Working in the maritime industry can be dangerous. Aside from the unpredictable nature of the sea, maritime accidents and injuries can result from simple human error and negligence onboard a vessel. Even onshore workers are not spared from the hazards of this bustling industry, as injuries can result from improperly maintained equipment or collisions with trucks that bring cargo in and out of ships.
If you’re a maritime worker and have been hurt in a work accident, a maritime injury lawyer serving the Grand Coteau area can help. An attorney from our firm can help you pursue compensation for your injuries through a lawsuit or injury claim, walking you through the whole process.
Common Maritime Injuries
Accidents on sea vessels can be as varied as the factors that cause them, and the resulting injuries can range from minor to horrific. However, mishaps are more likely to occur whenever there is negligence involved (this could be on the part of a coworker or even the shipowner). Common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury resulting from a blow to the head from a slip or fall
- Spinal and back injuries from long hours of tedious labor
- Concussions, contusions, and broken bones
- Tinnitus or hearing loss due to constant, loud mechanical sounds
- Loss of limbs or broken bones due to crushing accidents
- Hypothermia and frostbite from exposure to extreme temperatures
- Drowning due to overboard falls
- Lung damage due to toxic chemical inhalation
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Grand Coteau, call (337) 777-7777
The Jones Act
Also called the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act is one of the most important laws created for seamen seeking workplace injury compensation and benefits. According to the Jones Act, injured seamen have the right to sue their employers for compensation.
A seaman is defined as a person who works onboard a ship in navigation and spends more than 30 percent of their time on the ship. These could be sailors, deckhands, mates, cooks, captains, or any member of the ship’s crew.
What Damages Can I Pursue?
As an injured seaman, you can seek several types of damages under the Jones Act, including lost wages, medical costs, and wrongful death. However, you must prove that your accident was caused by the ship’s unseaworthiness or some other form of negligence.
The Jones Act doesn’t come with clear-cut guidelines on how much compensation you could receive. That’s because every case is different. Your Grand Coteau maritime injury lawyer can tell you more and explain anything you’re confused about.
What Are the Deadlines?
You have three years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit. However, some injuries take a while to become apparent. In that case, you have three years from the date your injuries first surfaced. Either way, you must report the accident to your employer within just seven days.
Grand Coteau Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that provides compensation, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation benefits to injured maritime workers who are not officially categorized as “seamen” but who work on or near navigable waters, such as harbor workers, shipbuilders, or oil rig workers.
Eligibility Under the LHWCA
Eligibility under the LHWCA is based on the Status and Situs tests. According to the Status test, you are covered by the LHWCA if you are a non-seaman maritime employee who works on or close to U.S. navigable waters, including longshoremen, cargo vehicle drivers and mechanics, shipbuilders, shipbreakers, harbor construction workers, and others who play an active role in the maritime industry.
On the other hand, the Situs test requires that the injuries of the maritime worker should have occurred on or near the navigable waters of the U.S., including piers, docks, wharves, terminals, and other areas where loading and unloading of vessels take place. The LHWCA might cover even non-maritime workers if their accidents occurred in any of these locations. A Grand Coteaux maritime injury can explain further.
Who Is Not Eligible for LHWCA Benefits?
Certain workers are not eligible to receive injury benefits through the LHWCA by default. These include:
- Maritime company employees who mainly work in offices (clerks, security personnel, data processing staff, etc.)
- Workers of establishments built near the water but not engaged in maritime activities (restaurants, retail stores, etc.)
- Marina workers who do not perform marina construction, replacement, or expansion work (unless for routine maintenance)
- Employees of vendors, transporters, and suppliers
- People who do temporary business within a maritime company
- Fish farmers and their workers
- Recreational shipbuilders and repairmen
What Benefits Are Available Under the LHWCA?
Maritime workers qualified under the LHWCA can pursue the following benefits for their work-related injuries:
- Temporary total disability
- Temporary partial disability
- Permanent total disability
- Permanent partial disability
These benefits include medical expenses related to your medical treatment such as x-rays, physical therapy, or prescription medication. If you’ve been medically deemed unable to return to work, they may also receive vocational rehabilitation benefits, depending on the doctor’s recommendation.
What Are the Deadlines?
If you plan to file an injury claim under the LHWCA, you have one year from the date of your accident. You must also report the injury to your employer within 30 days of the accident. The deadlines for both the LHWCA and the Jones Act are strictly adhered to and if you miss a deadline, you could be giving up your right to pursue compensation. A maritime injury lawyer serving the Grand Coteau area can make sure your paperwork is filed properly and on time.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
If you’re a maritime worker and have been hurt in a maritime accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Let our attorneys in the Grand Coteau area handle your claim or lawsuit so you can focus on your health, your family, and recovering from your injuries. Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today to schedule your free consultation.