The maritime industry in Louisiana may be booming, but it is also one of the most dangerous fields of work out there. Maritime and offshore workers face a wide variety of hazards just doing their jobs every day. Maritime accidents can be disastrous, and the resulting injuries can be severe or even life-threatening.
If you’re a maritime worker and have been injured in an accident while working, you could be in pain, facing unexpected medical bills, and not know where to turn. A Leesville maritime injury lawyer from our firm can help. Let us take the stress and work of an injury claim off your shoulders so you can focus on healing.
Common Causes of Maritime Accidents
Even though maritime law covers a lot of different job types and situations, specific maritime injuries are more common than others. Maritime accidents involving slips and falls are by far the most prevalent. Employers should take precautions to prevent their workers from slipping and falling on wet floors and decks aboard ships. Other maritime dangers could include:
- Hazardous chemicals and toxic respiratory agents
- Working in cramped spaces
- Lifting heavy objects, especially when done incorrectly
- Repetitive motion over long hours
- Working with heavy machinery and equipment
- Lack of training
- Extended time at sea
Laborde Earles injury was great for me they took care of me very fast and professional. If for any reason I need legal help they will be who I use.Client
What Should I Do After a Maritime Accident?
While most off-shore maritime workers are trained on what to do, it can be a frightening experience in the moment. It’s normal to feel unsure of what to do—especially if you’re in shock. However, doing a few things for yourself can be crucial in the moments and days after a maritime accident. Here are some of the most important:
- Get out of harm’s way as quickly as possible.
- Seek medical care for any injuries as soon as you can (keep a record of all medical attention and bills).
- Report the accident to your employer.
- If necessary, you can call the Coast Guard for help.
- Take photos and videos of the scene, and write down as many details as you can remember in a notebook.
- If you wish to seek the services of a Leesville maritime injury lawyer, you can do so any time after the accident.
I thank God for Digger & David. I don’t know what we would have done if it hadn’t have been for them.Rick Smith | Client
The Jones Act
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, protects maritime workers injured while working on or near a ship under the federal government’s authority. However, you can only pursue Jones Act compensation if you meet a few specific requirements.
First, you have to meet the definition of a “seaman.” This means you must work onboard a navigable vessel and spend at least 30% of your time on the ship. This can include sailors, crew members, most oil rig workers (depending on whether the rig is stationary), and other vessel employees who are hurt on the job.
Additionally, the accident must have been the result of someone’s negligence (at least in part). A Leesville maritime injury lawyer can help you pinpoint the at-fault party. Under the Jones Act, you have up to three years to file your legal suit, but you must report the accident to your employer within seven days.
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Employees’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) was created to protect any maritime worker not covered by the Jones Act. It protects maritime sector workers who have been injured at work while loading, unloading, repairing, or constructing a vessel on or near navigable waters of the United States.
Compensation for the losses caused by at-work injuries is available under this statute. Injured maritime employees may be entitled to obtain compensation for health care costs, disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation services, and more.
If you’ve recently lost a loved one to a maritime workplace accident, you may be entitled to death benefits under the LHWCA. A Leesville maritime injury lawyer from our firm could gently guide you through the legal side of this difficult time, offer solid legal counsel throughout the claim process, and answer any questions you may have.
They treated us like no other people would. Whenever we needed something they were there for us. I put my trust in them and I don’t regret it.Client
How Can a Leesville Maritime Lawyer Help?
Our firm has a team of maritime injury attorneys that can assist you in filing your claim. There are many ways a lawyer can help, especially right after an accident. A Leesville maritime injury lawyer from our firm could:
- Keep meticulous records of what happened
- Calculate your estimated compensation
- Interview eyewitnesses
- File paperwork and track deadlines
- Negotiate with the insurance adjuster and your employer’s legal team
- Keep you updated on developments in your case
- Determine liability
- Handle communications and review reports
- Present your case in court, if necessary
Because each marine injury claim is unique, it can be tough to know where to file. When you sit down with one of our attorneys, we can review your case and give you personalized advice.
What Kinds of Compensation Can I Pursue?
If you’ve been hospitalized for a lengthy period or experienced a significant injury, the resulting medical expenses could be overwhelming. A maritime lawyer could help you pursue coverage for things like:
- Medical expenses for surgery, emergency room fees, diagnostic tests, prosthetics or other medical devices, or prescription medication.
- Out-patient treatment plans like home or hospital physical therapy and transportation to see doctors or attend rehab appointments, and temporary housing/living expenses during lengthy recuperation periods.
- Lost wages if you’re unable to work during your recovery.
- The loss of potential income when the accident has a long-term impact on your ability to work.
- Compensation for pain and suffering. People who suffer from these injuries can have emotional trauma that can express itself as anxiety or depression.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Maritime law is complex and can be difficult to understand. Filing your own compensation claim may seem overwhelming, especially when you’re injured and in pain. A maritime injury attorney from our firm can help. Let us handle your case so you can rest and recover from your injuries. Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers to find out more and schedule your free consultation.