The maritime industry may be vital to Louisiana’s economy, but it can also be quite dangerous. Seamen and maritime workers have higher fatality, illness, and injury rates compared to those in other industries. Off-shore accidents can be devastating, and the resulting injuries to the people involved can be life-changing.
If you or your loved one has been involved in an off-shore accident, you could be entitled to compensation. A Houma seaman injury lawyer from our firm can handle all of the work of your injury claim so you can rest and focus on healing.
Common Causes of Off-Shore Accidents
Anyone involved in an off-shore accident, whether onboard a commercial vessel or working on an oil rig, can incur severe and catastrophic injuries. Seaman injuries can happen for many reasons, including:
- Inadequate training
- Equipment failure
- Overwork, resulting in fatigue
- Adverse weather conditions
- Poor equipment maintenance
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Houma, call (337) 777-7777
Common Seamen Injuries
Houma seamen can incur injuries in many ways, varying wildly from one case to another. Many injuries are mild and temporary, but some can be serious or even deadly. Common off-shore injuries we see in our work with seamen include:
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injury
- Hypothermia and frostbite
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Broken, fractured, or crushed bones
- Injuries to the spinal cord
- Lung damage
- Loss of hearing
A Houma seaman injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation if you’ve been hurt in an off-shore accident. Your lawyer can help you pursue damages for lost wages, lost future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and present and future medical costs for your injuries.
Houma Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Filing a Houma Seaman Injury Claim
Seamen and other maritime workers do not have coverage under the typical workers’ compensation policies. However, they are protected by several federal laws such as the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act has been around since 1920 and is a federal law that has since protected seamen, including officers, oil rig workers, onboard engineers, and crew members. The Jones Act allows seamen and their family members to sue negligent employers for compensation for their injuries. To qualify, you need to:
- Be an active contributor to the mission and purpose of the vessel or fleet of vessels
- Spend at least 30 percent of your working hours onboard
- Prove that someone else’s negligence or the vessel’s unseaworthiness contributed to your injuries
In this case, vessels can refer to ferries, water taxis, barges, crew boats, cruise ships, tugboats, fishing boats, shrimp boats, tankers, some oil rigs, trawlers, or any other commercial boat on the ocean, canals, rivers, and intra-costal lakes. A Houma seaman injury lawyer can determine if you qualify for the Jones Act.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federally enacted law protecting maritime workers who wouldn’t qualify as Jones Act seamen. It can provide injured workers with compensation, vocational rehabilitation services, and medical care.
Most injuries covered by the LHWCA happen on both navigable waterways and the adjoining areas such as wharves, docks, and shipping terminals. It applies to those who repair, build, load, or unload vessels.
For the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, you do not have to prove negligence (another aspect differentiating it from the Jones Act).
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How a Houma Seaman Injury Lawyer Can Help
After an off-shore accident, you want to recover peacefully. However, you need compensation for your injuries to pay your medical bills and finance your daily financial needs while you’re not working. You’re not alone. A Houma seaman injury lawyer can handle your entire case while you heal. Here are just a few ways a lawyer can help:
Help You Understand Your Options
Maritime law is complex and can be hard to grasp if you’re not familiar with it. Your lawyer can explain how each law works and advise you on the best possible route to take.
Help in Evidence Collection and Presentation
Knowing what rules to apply is one thing; knowing when and how to use them is another. A Houma seaman injury lawyer can help in evidence collection, depending on how you choose to file your Houma seaman injury claim. For instance, if you decide to file your case under the Jones Act, your lawyer can gather and present evidence that shows another party or an unseaworthy vessel was liable for your injuries.
If settlement negotiations fail, your lawyer can represent you in court.
Help You Meet Critical Deadlines
Like any other on-the-job injury claim, you have limited time to file your Houma seaman injury case. Failure to meet any of the deadlines can limit your chances of recovering compensation. Your lawyer can make sure all of your case’s paperwork is filed correctly and on time.
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Can I Afford a Houma Seaman Injury Lawyer?
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, our attorneys do not charge anything upfront. They operate on a contingency basis. One of the advantages of this payment method is that once a lawyer takes up your case, they’re committed; your win is their win. If your lawyer wins the case and you receive compensation, your lawyer can simply take his or her legal fees out of a percentage of your total settlement package. If your lawyer does not win, you don’t owe us anything.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we proudly serve the seamen and maritime workers of the Houma area. Our seamen injury lawyers can listen to the details of your case and advise you on the best way forward. Call us today to schedule your free case evaluation.
Call or text (337) 777-7777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form