While every job has risks, few occupations are 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 generally 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, you may sue your employer directly for your losses. While filing a lawsuit may seem intimidating, a Lafayette maritime injury lawyer with our firm can provide assistance. In addition to gathering evidence, your personal injury attorney could help prepare a claim, file a lawsuit, and present your case in court if necessary. We can speak with you further about your claim during a free consultation.
The personal injury lawyer who represents you may also guide you in calculating the types and amounts of your recoverable damages, which may include:
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Should You File Your Claim Under the Jones Act?
Maritime workers are one of the few classes of employees that is not generally protected under traditional workers’ compensation laws. Instead of requesting compensation through a workers’ compensation insurance policy, maritime workers may file a civil lawsuit directly against their 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. The term “seamen” includes 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 from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help workers confirm their employment, so they may proceed with a potential lawsuit or pursue compensation.
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, including heavy machinery, moving objects, or slick surfaces. As a result, workplace injuries are unfortunately common. Even if your actions contributed to your injury, 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 lawyers 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 your 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 injured while loading or unloading a vessel or those who participate 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 may 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 workers’ compensation services, the LHWCA also allows injured employees to choose their doctors and medical providers. The LHWCA often acts as a mediator to resolve claim disputes between employers and injured workers. This allows 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).
Filing Your Case Within State Deadlines
Injured workers need to be aware of the filing deadlines under the LHWCA. An accident claim must be filed using Form LS-203 with the United States Department of Labor within one year of the injury or accident. Waiting until after this deadline has passed will likely strip the injured worker of their right to compensation.
Third-Party Liability Claims
In addition to receiving state or longshoreman and harbor workers’ compensation benefits, maritime employees may be able to file a claim against a third party for their negligence.
An attorney from our firm may be able to help you identify 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 your employer.
We Can Save You Time By Handling All the Paperwork and Phone Calls for You
Hiring a personal injury lawyer with Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers 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. Our attorneys work on contingency. 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.
What Sets Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Apart from Other Firms in Lafayette?
When prospective clients ask why they should hire us, we point to:
- Our uncompromising standard for client care
- Our record of verdicts and settlements for our clients
- Our clients’ glowing reviews of our team
When you hire Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, you know you’ll receive a high standard of legal care. We’ll answer every question you have about the legal process, and our firm in particular. Our team members remain available around the clock to respond to calls and emails. Communication is paramount when handling a maritime injury case.
We allocate all necessary resources to your case. If we believe that an expert, exhibit, or investigative report will strengthen your case, then we spare no expense. We don’t receive a fee unless we win for you, so it’s in our interests to present the strongest possible case.
Case Results Obtained By Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers
Maritime injuries can prevent you from earning an income. Your injuries may also saddle you with significant medical expenses. When you hire a lawyer for your case, you need to be confident they can get the job done.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers has a lengthy record of financial recoveries, including:
- A $23 million wrongful death judgment
- A $17 million trial verdict
- A $10.4 million recovery
- A $7 million judgment
- Several other multi-million-dollar judgments and settlements
We make no financial promises to our clients. We do, however, promise to fight for the recovery you deserve. Our team will accept nothing less than total coverage of your losses.
Client Endorsements of Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers
We put great stock in our clients’ words. When they have special requests, we do our best to honor them. Our attorneys handle each case with great empathy and necessary urgency. Our goal is to secure a fair recovery that helps you get your life back on track.
Our clients have noticed our dedication:
- “The staff at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers is top notch. From the attorneys that handled my case to all the paralegals and other staff that assisted me with my case, all were awesome. Would highly recommend!” – Kyle, former client
- “The whole staff, including the receptionists, are courteous and punctual, always polite and professional. Always returns calls and takes time to answer any and all questions.” – Todd, former client
- “They helped me when insurance wouldn’t answer my calls! They got the job done and did so efficiently!” – Lacey, former client
- “I knew the hospital bill was going to be way more than we could imagine. Digger helped me a lot. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be in the position I am right now.” – Carl, former client
We take immense pride in every case we handle. Our firm knows how tough maritime workers are and how crippling a serious injury can be. Our team will provide the legal representation you and your loved ones deserve.
Work with a Lafayette Maritime Injury Attorney Today
Injured maritime workers can hold their employers directly responsible for their 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.