The boating and shipping industries encompass a large portion of Louisiana’s economy and employ thousands of individuals along the coast. Ships and boats could be dangerous workplaces that expose employees to serious hazards. Unlike workers in other fields, people who work in the maritime industry in Lafayette are not covered under traditional workers’ compensation laws.
Alternatively, injured deckhands may seek compensation for their losses through other means. Federal laws allow injured seamen to bring claims and legal action against their employers for injuries sustained during deckhand work. It should be noted that navigating these unique rules and regulations could be complicated.
A dedicated Lafayette deckhand maritime injury lawyer may be able to help. A seasoned maritime injury attorney could properly document your losses and evaluate your injuries to help you financially recover for your damages.
Seeking Compensation for Maritime Injuries
Maritime workers are not typically protected under traditional workers’ compensation laws. As an alternative to seeking workers’ compensation coverage under a traditional insurance policy, injured maritime workers who wish to recover must seek compensation from an alternative source.
Plaintiffs should note that there are federal statutes established specifically to protect maritime workers. The Jones Act explicitly allows injured maritime employees—referred to in the Act as “seamen”—to sue their employers for work-related injuries and associated losses. This statute applies to any employee who spends the majority of their work time on vessels in navigable waters, including deckhands.
Bringing forth a case under the Jones Act is the responsibility of the plaintiff. Because filing a claim can be a complex process, injured workers may wish to retain a deckhand maritime injury lawyer in Lafayette for assistance. A seasoned legal representative could gather evidence and documentation of any injuries and guide an injured worker through the Jones Act litigation process.
For a free legal consultation with a deckhand injury lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 223-9925
Common Examples of Deckhand Injuries
Deckhands serve as mechanics, fishermen, and general laborers on ships. Consequently, individuals are exposed to a wide range of hazards. This could include:
- Falling tools
- Faulty machinery
- Harsh weather conditions
- Employer’s careless actions
- Dangerously wet decks
Any injury that requires medical attention or forces a deckhand to take time from work may be valid grounds for a claim. Whether an accident resulted in long-term pain, broken bones, or severe cuts and burns, any injury that occurred during work or while performing work-related duties could be compensable. An attorney in Lafayette could help evaluate a worker’s deckhand maritime injury losses and advise them on the proper steps to take.
Lafayette Deckhand Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 223-9925
Iberia Parish Deckhand Injury Lawyer
Applying Federal Maritime Law and the Jones Act
As detailed in 46 U.S.C. § 30104 of the Jones Act, a deckhand who is injured as a result of negligence or unseaworthiness while working aboard an employer’s vessel is entitled to compensation for their injuries. Additionally, this act gives deckhands the right to bring legal action in state or federal court for the negligence of their employer. Compensation under the Jones Act may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages and future lost wage-earning capacity
- Past and future medical expenses
- Vocational retraining expenses
Maintenance and Cure Benefits
Additionally, most deckhands will be entitled to maintenance and cure benefits. While the injured deckhand is trying to reach maximum medical improvement, they have the benefit of payment of reasonable and necessary medical expenses as well as a daily living allowance.
Right to Choose Their Doctor
Unfortunately, insurers often try to rush injured workers through a short course of treatment and downplay their injuries. However, deckhands have the right to select their own doctor. They are not bound to see whomever the employer or insurance company selects.
Injured deckhands should consider speaking with their physician and an experienced deckhand maritime injury lawyer in Iberia Parish before signing any agreements with insurance companies or accepting sub-standard medical care. Ascertaining the extent of the injury will be an essential piece of determining compensation for a victim injured on the job.
Negligence is a familiar legal concept applied in injury cases. To prove negligence, the plaintiff and their Iberia Parish deckhand maritime injury attorney must first show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. An employer has an obligation to keep a safe workplace environment. If they fail to do so, they have breached their duty.
If their breach of duty leads to an injury, causation has been established. The final pillar in proving negligence is to show that the plaintiff suffered damages from their injury. These damages can be financial, physical, or emotional in nature. A skilled lawyer could help an injured individual recover damages.
How a Lafayette Deckhand Maritime Injury Attorney Could Help
Injuries that impact deckhands and other crew members may have lifelong effects. Even seemingly minor accidents, such as slips, may require extensive medical treatment and result in time away from work. While injured deckhands are rarely covered by workers’ compensation, it is possible for injured parties to seek recovery underneath the Jones Act.
While filing a case in court could be intimidating, a Lafayette deckhand maritime injury lawyer could help you with this process. In addition to offering detailed legal advice, your attorney could help investigate an accident and gather evidence of your losses and injuries. Call today to schedule a consultation.