While it’s true that every occupation comes with risks, people who work in Louisiana’s maritime industry are more susceptible to the inherent dangers of their work. Bad weather, heavy machinery, or simple human error can all result in accidents that can leave seamen and maritime workers injured. Many of these brave workers live right here in Jefferson Island.
If you’re a seaman or maritime worker and have been hurt in a work-related maritime accident, you could be eligible for compensation. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we proudly serve the Jefferson Island area. Our seaman injury lawyers can navigate you safely through your injury claim, guiding you and providing counsel every step of the way.
The Jones Act
Usually, the Jones Act and The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation (LSHWCA) are the most referred to federal laws when dealing with seaman injury claims.
According to the Jones Act, a qualifying seaman is anyone who spends significant time working aboard a vessel that’s in navigation. Specifically, the Jones Act stipulates that a seaman must:
- Work aboard a vessel or fleet of vessels under an official employer
- Actively contribute to the work performed by the vessel
- Spend much of the time (more than 30 percent of the working hours) aboard the vessel
Generally, courts in Jefferson Island rely on three tests to determine the seaman’s status: the vessel must be “in navigation,” the seaman must be an active contributor to the vessel’s work, and the seaman must have spent significant time aboard a vessel.
If you meet the criteria, a seaman injury lawyer can help you file an injury claim in Jefferson Island under the Jones Act federal law.
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Jefferson Island, call (337) 777-7777
Why Seamen’s Rights are Different than Land-Based Worker’s Rights
Almost all other employees in land-based jobs in Jefferson Island are entitled to regular workers’ compensation benefits under federal laws — seamen are not. In case of an injury, seamen rely on different avenues to recover compensation for their damage, including:
Under the Jones Act, victims of injuries that happen away from land have to prove that someone or something else caused their injuries. In many cases, negligent employers are to blame.
Maintenance and Cure
Federal laws require your employer to pay your maintenance and cure costs following your involvement in a seaman injury. They are responsible for your general living expenses equivalent to your lost wages, apart from taking care of your current and future medical bills.
Maintenance and Cure is usually a very basic amount. In a Jones Act lawsuit or LHWCA injury claim, you and your lawyer can pursue many more damages (pain and suffering, mental anguish, vocational rehabilitation, and much more) worth a far higher dollar amount.
The Vessel’s Unseaworthiness
If you can’t prove liability to your employer, you might make your case under the Jones Act by proving that the vessel that caused your injury was unseaworthy. Vessels that aren’t in good condition are dangerous for both seamen and any passengers. Your lawyer can help you find proof of negligence.
Jefferson Island Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Understandably, not everyone qualifies as a seaman under the Jones Act. However, maritime injuries can happen to anyone, including people who don’t necessarily qualify as seamen. If you don’t qualify to file a Jefferson Island seaman injury claim as a seaman, you can do so under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).
Maritime workers eligible to make claims under this act include harbor workers, longshoremen, shipbuilders, shipbreakers, and anyone who works in shipyards, maritime terminals, and docks.
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How Can a Jefferson Island Seaman Injury Lawyer Help?
A lawyer can do a lot to help your case, including:
Giving Counsel and Explaining Your Options
A Jefferson Island seaman injury lawyer can ensure that you have support while you pursue your compensation. Maritime law is complex and can be tough to understand. You need to know what law to apply and when. Your lawyer can explain your options and give you solid legal advice on which choices would be best in your situation.
Investigating Your Accident
Assuming that you file your claim under the Jones Act, you must prove that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries. A seaman injury lawyer can speak to eyewitnesses, access documents that may be hard for the average person to find, study photos and video surveillance footage of the accident scene, police reports, or safety data, and determine what caused the accident and who is at fault.
Your lawyer can handle all communications with the insurance adjuster and your employer’s legal team so you don’t have to.
Calculate Your Settlement
Your lawyer can work with your doctors and specialists to determine the extent and severity of your injuries and how much they could cost to treat over time. Your lawyer can add every damage you qualify for and calculate an appropriate settlement amount.
Ensuring that You Meet the Set Deadlines
As with other personal injury cases, statutes of limitations govern when you can make your Jefferson Island seaman injury claim. As you focus on your recovery, you might not have the time or ability to follow up on the paperwork of your case. Your lawyer can make sure all relevant paperwork is filed properly and on time.
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Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, our seaman injury attorneys are here to help. Your lawyer is ready and willing to listen and review your case. Let us handle the work of your case so you can heal.
To start your journey toward compensation, call us to schedule a free consultation.
Call or text (337) 777-7777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form