While vital to the economy, Louisiana’s maritime industry remains one of the most dangerous workforces in the country. Maritime accidents (both off-shore and land-based) can be devastating and the resulting injuries can be life-changing for the worker experiencing them.
If you’re a seaman or maritime worker and have been injured in a work-related maritime accident, you could be entitled to compensation. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we’re proud to serve the men and women of the Jefferson Parish area. Our seaman injury lawyers can help you pursue compensation.
Common Seaman Injuries
Living and working on a ship poses a lot of dangers. Some of the most common injuries to seaman include:
- Eye injuries
- Fractured, broken, or crushed bones
- Hypothermia and frostbite
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injury
- Loss of hearing from exposure to constant machine noise without hearing protection
- Burns and scalds
- Electric shock
- Lung damage from toxic chemical inhalation
- Misuse of tools, machinery, or high-pressure equipment
- Back and spinal cord injuries
After an injury, seek proper medical attention. Do not try and ignore it. If you delay seeking medical attention, you risk the injury getting worse and putting yourself at risk unnecessarily.
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Jefferson Parish, call (337) 777-7777
Common Causes of Off-Shore Accidents
It is important to understand what causes most maritime accidents. Even with safety protocols in place, there will always be things that you cannot control. Some of the most common causes of off-shore accidents include:
- Long hours without proper rest and mandated breaks, causing fatigue
- Poor safety standards
- Inexperienced crew
- Lack of training for crewmembers
- Defective equipment that results in electrical fires
- Reckless behavior
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Improper handling of toxic materials
- Malfunctioning safety equipment
- Unseaworthiness of the vessel
Jefferson Parish Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Federal Laws Protecting Maritime Workers
Two federal laws help seaman and maritime workers pursue compensation for injuries sustained on the job: The Jones Act and The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Each has its own set of unique benefits. Your Jefferson Parish seaman injury attorney can better determine which law is best for your case.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act, more commonly known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, defines a “seaman” as anyone who spends a significant amount of time working on a vessel navigating open waters. Lakes, rivers, and oceans all qualify under the term navigable waters. Even lakes in landlocked states are considered navigable waters. The definition of a seaman also stipulates that you must contribute to the vessel’s work and spend at least 30 percent of your working time on the vessel.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
If you do not fit the definition of a Jones Act seaman, you may be covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). The LHWCA provides benefits to injured maritime workers. The LHWCA covers:
- Longshore workers
- Ship-repairers or ship-beakers
- Harbor construction workers
- Some oil rig workers
- Shipping terminal employees
- Those who load and unload vessels
These acts allow maritime workers and seamen to file a lawsuit if they are injured while on the job. Your Jefferson Island seaman injury lawyer can tell you more and determine which legal route would be best for you.
Statute of Limitations
In Louisiana, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file your Jones Act lawsuit. However, you must report the injury to your employer within just seven days. Under the LHWCA, you have up to one year from the date of the accident to file your LHWCA injury claim. You have up to 30 days to notify your employer of the injury.
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How Can a Seaman Injury Lawyer Serving Jefferson Parish Help Me?
There is a lot your lawyer can do to help you including:
- Gathering evidence and talking to eyewitnesses and
- Investigating your accident to determine the at-fault party
- Working with your doctor to determine the extent and severity of your injuries and the potential cost of treatment over time
- Negotiating with the insurance company and your employer’s attorneys
- Considering every damage you may qualify for and calculating your settlement
- Answering your questions and providing legal advice
- Representing you in court if a settlement can’t be reached
What Kinds of Damages Can I Pursue?
Under the Jones Act, an injured seaman can recover damages in many different areas. The damages you qualify for and the amount you can pursue depend on the injury and how it has affected your life. Some recoverable damages include:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Past and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost enjoyment of life
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Talking to a Jefferson Island seaman injury lawyer from our firm comes with no upfront costs or charges. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we know every dollar is important. Our attorneys can review your case in a free consultation. In addition, our off-shore accident lawyers work on a contingency basis.
This means if we win and you receive compensation, your lawyer will simply take his or her legal fees out of a percentage of your total settlement package. If we lose, you don’t owe us anything. No hidden fees. No surprise charges. Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today to schedule your free consultation.