Off-shore work can be rewarding, but it often comes with many challenges. Some maritime jobs require workers to be away from family for weeks on end, stay in cramped quarters, and work long hours. Some off-shore workers must operate heavy machinery in difficult conditions, like oil rigs located deep in the ocean. It’s an interesting, lucrative, and oddly satisfying line of work, but danger looms everywhere.
Off-shore accidents can be harrowing, and getting help to these remote locations can be very difficult. A moment’s delay could mean life or death for someone with serious injuries. If you were hurt at work in a maritime accident, a Houma off-shore accident lawyer could help you pursue compensation.
Insight Into the Off-Shore Industry
Covid-19 brought on unprecedented hardships on the economic front, which spurred an awakening regarding what people do for a living, and workers are now finding jobs they would otherwise not have contemplated. This has driven many into the off-shore industry including jobs like:
- Helicopter pilots
- Vessel crewmembers
- Marine engineers
- Off-shore installation managers
- Off-shore drilling consultants
- Workover staff
- Chemical process engineers
- Tanker captains
- Reservoir engineers
Despite great rewards, working off-shore in the maritime industry poses safety risks where employees can get hurt and even die at sea or while receiving treatment. A lawyer can explain the legal options for seeking financial recovery. Your lawyer can tell you how special laws like the Jones Act can work in your favor and stave off financial ruin.
For a free legal consultation with a off-shore accident lawyer serving Houma, call (337) 777-7777
How a Houma Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Can Help
Off-shore injury cases arising from accidents at sea can be complicated. Maritime law itself is complex and can be very difficult to understand. When you’re in pain and under stress, it can seem impossible to focus on details and there’s the potential to make costly mistakes. Taking on your own legal case is daunting at the best of times. A Houma off-shore accident attorney from our firm can handle your entire claim, so you can rest and heal in the comfort of your own home. An attorney could:
- Gather facts about the accident
- Speak to witnesses to collect more evidence
- Advise you on the best route to take for your specific situation
- Identify who’s at fault and which losses you can recover
- Negotiate with your employer’s insurance provider and legal team
- Represent you in court if necessary
Houma Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Jones Act
The Jones Act (or Merchant Marine Act) is a federal law that was established in 1920 to protect the rights of off-shore maritime employees. Under this law, seamen can file a personal injury claim directly against their employers when they sustain injuries at work. To qualify under the Jones Act, you must be considered an official seaman. This means you must work onboard a navigable vessel (this can include oil rigs that have some form of navigation). Your work must contribute to the purposes of the vessel and you must spend at least 30 percent of your time onboard.
Remember that negligence must have been involved in your accident, and you must be able to show proof of it. An off-shore accident lawyer serving the Houma area can help you with this. Vessel owners and employers have a duty of care to their employees. This means they must provide a seaworthy vessel to travel on and a safe working environment for their employees to do their jobs. Anything less is negligence.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
For maritime workers who don’t meet the requirements of the Jones Act, there’s the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). The LHWCA covers injured maritime workers who work on or near navigable waterways, including places like docks, wharves, piers, and shipping terminals.
The LHWCA covers workers like shipbuilders, ship repairers, dockworkers, and tugboat operators and provides compensation such as lost wages, medical equipment, hospital treatment, disability, anguish, or pain and suffering.
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Statutes of Limitations
For federal laws like The Jones Act and the LHWCA, there are deadlines that are taken very seriously. Under the Jones Act, you must file your lawsuit within three years of the date of your accident. You must notify your employer of the incident within just seven days.
Under the LHWCA, you must file your injury claim within one year of the date of your accident and must report the injury to your employer within 30 days. Missing any of these deadlines could mean forfeiting your right to pursue compensation.
Recoverable Damages in Off-shore Accidents
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we understand how these accidents can change your life, both now and in the long term. Our Houma attorneys can help you pursue compensation for:
- Medical Bills: As you can see from the above examples, sea vessels can bring untold harm to unsuspecting crew members and passengers. Treating your injuries will cost money, even with insurance.
- Lost Income: Your injuries could require rehabilitative procedures like learning to walk again. Compensation can cover these bills.
- Related Expenses: You may need to spend time away at a treatment facility or require necessary medical equipment.
- Diminished Earnings: Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may not return to your previous job due to a disability. You may have to settle for a less lucrative job or stop working altogether.
- Wrongful Death: This covers the lack of financial and emotional support a deceased person could have accorded their family.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Are you a maritime worker who has sustained an injury in an off-shore accident? At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we can help. Let our Houma off-shore accident lawyers handle the hard work of your case so you can rest and recover from your injuries. Contact us today for a free case review and more information.