Working as a seaman is an especially hazardous occupation. Conditions are often far less than ideal and people are often working under pressure to get the job done as quickly as possible. Off-shore accidents are all too common and it can take longer for emergency medical help to arrive due to the remote nature of working out on the water.
If you are a seaman or maritime worker and have been injured in an accident at work, a Fort Polk Seaman Injury Lawyer can help. Our attorneys can help you pursue compensation through an injury claim or lawsuit so you can focus on rest and recovery.
Common Seaman Injuries
These are some of the most common injuries that affect seamen in Louisiana:
- Falling into the water. When someone falls overboard, it can be difficult to put together a quick rescue, exposing the seaman to the risk of hypothermia (along with any impact injury) and even drowning.
- Slips and falls. On a cluttered or slippery ship or dock, slip and fall accidents are very common and can result in broken bones or head injuries.
- Repetitive strain injuries. Doing the same task for hours at a time can lead to pulled muscles, strains, and persistent pain.
- Heat or chemical burns. In an engine room or when dealing with chemically hazardous cargo, burns can be common.
- Working in Enclosed Spaces. Fumes and other toxic materials can cause choking or lung damage in closed spaces.
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Fort Polk, call (337) 777-7777
Typical Causes of Seaman Accidents
Off-shore accidents happen most when people cut corners. In high-pressure jobs like those in the maritime industry, you’re subject to tight schedules and quotas. We will look at four of the main causes, but you can find cutting corners at the heart of each one.
All too frequently, workers in this industry haven’t received adequate training. Working conditions in the maritime world are often hazardous because of poor weather and other conditions, leaving under-trained employees at a disadvantage.
Seamen have to perform quickly. Sometimes there are just not enough hands available to ensure everyone’s safety.
Using the Wrong Equipment
Because of pressure, a worker might use anything available to them to get the job done. This can lead to many different types of accidents.
Negligence of Coworkers
No matter how safe you are determined to be, you can’t guarantee that the people around you are paying attention. Many accidents happen onboard a ship because someone else wasn’t paying attention or acting responsibly.
If one of these negligence factors played a part in your accident, you may have a good case for compensation under the Jones Act.
Fort Polk Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Jones Act: Protecting Seaman
The Jones Act, a wide-ranging piece of federal legislation, was passed in 1920. The Jones Act gives seamen the right to bring a personal injury suit against their employer if the seaman was working at the time of the accident and negligence played a part.
Under the terms of the Act, a seaman is anyone working on a vessel that uses navigable waters like the ocean, rivers, or lakes. Basically, the Jones Act covers anyone who works on a ship at least part-time or who spends at least 30 percent of their working time onboard. You might be a sailor, a crane operator, or an onboard engineer. If you work on a vessel in navigable waters, there’s a chance you could be covered by the Jones Act. A Fort Polk seaman injury lawyer can help determine if you qualify.
Statute of Limitations
Louisiana imposes a time limit on bringing an accident claim. Thanks to the Jones Act, there is a statute of limitations of three years from the date of your accident to present your lawsuit. However you must report the injury to your employer within seven days of the accident. If you’re filing under the LHWCA, there is a one-year time limit. Under some circumstances, there are exceptions to this limit, but you shouldn’t rely on an exception. Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you present your case within the time limit.
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How Can a Fort Polk Seaman Injury Lawyer Help Me?
After assessing whether you’re eligible as a seaman, it’s time to build your case. Here are some of the ways we can help:
- Visit and document the accident scene
- Help determine and prove your eligibility
- Collect pictures, videos, and other evidence
- Interview witnesses
- Review medical reports
- File paperwork and track deadlines
- Negotiate with insurance companies and opposing counsel
- Represent you in court
- Estimate your compensation and damages
- Keep you updated on important developments in your case
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What Damages Can My Lawyer and I Claim?
Your accident was a traumatic event and you shouldn’t have to suffer financially, as well as physically, as a result. After your accident you and your lawyer can claim:
- Present and future medical expenses. Keeping a record of all your expenses in this area will help prove the amount you’ll need.
- Lost earnings. This covers compensation for the time that you are off work and any loss of future earning potential due to the effects of your accident.
- Pain and suffering. Your injury could cause significant pain for an extended period of time.
- Mental anguish. You might suffer from post-traumatic stress. While it’s hard to put a figure on this, your lawyer can calculate an appropriate amount.
After an accident, an insurance company might offer you a quick settlement. Even though it’s tempting, this amount could be a lot less than you’re really entitled to. Your seaman injury lawyer can give you a good idea of what the difference might be.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Seamen who’ve been hurt at work deserve help and representation. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we proudly serve the seamen and maritime workers of the Fort Polk area. Reach out to request a free case review. It’s an opportunity for us to go over the circumstances of your accident, answer your questions, and see if you have a case for compensation.
Call or text (337) 777-7777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form