury Lawyer Help My Case?
Maritime law is different from the general laws that apply to other employers and workers. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, our maritime injury lawyers serving Fort Polk can represent your interests in your injury claim. All of our attorneys know that the most important thing is to build a strong case from any available evidence. A lawyer from our firm could:
- Review the evidence (footage, testimonies, or reports) to understand how an accident happened
- Investigate who is liable for your case, making it possible to hold the at-fault parties accountable
- Negotiate with your employer’s legal team and the insurance company
- Work with your doctor to determine how much care your injuries may require and how much it might cost
- Explain anything you find confusing and keep you updated on your case
- Represent you in court if necessary
Fort Polk Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
How Can I Afford a Fort Polk Maritime Injury Lawyer?
You may have automatically assumed that you can’t afford a lawyer. Many people do. However, at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that you won’t pay any upfront costs out of pocket. We understand that unexpected maritime injuries come with unexpected medical bills, which can be even more stressful if you’ve had to take time off work to recover.
If we win, and you receive your compensation, our legal fees can simply come out of a percentage of your total settlement package.
The Jones Act
While traditional laws don’t apply to employees working on vessels off the mainland, the Jones Act offers seamen a chance to sue their employer (or whoever is found liable) for compensation for their injuries. To qualify under the Jones Act, you must work onboard a navigating vessel, working toward the overall mission of the ship, and spend at least 30 percent of your time onboard. Some recoverable damages that seamen can claim under the Jones Act can include:
- Lost wages
- Costs of medical care, including hospitalization, outpatient care, physical therapy, or prescription medication
- The loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, our Fort Polk attorneys understand all the nuances of the Jones Act, and we can answer any questions you may have.
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The Longshore Harbor Workers Compensation Act
The Longshore Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA) is another piece of legislation that caters to workers injured on or near navigable waters. The LHWCA applies to maritime workers who aren’t considered seamen and wouldn’t qualify for the Jones Act. Some examples of eligible employees under the LHWCA include:
- Ship repairmen
- Longshoremen or dockworkers
- Harbor construction workers
Some possible benefits for workers who can make successful claims under the LHWCA can include:
- Temporary Partial Disability: The injured worker can only perform a portion of their duties for a short period.
- Temporary Total Disability: The injuries make it impossible to meet the job description expectations on a short-term basis.
- Permanent Partial Disability: The injured worker can work but can’t meet the efficiency or skills they had before the accident.
- Permanent Total Disability: The injured worker cannot work permanently due to the severity of their injuries.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: Permanently disabled workers must be reevaluated to ensure their physical and mental disability matches job expectations.
Our Fort Polk maritime lawyers understand the complex aspects of the LHWCA. We can answer your questions and review your case to determine which path would be better to pursue in your particular situation.
Deadlines to File Under The Jones Act and the LHWCA
Filing a claim is the first step toward pursuing compensation after suffering from an injury. It’s essential to meet the deadlines involved. Under the LHWCA, you must file within one year of the date of your injury. One exception for filing later includes situations where injuries don’t surface immediately. In this case, you must file within one year of the date the injuries surfaced. You must also report the accident to your employer within 30 days.
The deadline for filing under the Jones Act is three years after the date of the accident. Again, extensions are provided when injuries are discovered later. However, seamen must report the accident within just seven days.
Remember that if you miss any of these deadlines, you could be giving up your right to pursue any compensation at all. A Fort Polk maritime injury lawyer can ensure that all forms are filed properly and on time.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Filing a lawsuit on your own can be overwhelming. Maritime law is complex and can be hard to understand. A Fort Polk attorney from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can handle the hassles and work of your claim so you can focus on healing from your injuries. Reach out to Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today for your free case review.