While every job has risks, there are few occupations as hazardous as those in maritime industries. Injuries that affect Lafayette maritime workers are common, but unlike many other employees in Louisiana, maritime workers are not protected by traditional workers’ compensation policies. Fortunately, these workers have alternative legal options to help them financially recover for their injuries.
If you were hurt while working in a maritime setting, it is possible to sue your employer directly for your losses. While filing a lawsuit may seem intimidating, a Lafayette maritime injury lawyer with our firm could provide significant assistance. In addition to gathering evidence, your personal injury attorney could help prepare a claim, file a lawsuit, and present your case in court. We can speak with you further about your claim during a free consultation.
Should You File Your Claim Under the Jones Act?
Maritime workers are one of the few classes of employees that are not protected under traditional workers’ compensation laws. Instead of requesting compensation through a workers’ insurance policy, maritime workers may file a civil lawsuit directly against an employer.
46 U.S.C. 30104, also known as the Jones Act, establishes this right. This Act states that “seamen” are authorized to file civil lawsuits against their employers for injuries sustained while working on a maritime vessel. “Seamen” include any individuals whose jobs normally require work on or around vessels that travel over navigable waters, including rivers, lakes, and oceans.
Individuals may be asked to demonstrate their service on a vessel to file a lawsuit under the Jones Act. A Lafayette maritime injury attorney could help workers confirm their employment, so they may proceed with a potential lawsuit or pursue compensation.
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 777-7777
We Can Review Your Case and Determine How Much Compensation You May Be Entitled to
Depending on their positions, maritime workers could be exposed to various hazards, not the least of which are heavy machinery, moving objects, or slick surfaces. As a result, workplace injuries are unfortunately common. Even if the injury was caused by an injured worker’s own actions, it could still be compensable. Generally, an employee simply needs to demonstrate that an injury happened during maritime work or while on the clock.
Our maritime injury lawyer serving Lafayette can investigate your accident to see if negligent or reckless behavior caused your injuries. We can review evidence, including photographs and video footage, to determine what happened. If our lawyer can identify, from the evidence, who is liable for your accident, we can build your case and seek to hold all responsible parties accountable for your accident.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Benefits
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law administered by the United States Department of Labor. It generally applies to workers who are injured while loading or unloading a vessel or those that partake in the construction and repair of ships.
With the help of a maritime injury lawyer in Iberia Parish, injured maritime employees, harbor workers, and longshoremen could rely on this law for protection and provision after a workplace accident. Benefits under this law may include:
- Past and future medical treatment
- Compensation for lost wages
- Rehabilitation expenses
Unlike most worker’s compensation services, this act also allows injured employees to choose their own doctors and medical providers. The LHWCA often acts as a mediating party to resolve claim disputes between employers and their injured workers. This allows each of them to discuss issues and voluntarily come to mutually agreeable decisions. If disputes cannot be settled in this manner, the parties must request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
Lafayette Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Filing Your Case Within the State’s Deadlines
Injured workers need to be aware of the filing deadlines under the LHWCA. An accident claim must be filed on Form LS-203 with the United States Department of Labor within one year from the date of the injury or accident. Waiting until after this deadline has passed will strip the injured worker of their right to compensation.
Third-Party Liability Claims
In addition to receiving state or longshoreman and harbor worker’s compensation benefits, maritime employees may be able to file a claim against a third party for their negligence.
A seasoned attorney may be able to help victims identify the responsible third parties and hold them accountable. Third parties can include the manufacturer of machinery or tools related to an injury, or even the vessel owner if they are not their employer.
We Can Save You Time By Handling All the Paperwork and Phone Calls for You
Hiring a personal injury lawyer with our firm can save you time. While we seek compensation on your behalf, we manage all case communications and negotiate with all involved parties. We will also keep you abreast of any changes in your case and explain any laws that affect your case.
We encourage you to reach out to us to learn more during a free consultation. We work on contingency at our law firm. We aim to lower barriers to securing legal representation with this payment arrangement. When you become our client, we start on your case with no upfront fees or expenses from you. If you receive compensation, our fee will come from that award.
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Work with a Lafayette Maritime Injury Attorney Today
Injured maritime workers are able to hold their employers directly responsible for any losses. Though filing a lawsuit may seem daunting, a Lafayette maritime injury lawyer could help prepare a claim to fight for compensation. Get in touch with us today at (337) 777-7777 to learn how you could recover under the Jones Act.