Seamen have some of the most exciting and lucrative jobs globally, but they also face the extraordinary hazards that come with working on the high seas. Many of these brave maritime workers live right here in the Jeanerette area
If you are a seaman or maritime worker and have been injured in a work-related maritime accident, you could be eligible for financial compensation. A Jeanerette seaman injury lawyer from our firm can help.
Common Causes of Maritime Accidents
Since seamen’s jobs can be so dangerous, they are rigorously and constantly trained to be alert and laser-focused. However, they’re still human and prone to committing errors. In many cases, these errors can lead to a whole myriad of accidents, from explosions to falling overboard. Here are some of the most common causes of maritime accidents that we see in our work with seamen:
- Long working hours without rest or breaks
- Defective equipment causing fire or electrical hazards
- Long voyages
- Substance abuse
- Lack of safety protocols
- Improper handling of toxic chemicals
- Inadequately trained crewmembers
- Unseaworthiness of the vessel
While it is impossible to completely eradicate human error, analyzing the scenarios they thrive in can be key to preventing maritime accidents and injuries. Your Jeanerette seaman injury lawyer can determine which damages your injuries qualify for and fight to pursue your compensation.
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Jeanerette, call (337) 777-7777
Federal Maritime Laws That Help Seamen and Maritime Workers
Maritime law is a body of domestic and international laws related to the industry’s legal issues. Also known as admiralty law, it deals with every aspect of the marine business, including passenger and goods transportation, cargo, shipping, and, of course, workplace accidents and injuries.
There are more than enough laws to protect maritime workers in America, including statutes that guarantee channels for injury compensation. Among these laws, there are two that you will want to focus on, depending on the nature of your work.
The Jones Act
If you fall under the legal category of “seaman” you can sue your employer for injury benefits under the Jones Act. To qualify as a seaman, you must contribute to the overall mission of the vessel you work on and you must spend at least 30 percent of your time onboard. A Jeanerette seaman injury lawyer can determine whether you qualify.
However, unlike the zero-fault requirement of the general law of maintenance and cure, the Jones Act requires proof that your employer was at least 1% responsible for your accident. For example, if your employer was responsible for poor equipment maintenance, lack of employee training, or spills on the ship’s deck, and any of these caused an accident, that employer could be liable.
On top of the basic compensation guaranteed under maintenance and cure, you can pursue more damages through the Jones Act, including medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and so on. Of course, how much you eventually receive could be determined by the severity of your injury and the circumstances that led to it.
If you want to sue your employer for your injury under the Jones Act, make sure you do it within three years of the date of your accident. Under the Jones Act, you are also required to notify your employer of the accident within just seven days. Your Jeanerette seaman injury lawyer can help make sure that all relevant paperwork is filled out properly and filed within the time limits.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
If you’re not a seaman but are still employed by a maritime company, you could be entitled to benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). Examples of positions that qualify for LHWCA benefits are longshoreman, vessel repairman, crane operator, ship mechanic, or any role that requires you to work close to navigable water and contribute to the maritime nature of your employer’s business.
The main requirement of the LHWCA is passing both the Status test (your job should be directly involved in maritime functions) and the Situs test (your accident should have occurred near navigable water). That said, not everyone employed by a maritime company is entitled to LHWCA benefits.
If your job is office-based, or if you’re a recreational shipbuilder, a fish farm worker, or a marina worker not involved in marina construction, repair, or extension, then you’re not entitled to benefits under the LHWCA.
If you meet all the eligibility conditions of the LHWCA, you could be entitled to the following compensatory benefits:
- A large portion of your weekly wage during your recovery period
- Permanent disability to compensate for the loss of earning capacity
- A portion of the worker’s wages can be paid to surviving family in case the worker dies from the accident
The first step in seeking LHWCA compensation is to report your accident to your employer. You must do this within 30 days of your accident (your Jeanerette seaman injury lawyer can be present). Under the LHWCA, you must also file your injury claim within one year of the date you sustained your injury.
Jeanerette Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Maritime law is notoriously complex. It can feel like a maze for anyone who doesn’t have years of study and practical experience in the field. You don’t have to do this alone. From filing paperwork to negotiating your settlement and even representing you in court, the seaman injury lawyers at our firm can fight for your right to pursue compensation after an accident.
Moreover, our attorneys are paid on a contingency basis, which means they can start working on your case for free. Your lawyer only gets paid out of a portion of your compensation or benefits, so it pays for us to win your case. If you have been injured while performing your maritime duties, call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.