The average off-shore worker encounters more hazards in a day than most land-based employees see in a month. Off-shore workers are much more likely to sustain severe and even fatal injuries while stationed in the middle of the sea on water vessels filled with heavy, dangerous equipment, slippery surfaces, and toxic, flammable liquids.
If you have been injured in an off-shore work accident, you might be entitled to compensation from your employer. An off-shore accident lawyer right here in Lawtell could help protect your rights and pursue your claim, taking on the work of your case while you take time to recover.
How a Lawtell Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Getting injured while on the job can be a daunting experience. In the weeks after your injury, you’ll have to juggle recovering from your injuries with fighting for your compensation. While federal law entitles you to financial damages if you’re injured in an off-shore accident, pursuing this compensation will take plenty of time and effort.
This is the time to recover from your injuries, rest, rehabilitate, and truly heal. Dealing with reams of legal paperwork and insurance representatives will be the last thing you do while still in recovery. An off-shore accident attorney in Lawtell can lift this burden from your shoulders and allow you to focus on healing.
Your attorney will:
- Be intimately aware of local maritime laws and the ones that cover off-shore workers like you
- Know the statutes of limitations for off-shore injury cases in your state and ensure you file your claim before the deadline
- File all the relevant paperwork and collect the evidence you need to prove your injury case
- Review your medical records and consult with medical professionals to determine the severity of your injuries and their estimated treatment costs
- Analyze your injuries, determine the damages you’re owed, and calculate the amount of compensation you could receive
- Draw on their experience with personal injury cases to negotiate with insurance providers for a settlement on your behalf
- File a lawsuit and defend your case in court if negotiations don’t lead to a favorable outcome
For a free legal consultation with a off-shore accident lawyer serving Lawtell, call (337) 777-7777
Maritime Safety Laws
Did you know that off-shore workers aren’t covered by the usual Workers’ Compensation Program? These programs vary from state to state, and their jurisdiction doesn’t extend past the coast. Once you get into the water, you’re no longer eligible for benefits under worker’s compensation. So, what legal protections do off-shore workers have if they sustain injuries while on the job? Here are the two primary federal laws that off-shore accident lawyers use to help injured off-shore workers:
The Jones Act
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act, is a federal maritime law that allows off-shore workers (seamen) to sue their employers for damages if they’re injured while on the job. Anyone who works on a water vessel that operates way out into the ocean and isn’t connected to the seafloor can qualify as a Jones Act Seaman.
This includes drillships, cargo ships, tankers, floating oil rigs and barges, cruise ships, tankers, and fishing boats. A seaman must have been stationed on a vessel or fleet owned by a single entity to be eligible for compensation under the Jones Act. More than 30 percent of their time should have been spent contributing to the vessel’s functionality, and the accident should have happened while the ship was in navigation.
The water vessel should have been on the sea or inland waterways like rivers. The Jones Act also requires that some negligence was involved in the accident. Your Lawtell Off-shore accident lawyer can help you understand more about negligence and what you need for a Jones Act claim.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Off-shore workers who receive severe and disabling injuries (but who wouldn’t qualify for the Jones Act) can pursue compensation through the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). You qualify for compensation under LHWCA if you build, deconstruct, maintain, load, or unload water vessels. The LHWCA also covers employees who work in adjoining areas like piers, terminals, wharves, and docks.
Lawtell Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Off-shore Injury Damages
Once your Lawtell off-shore accident attorney has studied your medical records and consulted with a variety of witnesses, they could help you pursue some of the following damages:
- Past and Present Medical Expenses: This includes surgery, prescription medication, doctor visits, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and specialized medical equipment like prosthetics or wheelchairs.
- Physical and Mental Pain and Suffering: This compensates you for the physical pain and emotional anguish caused by the accident and the injuries you sustained
- Lost Wages: This is to compensate you for the time you spent injured, and in recovery, when you might have lost your job or income.
- Loss of Earning Potential: If your injuries are severe enough to prevent you from working again in the future, your lawyer could claim this damage.
- Maintenance and Cure: Your employer must cover your general living expenses and medical expenses while you’re recovering if you qualify as a Jones Act seaman.
- Wrongful Death: This includes the deceased’s final medical costs, their pain and suffering, your loss of companionship, and some of the funeral and burial expenses.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Off-shore work accidents can be dangerous, but they shouldn’t leave you on the verge of financial ruin. If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in an off-shore injury, a Lawtell off-shore accident lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you pursue compensation. Call us today to schedule a free case evaluation and to get legal help.