Injuries at work can be demoralizing and have a tremendous impact on your life and financial well-being. Such an injury may require extensive medical treatment and leave you unable to return to work for several weeks or months.
Fortunately, injured employees are typically protected by workers’ compensation policies. However, different rules apply to dock and wharf employees. Unlike traditional workers’ compensation, claims are filed with the federal government.
For this reason, it may be beneficial to discuss your injuries with a Lafayette dock worker accident lawyer. A skilled personal injury attorney may be able to help you understand the applicable laws surrounding dock workers’ compensation and what steps to take before filing a claim.
Injury Benefits for Dock Workers
Employees who work primarily on navigable vessels are usually excluded from traditional workers’ compensation laws. For this reason, many states have grouped dock workers together in this regard with other maritime employees, whom the federal Jones Act provides with a route to collect compensation after a workplace accident. This Act enables maritime employees to sue their employer directly for work-related injuries.
The Jones Act also created a federally-controlled workers’ compensation program to protect people with shipping-related jobs, including dock workers. Filing a claim under this act allows injured employees to receive benefits for medical costs and lost income.
However, Jones Act claims can be complex, and injured dock workers may benefit from additional legal insight. A Lafayette dock worker accident attorney could help gather evidence of an injury and file a claim for benefits through the Department of Labor.
For a free legal consultation with a dock worker accident lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 777-7777
Qualifying Injuries Under the Jones Act
The Jones Act does not specify the injuries that qualify for claims. As such, eligible claimants may file for any injury suffered during employment, including:
- Slipping, tripping, and falling accidents
- Forklift accidents
- Trauma from being struck by dropped tools
- Machinery injuries
Whether an accident results in broken bones or long-lasting pain, any injury that requires a worker to miss work and seek medical treatment can qualify for benefits under the Jones Act. A longshoreman accident lawyer in Lafayette could help an injured person document their injuries, seek appropriate treatment, and prepare a claim.
Lafayette Dock Worker Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Iberia Parish Dock Worker Accident Lawyer
Federal Laws Support Injured Dock Workers
The Jones Act
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, provides support to maritime employees who are hurt on the job. Under 46 U.S.C. § 30104, injured dock workers have the right to file an injury lawsuit against their employers.
Dock workers have the option to file their claim in Louisiana state court or in the federal district court. Unlike maritime law, the Jones Act gives these workers the right to a jury trial. Consulting with a qualified dock worker accident lawyer in Iberia Parish can help injured employees decide their best course of legal action.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is another law that may apply to injured dock workers. This act provides for medical treatment, disability payments, transportation, and rehabilitation costs.
A knowledgeable Iberia Parish dock worker accident attorney may be able to help an injury victim identify the coverage available to them. If a portion of the employee’s duties involves maritime work, the employee may be eligible for coverage under this workers’ compensation law. If a dock worker does not meet the requirements for the Jones Act, they may be able to meet the requirements for LHWCA.
Compensation for Damages
Dock workers who were injured on the job deserve compensation. However, the types of compensation and how they will receive it depends on which federal act applies to them. In general, dock workers can seek compensation for the following damages:
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Reduced/lost capacity to work in the future
- Re-education/retraining and reassignment costs
- Lost wages and disability
- Pain and suffering
- Physical disfigurement
- Mental anguish
For help with recovering damages, reach out to a dedicated personal injury lawyer.
Ally with a Lafayette Dock Worker Accident Attorney
A dock injury may permanently alter your future. Even after fully recovering and returning to work, you may face mounting medical bills and lost wages. Fortunately, it is possible to financially recover for the damages you have sustained—the Jones Act can provide workers’ compensation benefits to help protect your financial interests after a dock accident.
While filing a claim with the federal government can be confusing, a Lafayette dock worker accident lawyer could help you properly prepare and file a case with the Department of Labor. An experienced attorney could also provide valuable advice and support at every stage of the Jones Act claims process. Reach out today to discuss your accident, the resulting injuries, and the next steps you should take.