While the maritime industry in Louisiana provides a much-needed boost to the economy, it’s a pretty tough field. Not only is it physically demanding work, but it has more than its fair share of occupational hazards, whether you work on a dock, cruise liner, or oil platform. Seaman and maritime workers face the risk of accidents and personal injury every time they go to work.
If you’ve been hurt in a maritime accident, a seaman injury lawyer from our firm can help. We proudly serve the Harvey area and our attorneys can walk you through every step of your seaman injury claim or lawsuit.
Common Seaman Injuries
Maritime accidents can be devastating and often leave their victims dead or with permanent conditions. Some of the most common injuries sustained in maritime accidents include:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Chest injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Burns and electrical injuries
- PTSD and depression
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Harvey, call (337) 777-7777
What Causes Maritime Accidents?
Hundreds, if not thousands, of ships dock in the ports of Louisiana every year. While this is good for the economy, it can also lead to many maritime accidents. There are several causes of maritime accidents. Some of the most prominent ones include:
Natural Disasters and Bad Weather
This is an unpreventable cause of maritime accidents. Bad weather such as storms at sea often capsizes vessels with fatal results or life-threatening injuries. It’s important to look at weather forecasts before setting sail. Vessel owners also have a responsibility to ensure the vessels are in good condition to withstand bad weather at sea.
Faulty Design or Defective Parts
Sometimes designers might design a faulty vessel or parts. This can lead to serious maritime accidents where the manufacturer could be held liable.
Since maritime work is so hazardous, the Jones Act requires vessel owners to employ qualified crew members. The workers should also be trained on how to handle unforeseen events. If an employer hires an unqualified crew, they could easily mistakes and cause a maritime accident.
Lack of Proper Maintenance
Vessel owners are responsible for maintaining their vessels and keeping them safe. Failing to maintain them or using sub-standard parts could cause a tragic maritime accident.
Harvey Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Filing a Lawsuit Under the Jones Act
Unlike most other workers, seamen are not entitled to workers’ compensation if injured on the job. Instead, they are allowed to sue their employers for negligence under the Jones Act. To qualify, you must work on a navigable vessel, contribute to its overall mission, and spend at least 30 percent of your working time onboard. A Harvey seaman injury lawyer can determine if you qualify for the Jones Act.
The Jones Act requires employers and vessel owners to maintain safe working conditions for their maritime workers. To recover damages through the Jones Act, you must prove that your injuries resulted from your employer’s negligence. You could file an injury claim under the Jones Act if your employer failed to:
- Provide enough training to workers.
- Maintain vessel equipment.
- Provide safe and sufficient protective equipment to workers.
- Address hazardous working conditions.
- Take adequate measures to prevent workplace assault.
- Regularly maintain the vessel.
Unlike traditional personal injury claims, the victim is not required to prove that their employer’s negligence is the primary cause of their injuries. Instead, you only need to demonstrate that their negligence contributed to the injuries.
Statute of Limitations
As an injured seaman in Louisiana, you must initiate the legal suit within three years from the date of the accident. You must also notify your employer of the accident within just seven days of its occurrence. Filing the claim within the statutes of limitations is critical. If you file after the statute of limitations has expired, you might not be able to pursue compensation. Your Harvey seaman injury lawyer can ensure all of your paperwork is filed properly and on time.
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How a Harvey Seaman Injury Lawyer Can Help
Your seaman injury attorney can play a huge role in your case by:
- Gathering evidence: Your lawyer can use their legal skills and resources to gather evidence that could help with your lawsuit. They can combine this with any other documentation you may have provided to build a strong case for you.
- Determining liability: For you to file a successful claim, you need to know who was responsible for the accident. Your lawyer can analyze the facts of your case and determine who was at fault.
- Weighing legal options: Since there are many laws related to maritime accidents, your lawyer can decide the best course of legal action.
- Negotiating on your behalf: Your lawyer can make all necessary communications with the insurance company and your employer’s attorneys.
What Damages Can My Lawyer and I Pursue in a Jones Act Lawsuit?
Maritime accidents often leave the seaman with a huge financial burden. The Jones Act seeks to reduce it by providing for the recovery of the following damages:
Medical bills: A Jones Act claim can help you get compensation for any direct treatment you got for your injuries. This includes doctor consultation fees, medication, or physical therapy.
Lost wages: Filing a Jones Act claim can help you recover wages for the time you spent out of work due to the injuries.
Lost earning capacity: Filing a lawsuit allows you to receive compensation if your injuries prevent you from working at your previous position.
Pain and suffering: The lawsuit allows you to seek compensation if your injuries have caused you a great deal of suffering. While individual suffering doesn’t come with a receipt, your Harvey seaman injury lawyer knows how to assess this financially and add it to your settlement.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, our attorneys are passionate about helping injured seamen pursue fair compensation. We have been working with maritime clients in Harvey for many years and understand the ins and outs of maritime law. If you or someone you know is involved in a maritime accident, call us today to schedule a free consultation.