Seamen and other maritime workers can sustain serious injuries or illnesses in their occupation. The situation is further compounded by the fact that they are far from medical services that can promptly treat their injuries. A Gretna off-shore accident lawyer from our firm can help you find out how you can hold the liable parties accountable.
Louisiana’s economy is partly dependent on offshore and maritime work. But seamen and non-maritime workers are often at a disadvantage whenever an accident occurs. Our Gretna off-shore accident lawyers can help if you were hurt.
Who Are Considered Seamen?
Understanding your category of work in the offshore or maritime industry helps you know how you can recover damages after an accident. A seaman is anyone who qualifies as a crew member of a maritime vessel on the navigable waters of the United States. A maritime vessel can either be a cargo ship, tugboat, barge, or cruise ship.
Examples of people who may qualify as seamen are:
- Cooks and fish processors
- Maintenance staff of maritime vessels
- Captains of maritime vessels and their crew
- Deckhands and engineers
A seaman can only recover damages in an offshore accident if they were at work when it occurred. Seamen are only considered eligible to recover damages if their work was contributing to the achievement of the vessel’s objective or mission. They also need to spend 30% of their time on board the ship.
Seamen have to prove negligence when claiming damages under the Jones Act. Seamen can hold their employers or fellow crew members responsible for an offshore accident. Seamen have a statute of limitations of 3 years to claim damages after sustaining injuries.
For a free legal consultation with a off-shore accident lawyer serving Gretna, call (337) 777-7777
What Should You Do After an Off-shore Accident?
The decisions you make immediately after an offshore accident can affect your ability to recover damages. The first thing you should do is assess the nature of your injuries. Do not assume that you will get better over time or underestimate the extent of the injuries, even if you are not in much physical pain.
Seek medical attention at the nearest hospital if you are near the shore. If you are at sea, make sure you get checked out by a medical professional on board. Inform your employer or immediate supervisor of the accident. This is a key step, and failure to inform your employer within 30 days may forfeit your right to claim damages.
The third step is to gather all information about the accident. Take photos and videos at the scene of the accident. Document every detail in a journal or notebook to ensure you do not forget anything about how the accident occurred. Talk to anyone who witnessed the accident and get their contact information.
Contact a Gretna off-shore accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. A lawyer will help you begin the legal process of claiming damages. A lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and look after your interests. Having legal counsel also prevents you from doing or saying anything that might negatively affect your claim.
Gretna Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Advantages of Having Legal Representation After an Off-shore Accident
It can help to simply have someone on your side. You should not expect that your employer or fellow crew members will go out of their way to help you get compensated. A lawyer from our firm will do exactly that, and much more.
For instance, a lawyer may advise you to not discuss the details of the case with other parties, or sign an agreement with your employer’s insurer. Having a lawyer by your side means having someone who understands maritime law and knows the specific laws that can help you get compensated.
A lawyer will represent you during the litigation process, appear in court on your behalf (if necessary), and help you recover damages through in-court or out-of-court settlements with the liable parties.
Maritime law is more complex than personal injury law. A lawyer understands what you need to make a successful claim whether you are a maritime or an offshore worker.
A lawyer from our firm may also:
- Help you prove the liable party’s negligence by investigating the cause of the accident
- Work with various experts such as accident reconstruction specialists
- Ensure that your claim does not miss the statute of limitations
- Help you recover damages if you have lost a loved one due to an offshore accident
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Can Non-Seaman Maritime Workers Recover Damages After an Offshore Accident?
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement found that 225 people died and sustained injuries in an offshore accident in the last year. Not all the workers involved in such accidents are seamen. Non-maritime workers have a right to recover damages if they sustain injuries in an offshore accident.
According to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, non-maritime workers can recover the following damages after an offshore accident:
- Medical bills
- Cost of rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Part of your wages during your recovery time
- Treatment costs for occupation-related diseases
The state of Louisiana requires that each port have its own safety and security plan. These plans dictate how ports will deter and respond to any incidents that endanger people and maritime vessels. A Gretna off-shore accident lawyer will help you understand the laws that apply to you as a non-maritime worker.
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Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Suffering an offshore accident can permanently change your life. You may sustain a long-term injury or even lose the ability to earn a stable income. Recovering damages helps you meet the cost of current and future treatment of your injuries. A Gretna off-shore accident lawyer will guide you through the complex laws you will need to navigate to get compensated.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (504) 777-7777 to receive a free consultation.
Call or text (337) 777-7777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form