Off-shore workers often work on oil rigs, barges, and ships way out in the ocean. As stunning as the view of endless water might be, these vessels aren’t the safest workplaces. They present plenty of hazards that significantly increase the likelihood of injuries.
Furthermore, off-shore vessels are often located miles in the sea, making emergency medical intervention nearly impossible. This means that off-shore injuries are more likely to worsen and even become fatal before medical intervention. Maritime workers bravely face these risks every day, many of them from right here in Leesville.
Fortunately, federal law entitles you to pursue monetary compensation if you’re injured in an off-shore work accident. A Leesville off-shore accident lawyer can help.
Common Types of Off-Shore Injuries
The average off-shore worker is exposed to various hazards each working day. This can include heavy machinery, slippery decks, and extreme weather conditions. As such, workplace accidents are inherently more dangerous and can cause severe injuries. The distance from the shore means that these injuries could worsen and become more severe before treatment arrives. Off-shore accidents tend to result in the following injuries:
- Head Injuries: The construction-like setting of most off-shore workplaces means workers are more likely to suffer blows to the head from either poorly secured cargo or heavy equipment. Such impacts could cause concussions or traumatic brain injuries, often with life-long consequences.
- Neck, Back, and Spinal Injuries: Off-shore work can be physically demanding, with a lot of twisting, pulling and heavy lifting. This often puts the neck and back under strain and results in injuries. Additionally, off-shore workers can suffer falls or impacts by vehicles and unsecured cargo, which could cause some paralysis.
- Broken Bones: The presence of heavy machinery increases the likelihood of broken bones and crushing injuries. These accidents can happen if employers or employees don’t follow safety procedures or if the machines break down.
- Loss of Limbs: In a worst-case scenario, a crushing accident involving a heavy machine or vehicle could cause the victim to lose one or more limbs.
- Loss of Hearing: Off-shore rigs and barges can be extremely loud. Without sufficient ear protection, workers can develop conditions like tinnitus or lose their hearing completely over time.
- Frostbite and Hypothermia: Off-shore workers tend to operate in environments with extreme weather for long periods. Continued exposure to extreme cold, for instance, can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. This can also happen if a worker slips and falls overboard.
- Lung Damage: This is common in environments that require toxic chemicals. If a chemical spill occurs, workers who inhale the chemicals could sustain severe lung damage. Some cases could even be fatal.
For a free legal consultation with a off-shore accident lawyer serving Leesville, call (337) 777-7777
Legal Protection for Off-Shore Workers
Although off-shore workers don’t enjoy the coverage provided by the Workers Compensation Program, maritime law allows them to sue their employers if they’re injured on the job. If you’ve been injured while working off-shore, you can pursue compensation under either of the following laws:
The Jones Act
Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act allows seamen who sustain injuries at work to sue their employers for those injuries and damages. An off-shore worker must be employed on a single water vessel or a fleet under single ownership to qualify under the Jones Act and be considered a seaman. The employee should spend at least 30 percent of their working hours contributing to the ship’s overall mission.
Anyone working on a ship can qualify as a Jones Act seaman, from the captain to the waitresses and cleaners, if they meet the qualifications. Finally, the vessel should have been in navigation during the accident. A vessel traveling internal waterways like rivers will also be considered to be in navigation.
Under the Jones Act, there are many kinds of vessels that qualify. Workers on floating rigs and barges, drillships, tankers, cargo ships, diving vessels, cruise ships, and fishing boats can qualify you as a Jones Act seaman.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides coverage to off-shore workers who sustain severe and disabling injuries while on the job. Any employee who spends their work hours building, maintaining, loading, or unloading water vessels will qualify for LHWCA coverage. Workers employed in adjoining areas like docks, piers, terminals, and wharves can also be eligible for compensation if they sustain disabling injuries.
A Leesville off-shore accident lawyer can help determine which law is right for you and help with your entire claim.
Leesville Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Why Hire a Leesville Off-Shore Accident Lawyer?
Off-shore workers may be entitled to monetary compensation for on-the-job injuries, but pursuing these damages in full is never easy. It can be especially difficult when you’re injured and in pain.
An off-shore accident lawyer right in Leesville can help. Your lawyer could determine whether to pursue compensation under the Jones Act or the LHWCA. Your lawyer could collect all the relevant evidence and file all the required paperwork before the deadline.
Your attorney could also establish the number of damages and the compensation you’re owed, handle negotiations with the insurance providers, and argue your case in court if negotiations don’t pan out. Finally, your lawyer can answer all of your questions, offer solid legal advice, and guide you every step of the way.
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Off-Shore Injury Damages
You could be entitled to a combination of the following damages in compensation for your Leesville off-shore accident:
- Medical expenses (both past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Wrongful death damages and survivor’s benefits if the accident was fatal
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Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Off-shore accidents often result in severe and even fatal injuries. If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in an off-shore accident, Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you pursue compensation. Our Leesville off-shore accident lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay legal fees unless we win. Contact us today to schedule a free case review.
Call or text (337) 777-7777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form