Working in the maritime industry is tough and challenging, but it’s also very dangerous. There are many hazards unique to the high seas which can translate into serious accidents for those who work on them. If you’ve been injured while working in this field, contact a LaPlace maritime Injury lawyer from our team.
Keeping Louisiana Safe: Causes of Maritime Injuries
While maritime accidents can never be completely avoided, you can help reduce them by understanding why they happen in the first place. Here are some common causes of maritime injuries reported in Louisiana:
- slips and falls
- toxic chemical contact, inhalation, or ingestion
- moving and falling objects
- poor ventilation in enclosed spaces
- equipment defects
- understaffing and negligent staffing practices
- bad weather and natural disasters
- vessel safety non-compliance
- unsafe personnel transfer methods (for example, the use of gangplanks)
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving LaPlace, call (337) 777-7777
Federal Laws That Can Help Protect You When You File
The Jones Act and the Longshore Workers’ Compensation Act are two of many maritime laws in America that affect all seacraft. These factors may weigh heavily on your maritime accident claim, so it is best to speak with an attorney about how they could help you recover damages for losses incurred due to these accidents.
The Jones Act
If you are injured on the job, there may be more to it. Certain types of work accidents may give you a reason to sue.
Maritime workers are granted special privileges under a federal law called the Jones Act. This act helps seamen with maritime injury claims caused by negligence. This could be due to machinery failure, not adhering to safety standards, improper maintenance of facilities, or not ensuring a safe workplace.
While it can be empowering for an accident victim, filing a civil lawsuit against your employer can be a long and tedious process.
With knowledge and experience in maritime law, an attorney from our firm can help you get legal perspective and direction as you try to build a successful case.
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The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
If you’re a maritime worker other than a ship captain or crew member, you may qualify for benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).
The LHWCA is more complicated than you might think, and qualifying for benefits goes beyond not being a ship captain or crew member (who are covered under the Jones Act). The Status and Situs tests are crucial to your LHWCA claim. You usually have to pass them to file a claim.
The Status Test
The main requirement of the Status Test is active engagement in maritime work. You could be eligible for a claim if you are a maritime worker such as a shipbuilder or harbor worker.
Here are a few reasons why you might not qualify:
- You work for the U.S. government or a foreign government
- You’re a recreational shipbuilder or aquaculture worker
The Situs Test
The Situs Test is essentially a physical location test. If you were involved in an accident and it happened at or close to navigable waters, then your claim may qualify for compensation through the LHWCA. You could qualify if your accident happened on sites like these:
- Marine railways
- Building ways that allow ships access to ports
- Other water-adjacent spots where vessels load/unload their cargo
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The LHWCA promotes safety by requiring certain qualifications before you can receive monetary benefits. If your injuries meet the Status and Situs tests, there are four types of compensation that may be available:
- Temporary disability compensation
- Total disability with medical coverage for approved treatments (including hospitalization)
- Job rehabilitation services to allow an employee back into their previous position if they’re able.
- Death benefit payments if a loved one passes from their accident injuries
The Jones Act offers many possible benefits as well, including coverage of medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, and lost wages if you had to take time off work due to your injury.
Coverage and compensation can help you afford to focus on healing and getting your life back. Don’t foot the bill for someone else’s mistake.
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Deadlines to File and Statutes of Limitations
It’s important to note that these laws have very different requirements, and that includes their unique deadlines. If you are filing under the Jones Act, you have three years to file from the date of your accident. If you are filing under the LHWCA, you have just one year to file, and you must report the injury to your employer within 30 days of your accident.
How a LaPlace Maritime Injury Lawyer Can Help
Maritime accidents often result in serious injuries that require compensation. If you or someone close to you has suffered such an injury as a result of dangerous work on vessels across international waters, then it may be time to pursue professional help.
While legal safeguards protect ship owners and operators, they can still be held accountable for your injuries. Legal counsel can help you sort out the complex factors involved with federal maritime law.
Get a Free Consultation on Your Case
If you’ve already been in an accident, you shouldn’t have to think about fees when you call a lawyer for help. Our maritime injury attorneys are paid on a contingency basis, which means they only receive a certain percentage of your final settlement or court award. If your case is unsuccessful, the lawyer gets nothing.
Call now for a free consultation at (337) 333-3198. Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers is ready to discuss your options with you. We’re on your side and ready to help.
Call or text (337) 777-7777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form