The maritime industry is full of hazards and poses unique personal risks to its workers. Shipowners, operators, and employers have a responsibility to create and maintain a safe maritime work environment for all of their employees. However, even the best intentions can sometimes fail, and any negligence can cause accidents and injury.
If you’re a seaman or maritime worker who has been hurt on the job, you could be in pain, facing a pile of unexpected medical bills, and not know where to turn. A Jeanerette maritime injury lawyer from Laborde Earles can help. We can handle your claim from start to finish, handling all of the hard work so that you can focus on rest and recovery.
Common Maritime Injuries
Unfortunately, maritime injuries can be common on vessels, docks, harbors, and anywhere people work around water. Some of the more common maritime injuries include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Lung damage from exposure to toxic chemicals
- Loss of hearing from exposure to loud machinery
- Hypothermia and frostbite from exposure to extreme weather
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Jeanerette, call (337) 777-7777
The Jones Act
The Jones Act, also referred to as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, was enacted to provide seamen with the opportunity to sue their employer directly for compensation after an accident. Under the Jones Act, employers are liable for injuries to their employees caused by their negligent acts or omissions. Employers are also responsible for providing safe workplaces and seaworthy vessels. They are required to maintain adequate safety procedures and equipment.
To qualify under the Jones Act, you must be considered a seaman. This means that you work on a navigating vessel, contribute to the overall work or mission of the ship, and spend more than 30 percent of your time onboard. Remember, under the Jones Act, you must be able to prove that some kind of negligence resulted in your accident. This could be the negligence of your employer, the shipowner, or even a coworker. A Jeanerette maritime injury lawyer can help you pinpoint the responsible party.
Jeanerette Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Were you injured while working on a ship, boat, ferry, tugboat, cruise ship, offshore rig, drilling platform, or another vessel? You could be entitled to benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). This federal law provides help to those injured on land or sea or while doing certain types of work on a vessel.
The LHWCA generally applies to any maritime worker who isn’t considered a seaman and doesn’t meet the requirements of the Jones Act.
Statutes of Limitations for the Jones Act and the LHWCA
The statutes of limitations (this means official deadlines) for these pieces of legislation are strictly adhered to. If you miss any of these deadlines, you could be giving up your right to pursue compensation. Under the Jones Act, you must file your lawsuit within three years of the date of your injury and you must report the accident to your employer within just seven days.
The statute of limitations for the LHWCA is one year, which means you must file your injury claim within that time. Under the LHWCA, you do have up to 30 days to report the injury to your employer. A Jeanerette maritime injury lawyer can explain all the aspects of these laws that apply to your case and can make sure that all paperwork is filed properly and on time.
Depending on your specific situation and the severity of your injuries, you and your lawyer could pursue compensation for:
- Present and future medical bills: This could include emergency room treatment, physical therapy, prosthetics, or medications.
- Lost wages: This is the money you would have earned had you been able to work.
- Loss of potential income: This is when your injury is so severe that it causes you to be unable to work long term.
- Pain and suffering: Your injury could cause long-term pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress: Serious injuries can lead to depression, anxiety, and even PTSD.
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How Can a Jeanerette Maritime Injury Lawyer Help?
A maritime lawyer can assist in many ways in an injury claim or lawsuit, including:
- Gathering evidence, including taking photos of the scene and talking to eyewitnesses
- Negotiating with your employer’s attorneys and the insurance adjuster
- Filling out all necessary paperwork and filing your claim
- Poring over video surveillance, police reports, and safety data to determine the responsible party
- Working with your doctors to ascertain the severity of your injuries and how much they might cost to treat
- Keeping you apprised of developments in your case
- Representing you at court if necessary
When you’re hurt and in pain, it can be hard to focus on complex details. Attempting all of the work necessary for an entire legal claim yourself can be overwhelming. A Jeanerette maritime injury lawyer can handle your case from start to finish. Let us handle all of the work of your case so you can focus on resting and recovering from your injuries.
Can I Afford a Jeanerette Maritime Lawyer?
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we understand that unexpected maritime injuries usually come with unexpected medical bills. Combine that with being unable to work, and the stress can be overpowering. This is just one of the reasons our Jeanerette maritime lawyers operate on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t have to worry about paying any upfront legal fees. If we win for you and you obtain compensation, we’ll simply take our expenses out of a percentage of your total settlement package.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
If you’re a seaman or maritime worker and have been injured in an off-shore accident, our Jeanerette maritime lawyers can help. Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today to schedule your free consultation.