Off-shore work on oil rigging platforms or vessels is not for the faint of heart. There are many devastating off-shore accidents every year. When these accidents cause injury to maritime workers, it can mean long recovery times and unexpected medical bills. At times like these, it can be hard to know where to turn.
If you’ve been injured while working on an off-shore vessel, you could be entitled to compensation. A Jefferson Island off-shore accident lawyer can help you throughout the claim process.
Factors That Contribute to Off-Shore Accidents
Employees who work on marine vessels like oil rigs and drillships do labor-intensive work every day, sometimes for up to 14 hours at a stretch. These vessels tend to operate in locations with extreme weather, like storms and freezing temperatures. Working in such conditions for hours at a time can lead to fatigue and exhaustion, increasing the workers’ risk of injury.
Furthermore, the average off-shore workplace features an industrial environment filled with deadly hazards. This includes heavy machinery, equipment, vehicles, slippery decks, dangerous heights, and toxic chemicals. While these vessels usually have plenty of safety procedures in place, lapses in judgment, negligence, and equipment malfunction can cause accidents that result in serious injuries.
Long distances to the shore mean that off-shore workers may be unable to get emergency medical care when they’re injured. When a boat or helicopter arrives from the Coastguard, a worker’s injuries may have become more severe or fatal. Accidents often occur when employees are traveling to or from the marine vessel. All these factors make off-shore work one of the most dangerous occupations.
For a free legal consultation with a off-shore accident lawyer serving Jefferson Island, call (337) 777-7777
Common Off-Shore Injuries
Unlike regular employees, off-shore workers face plenty of hazards and risks to their personal safety every day. They’re more likely to sustain the following injuries while they work:
- Crushing injuries
- Broken bones
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Toxic chemical exposure and lung damage
- Hypothermia and frostbite
Consider reaching out to an off-shore accident lawyer serving the Jefferson Island area if you’re injured while working on an off-shore vessel.
Jefferson Island Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
How Can a Jefferson Island Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Help?
You may be entitled to financial damages from your employer after an off-shore accident, but claiming compensation can be a challenging process. The main goal is to prove that your employer’s negligent actions caused your injuries. However, this will call for an intimate understanding of your local maritime laws, collecting a ton of evidence, and filing paperwork before the deadlines pass.
You’ll also have to handle settlement negotiations with insurance representatives focused on reducing their employer’s liability and minimizing your settlement. Why would you do all this complex legal work when a legal professional can handle it all on your behalf? An attorney from our firm can handle every aspect of your case so you can rest and recover at home. An off-shore accident lawyer is:
- A legal professional with an intimate understanding of your local maritime laws who can ensure your case is filed before the deadline passes
- Someone who can examine your medical records and interview medical professionals to determine the severity of your injuries and the treatment cost
- Someone who can calculate the amount of compensation based on your injuries and the level of disruption they’ve caused to your life
- A professional who can draw on their experience with insurance providers to negotiate your settlement
- A lawyer who can defend your case before a judge or jury if negotiations with the insurance providers aren’t successful
Maritime Safety Laws
The Workers’ Compensation Program doesn’t cover off-shore workers like it does the average worker. Since the program varies state by state and its specifics are determined by state law, it doesn’t cover employees out at sea and away from any state jurisdiction. Rather, off-shore workers are entitled to financial compensation under the following federal laws:
The Jones Act
Also known as the Merchant Marine Act, the Jones Act is a federal maritime law that allows off-shore employees or “seamen” injured on the job to sue their employers for damages. The Jones Act provides coverage for gas and oil rig workers and workers employed on water vessels in navigation on either U.S. waters or inland waterways. This includes cruise ships, diving vessels, floating barges, cargo ships, and drillships.
To qualify for a Jones Act claim, you should have been employed and working on a water vessel in navigation at the time of your injuries, spending at least 30 percent of your time on the vessel.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that allows off-shore workers who sustain disabling injuries while on the job to seek compensation from their employers. It also provides coverage for workers in areas adjoining U.S. waters like piers, terminals, and wharves.
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Recoverable Damages in an Off-Shore Accident Claim
Depending on the specifics of your case, you could be awarded the following damages for the injuries and other damages you sustained in an off-shore accident:
- Medical Expenses: This could include transportation, emergency treatment, surgery, prescription medication, and medical equipment. It could also cover therapy and rehabilitation.
- Pain and Suffering: This damage aims to compensate you for the physical pain and mental anguish you went through due to the accident. It also provides compensation for scarring, disfigurement, or loss of limb.
- Lost Income: This is meant to compensate you for the income you lost while you were injured and unable to work.
- Loss of Earning Potential: You’ll be awarded this damage if your injuries are severe enough to prevent you from resuming your income-earning activities.
- Wrongful Death: Wrongful death damages could be awarded to family members who lost their loved ones in an accident. This damage includes your loved one’s final medical costs and funeral and burial expenses.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers to Learn More
Have you recently been injured or lost a loved one in an off-shore accident? At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, our attorneys are here to help. Let our Jefferson Island off-shore accident lawyers handle your injury claim so you can rest and recover. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a free case evaluation.