While every job has its risks, working at sea can be especially hazardous. Maritime workers are at risk of various types of accidents, both onshore and off-shore. These maritime accidents can be disastrous and the aftermath for the injured seaman or maritime worker can be overwhelming.
If you or a loved one is hurt in a maritime accident, a Gretna seaman injury lawyer can help. You could be eligible for compensation through an injury claim or lawsuit. A lawyer from our firm can take care of the legal process while you recover and heal.
What Are the Most Common Maritime Accidents?
Some of the more common maritime accidents we see in our work with seamen include:
- Slip and Fall Accidents: Uneven, cluttered, or slippery decks and platforms on vessels can cause slip and fall accidents, resulting in broken bones or head injuries.
- Loss of Hearing: Working around machinery with constant noise can lead to partial or complete hearing loss if the seaman isn’t wearing protective gear.
- Falling Overboard: A worker can fall overboard while performing their sea duties. This can be very dangerous and can lead to hypothermia or even drowning.
- Chemical Burns: These can often take place in the engine room, especially when chemicals are not dealt with properly. They can cause permanent changes to the body, such as scarring and disfigurement.
- Equipment Accidents: Anytime a job involves heavy equipment, there is always the risk of a catastrophic accident. At the docks, injuries tend to happen when equipment is not operated correctly, or workers fail to communicate effectively.
- Explosions: Faulty vessels or those ferrying highly flammable cargo could have explosions, causing burns and other serious injuries.
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Gretna, call (337) 777-7777
Common Causes of Maritime Accidents
Many things can lead to maritime accidents. Some are preventable through proper care, training, and adherence to safety guidelines, while others, like bad weather conditions, are simply unavoidable. Most preventable maritime accidents are caused in part or even entirely by negligence.
Your lawyer can work on your behalf with the support of accident reports, documented location evidence, and your injuries to determine the cause of the maritime accident. Here are some of the most common causes of maritime accidents:
Natural Disasters and Extreme Weather
Natural disasters (often including rough storms) could trigger extensive damage and cause maritime accidents. However, this does not mean that the vessel owner or managing company is completely free from liability. Sometimes negligent actions such as improper anchoring or mooring can also lead to damage or injury. Your attorney can examine the case’s details and determine who was at fault.
There are many regulations and safety rules that every vessel needs to satisfy before it is allowed on the water. Failing to comply with these regulations is dangerous for the people on the vessel and other sea users. For example, a fishing boat might not need a fire extinguisher, but larger ships need one or more. The number of lifeboats on a vessel might also determine the number of survivors in a serious maritime accident.
Ultimately, a vessel’s design should not get in the way of the ship owner’s duty of providing a seaworthy vessel. If you or someone you know is hurt in an accident caused by a non-compliant vessel, it is your legal right to seek compensation for your damages.
Faulty Vessel Design or Part
Sometimes it’s not even the vessel owner’s fault when it’s defective. Vessel designers are liable for designing faulty vessels and some parts on board.
Like most other types of accidents, the majority of maritime accidents are caused by negligence and human error. For example, there is a higher risk of an accident if the employer hires untrained workers and then doesn’t provide further training themselves.
Gretna Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Jones Act & The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
If someone’s negligence caused an accident, workers could pursue compensation under the Jones Act or other Admiralty laws, depending on where and how they do their jobs.
What Is the Jones Act?
The Jones Act is a federal law that specifically applies to merchant mariners or seamen who get injured while working aboard ships or qualifying vessels. The law provides the victims with the ability to sue for compensation for any injuries that occurred due to negligence on the part of the vessel owner, a fellow seaman, the captain, or another member of the ship’s crew.
An employer’s duty to provide a safe work environment under the Jones Act is extensive. When you go to work, you should be able to expect a reasonably safe place to do your job. Anything less and the employer could be liable. To qualify for the Jones Act, you must
- Work on a qualifying vessel
- Contribute your work to the success of the vessel’s overall mission
- Spend at least 30 percent of your working hours onboard
A Gretna seaman injury lawyer can explain further and determine which laws you qualify for.
What Is the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?
This federal law provides benefits to injured maritime workers who would not qualify for the Jones Act. It generally applies to workers who suffer injuries as they are loading and unloading a ship, or who repair, construct, or deconstruct a vessel or ship.
Seeking Compensation After a Seaman Accident
If you’re hurt in a maritime accident and wish to pursue compensation, it can be confusing to know where to begin. Since several laws may protect your legal claim, a Gretna Seaman injury lawyer from our firm can answer your questions, determine which laws apply to your situation, and provide solid legal counsel throughout the process.
How a Lawyer Can Help
A seaman injury attorney can help you with your maritime or seaman accident claim by:
The most important step in any lawsuit is determining who to hold accountable. Your attorney can review the facts about the accident and determine who was at fault. This can also help your lawyer build a strong case against the at-fault party.
Offering Legal Advice
The lawyers at our firm understand maritime law and can give sound advice on all your legal options.
Helping You File Your Claim
Your attorney can file the claim on your behalf and use their legal skills and resources as you seek compensation. In accidents where more than one party was liable, your lawyer could decide to pursue each party to maximize your settlement.
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Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we proudly serve the Gretna area. Our lawyers can handle your case while you rest and recover. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our seaman injury lawyers.